Although there are many challenging events in Britain today, Ten Tors is still alone in catering solely for young people. Usually taking place in the second weekend of May, many of its participants will remember the event with pride for the rest of their lives, and for some it may even be a life-changing experience.
The Ten Tors Challenge is organised by the Army, specifically 43 (Wessex) Brigade, from its Moor Group Headquarters at Okehampton Camp. It is assisted by the Royal Navy (with manpower and helicopters), the Royal Air Force and the Dartmoor Rescue Group.
In parallel with the Jubilee Challenge, the Ten Tors Challenge takes place annually and is limited to 2,400 individuals – four hundred teams of six teenagers. The teams, depending on age, face hikes of 35, 45 or 55 miles (56, 72 or 88km) visiting ten nominated tors over two days. The teams must be self-sufficient, carrying all that they need to complete their route safely despite the terrain and the weather.
Launceston College has entered teams for the Ten Tors Challenge since 2002. In order to prepare, students undertake a demanding training programme in which they develop the navigation, camp craft and team work skills needed to be successful. All students who choose to undertake such a physically and psychologically tough challenge should be extremely proud of their achievements:
‘’Travelling across desolate Dartmoor; it’s not just about your physique but your state of mind. Up there you’re isolated; you’ve got five team mates behind you and 368 square miles of open moorland ahead of you. But what you get out of it outweighs the challenge. You not only get to encounter stunning views and experience merciless weather, but the reward of completing a nationally recognised challenge allows you to add another thing to your CV’’. (Year 13 student)
‘’Ten Tors is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and I recommend that everyone has a go!’’ (Year 11 student)