The Ten Tors Challenge

August 8, 2016 TPC-ADMIN
Ten Tors
Torquay Girls Grammar School B Team, the first all-female team to finish the 2015 Ten Tors Challenge. Photo: Corporal Daniel Wiepen
approach the finish line to rapturous applause from friends, family and Ten Tors fans. The Torquay Girls Grammar School girls teams were the first two all female teams to finish the event in 2015.
The Ten Tors Challenge is one of the biggest outdoors adventure events for young people in Britain today.
2,400 youngsters aged between 14 and 19 will take part in Ten Tors, trekking unaided over 35, 45 or 55 miles of some of the toughest terrain and highest peaks in Southern England, relying on their navigational skills and carrying all their food, water, bedding, tents and other essentials as they go.
A further 300 youngsters with physical or educational needs take part in the Jubilee Challenge and complete routes of up to 15 miles.
Ten Tors is also a vital high-level military exercise – called Exercise ARIES TOR – designed to test interoperability between the Armed Forces and Devon and Cornwall Police, The British Red Cross and Dartmoor Search and Rescue Group.
MoD release authorised handout images.
All images remain Crown Copyright.
Photo credit to read – Corporal Daniel Wiepen
Daniel Wiepen – 07880 052437
Richard Watt – 07836 515306
Shane Wilkinson – 07901 590723

Over the past 55 years, the Ten Tors expedition has provided a uniquely demanding challenge to many thousands of young people. They are required to hike over Dartmoor for up to three days, without adult support and solely responsible for their own well-being. Their safety, however, remains the primary concern of the team organising the event together with the Dartmoor National Park Authority, the emergency services, and various volunteer groups.

Simon Bell discusses his love for Dartmoor

Our talk this month told the history of the Ten Tors expedition and was given by Simon Dell, who is currently the Director and Coordinator of Moorland Guides. Simon has, for many years, had a special interest in the Dartmoor Rescue Group and in 1997 was awarded the MBE for services to the community as well as mountain rescue.

The Ten Tors Challenge started life in 1959 as a military exercise by the Junior Leaders Regiment, based at Denbury Camp. The exercise was a great success with those taking part enjoying the challenges of navigation, bivouacking and field cooking. The officers in charge, among them Colonel Gregory, felt that such an expedition could greatly benefit the youth of the day and should not be confined to Junior Leaders.

The first Ten Tors Challenge

The first public Ten Tors expedition took place on 15th September 1960 starting at Haytor, with teams of 10 walking 55 miles over the moors to Hexworthy. Teams of girls were included the following year. In 1996, heavy snow initiated a mass evacuation and two years later a heat wave created a major risk of dehydration. The expedition now starts and ends at Okehampton Camp.

David Rippon thanked Simon for his most interesting talk which showed an astounding knowledge of Dartmoor. The subject for our September meeting is “The Falkland Islands and Antarctica”.

Tavistock Probus Club is pleased to welcome new members. If you would like to join us, please have a word with our secretary on 01822 615669.

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