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Otley army cadet completes tough Canada challenge
9:00am Wednesday 30th October 2013 in News
An army cadet from Otley has returned from one of the Army Cadet Force’s most challenging courses – in Canada's Yukon.
Helen Winpenny, 16, was one of only 12 cadets from across the UK to have been selected to attend Operation Maple Leaf 2013, a six-week course of intensive training to complete the Canadian Expedition Instructor qualification at Whitehorse Summer Cadet Training Centre.
Joined by cadets from across Canada, Helen’s first few weeks involved rigorous training for what would be an 18-day expedition to climb Mount McIntyre, canoe 85 miles down the Takhini River and bike another 146 miles.
Returning from successfully completing the expedition Helen, who attends Prince Henry’s Grammar School, was then straight into Yorkshire North & West’s annual cadet camp at Warcop, Cumbria for two weeks.
Of her experience in Canada she said: “It was such an incredible six weeks, which also passed so quickly that it’s hard to take in that I was actually out there canoeing, rock climbing and seeing the most amazing scenery.
“It was also a tough six weeks, particularly when learning to use two-man canoes, which was physically quite hard, and building up our stamina for the mountain biking – there certainly seemed to be more hills going up in Canada than coming down.”