Living 10 minutes from the Moors this an annual nerve wrecking event (usually because at least 2 of my nephews are doing it!) This year (at 17yrs old) Tom and Dan are part of Plymouth and Cornwall ATC Team doing 55 miles……I’ll be online all weekend tracking them until they are back to base all safe via the website. Good luck boys!
The following is an extract from a book called the Green Flag written by Lieutenant Colonel Lionel Gregory who commanded the Junior Leaders Regiment, Royal Signals at Denbury Camp back in the late 1950s.
He is credited, together with Major Parker and Captain Joyner, as the founder of the Ten Tors Expedition which in those days was a 55 mile hike through ten tor-located check points for teams of ten youngsters aged 15 to 18.
If you don’t know anything about 10Tors, this is the ‘Scene of Events’
Dartmoor is one of the last wildernesses in England. It is a National Park, and occupies some 368 square miles (954 square Km) of hills topped by granite outcrops – the ‘Tors’. At its lowest points Dartmoor touches 325 feet (100 m) above sea level, and the highest Tor-capped hill reaches 2018 feet (621 m). The valleys and dips between the hills often hold bogs to trap the unwary walker.
Only two major roads cross the Moor – others take a more cautious route around its skirts. It is no accident that Dartmoor Prison was built in the middle of the Moor, originally to house prisoners of the Napoleonic wars.
The Moor has long been used by the British Army as a training and firing range. Approximately 156 square miles (400 square Km) of the moor are owned or leased by the MoD for military training, and three ranges are used for much of the year for live firing exercises.
In 1959 three Army officers felt that the Moor would provide a challenge for civilians as well as soldiers, and Ten Tors was conceived. In the first year 203 boys and girls took up the challenge – and the Army thoughtfully suspended firing exercises…
The Ten Tors event – in parallel with the Jubilee Challenge – takes place one weekend in May, every year, and is now limited to 2400 individuals – 400 teams of six teenagers. The teams, depending on age and ability, face hikes of 35, 45 or 55 miles between ten nominated Tors over two days. The intention is that the teams shall be self-sufficient, carrying everything they need to survive two days on the Moor.
And survival forms a real and ever-present part of the challenge….