King's College has an outstanding record of success in the Ten Tors Challenge. This event takes place in May each year, and is designed to encourage young people to take part in a planned expedition over Dartmoor. The event is not a competition but a challenging adventure that demands careful planning, imagination, endurance, skilful navigation and teamwork.
The expedition is a two-day event for teams of six, either girls or boys or a mixture of both, aged between 14 and 20 years. Each team must walk one of 26 specified routes over the rugged terrain of Dartmoor, visiting checkpoints at ten tors. A distance of 35, 45 or 55 miles is set depending on the ages of the team. A team must be self-contained; it must camp on the moor overnight and complete the total distance within 34 hours.
Almost every year we enter our maximum of three teams, one for each of the three distances. Training starts in January, and takes place over several weekends, under the careful supervision of highly qualified members of staff. With this careful preparation and training, our teams almost invariably complete their challenge in the allotted time - many finish well ahead of schedule.
It is a part of school life that is greatly valued by those who take part. Last year a pupil kept a diary of the whole experience of the 55-mile challenge, and wrote:
"Finishing at 3.40 the team comfortably came through with plenty of time to spare. The medals that the team received at the end of the event may seem feeble reward for such a gargantuan task but the achievement itself as any of the team will tell you was a 'thing that has to be done' if you want to know how far you, your mind and body will go in the pursuit of a goal.
Thanks must go to all of the staff that helped out with the event and as always I recommend that any people toying with the idea of doing any of the distances to go for it, as you won't regret the idea!"