Royal Belfast CCF in Tenerife
In 2016, Royal Belfast Academical Institution CCF deployed on a rock climbing exercise in Tenerife , making it the first overseas AT Exercise for the Contingent . The expedition was supported by a generous grant from the Ulysses Trust – for more information on funding for expeditions, see our funding opportunities page.
The group focused their activities in ‘Arico Arriba’, near Villa de Arico, a very popular climbing area with a selection of over 200 routes available, situated in a dry river gorge with stunning scenery. The routes selected to warm up were up to V+ and were bottom roped. The Cadets were straight into climbing mode, helped by the many weeks of pre-training conducted on the School’s climbing wall.
By this time the cadets were warmed up and ready for some friendly competition between themselves and the staff. With hands chalked and feet primed, the staff made an impressive start - However, the cadets fought back at the Officers with Freddie Johnston becoming the fastest climber of the day.
With the day coming to a close, the cadets had had enough of ropes and decided to swap their harnesses for the crash mat and took on some difficult bouldering problems. We started the problems off with a challenging traverse across a sharp piece of basalt. All of the cadets attempted this problem, and demonstrated some impressive footwork and upper body strength. The final boulder problem involved a difficult overhang with poor hand holds. This problem proved to be too difficult for any of the cadets or officers to complete with some of the cadets vowing to conquer it by weeks’ end.
The next few days were beset with rain with an unseasonal storm blowing across the entire Canaries, however this didn’t stop the Contingent, who kept themselves occupies with abseiling, indoor climbing, and a drive up the mountain. The end of the week allowed an exciting climb in Guaria, a top rope climb with the belay at the top of the crag, featuring a vicious overhand – followed by several more straightforward climbs. After a final day of climbing, and tackling the previous boulder challenge – the group celebrated with a final dinner together, before returning back to school, with a renewed enthusiasm for adventurous training.