Ten Tors

Ten Tors is a hiking, navigation and self-sufficiency challenge that takes place once a year on Dartmoor in May. The 2-day event sees participants from schools around the South-West gather to complete 35-, 45- or 55-mile challenges. Participants carry with them food, water, shelter, cooking equipment and much more, being entirely self-sufficient. The allocated route is only given to students the day before the event, meaning that they must plan and navigate their route within a short timeframe.

The Penrice Offering of Ten Tors

Here at Penrice we offer the 35- and 45-mile expeditions. Students in Year 9 and Year 10 are eligible to take on the 35-mile challenge. Only once the 35-mile is completed that the 45-mile expedition can be attempted in Year 11. Many successful students go on to complete the 55-mile challenge at their College provider when they are aged 16+.

Ms Alison Penrose
Ten Tors Lead at Penrice Academy

“Success in the event is crucially dependent on training expeditions prior to May, with training starting early in the Autumn Term each year. I firmly believe that it’s as much the training prior to the final event, as well as the final challenge itself, that builds character and resilience in our pupils.
Students start off their training by completing day walks and learning basic navigation skills in Minions. An endurance challenge in Perranporth follows. More recently, we have done training walks on Dartmoor itself. Other training walks include Bodmin Moor – where students walk around 20km in one day. Training sessions also include two wild camping experiences. After February, training increases from once a month to fortnightly.”
Learning navigation in these training sessions is key. For example, there are Rare Bird Nesting Areas on Dartmoor where entry is forbidden. If students are shown to have entered these areas on their trackers, even by accident, then they are disqualified from the event.”

Developing CVs

If you put Ten Tors on your CV then you have a distinctive advantage over other interview candidates
The skills learnt during Ten Tors include:

  • Determination – grit is an absolute requirement to be successful.
  • Resilience – equally, there are times when students will be close to giving up but must persevere.
  • Teamwork – leaders and deputies are nominated by each team.
  • Self-sufficiency – students must learn to navigate, cook and set up shelter all by themselves.

How to Sign Up?

Each Autumn Term, Ms Penrose runs an assembly promoting Ten Tors and Duke of Edinburgh. Following the assembly, students will receive sign up forms for both offerings.

You can express an interest in Ten Tors and find out more information by emailing Ms Alison Penrose on: apenrose@penrice.org.uk.

Final Words

Ms Penrose says:

“Do it. It will change you.
It will give you skills that you didn’t know you could learn. It will stand out on your CV, and it will give you the confidence that you can do anything you want to do if you set your mind to it.”