A once-in-a-lifetime experience on the Coppermine River

Posted: 13th April 2016

The group comprised 15 pupils and four specialist expedition staff. This journey had not been undertaken by a British school before and we were delighted to attract the interest of HRH, The Duke of York, who met our expedition group at Buckingham Palace before they went, to give his personal advice and knowledge of a location in which he has a particular interest. This was an exciting beginning to what was to be an unforgettable experience. Of the many challenges, the first significant test on the river came at Rocky Defile, a notoriously deep canyon carved through the red rock. Having surveyed the rapid from the top and identified the danger zones, all that remained was to get through it. Justin Major, Head of Outdoor Pursuits and leader of the expedition describes the ‘whoop of euphoria that rang out from the canyon walls’ as all the boats came through. The second major test came at Escape Rapid, on the last stretch of the river where the rapids run through a deep canyon with huge waves, holes and pour-overs. The canyon is adorned by an enormous waterfall and the views from above were breathtaking. At their final campsite at Bloody Falls, which stands at the gateway to the ocean, members of the Inuit settlement at Kugluktuk visited our pupils who shared their tales of the river journey and all that they had experienced. The Coppermine trip exemplifies Malvern’s drive to develop resilience, self-awareness, leadership and teambuilding in pupils. Programmes like this change those who take part in terms of their confidence, ambition and independence. Malvern will continue to encourage pupils to take part in similar adventures organised through its CCF and Outdoor Pursuits programmes.

Categories: BSA News