Outdoor Adventure Academy students prepare for African expedition

Outdoor Adventure Academy students prepare for African expedition  
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A group of Northumberland College students are preparing for a challenging charity expedition to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in June. The Level 3 Outdoor Adventure Academy students from the college’s Kirkley Hall campus aim to reach the 4,167m summit of Mount Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa.

The 11 students are organising the trip themselves as part of their course where they have to plan, prepare and carry out an expedition as independently as possible. The students' tutors, Chris Scott and Carl Halliday, who are both experienced mountaineering instructors, have taken on the roles of safety officers and will oversee the expedition.

The Mount Toubkal trek itself will take 2-3 days to complete but the expedition team will need to undertake various day treks leading up to the ascent in order to start the acclimatisation process. The group will base themselves in the mountain village of Imlil for the duration of their trip.

Carl said: "Regardless of whether we are successful in reaching the summit, the trip as a whole should prove to be a fantastic adventure for the students and an experience that will hopefully open their eyes and minds to different cultures, beliefs and lifestyles. It is an amazing region and the people who live there are friendly and welcoming despite their tough and challenging lifestyles."

The students will be donating half of their sponsor money to Education for All, a charity which helps to provide and support education for girls in remote, rural areas like the Atlas region. The other half will go towards the cost of the expedition.

Robert Simpson, one of the students going on the trip said: "Climbing Mount Toubkal as a one week expedition is an amazing opportunity for our class to have. Apart from mountaineering, and raising money for charity, we will also be learning about a totally different culture and experiencing the Moroccan lifestyle. We hope to take a lot from our experience abroad and use what we have learnt to gain mountaineering qualifications, and give us a taste of leading expeditions like this in the future."

The expedition group will leave for their African adventure on Wednesday 10th June and plan to return on Thursday 18thJune. Anyone who would like to sponsor the students can visit:  

As well as gaining experience of real outdoor expeditions, the Outdoor Adventure Academy students benefit from the facilities at the Kirkley Hall Outdoor Activity Centre. This includes high ropes, zip wire, assault course, archery and woodland activity trail, all of which are available to the public. For more information