Two Bradford teenagers are set to follow in the footsteps of famous Scottish explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie’s pioneering trail in the heights of the Rocky Mountains.
Army cadets Alice Peace, of Bingley, and James Brame, of Lower Grange, Bradford, both 16, were chosen to join 13 other cadets on the challenging Yorkshire and Humberside Cadet Force expedition this summer.
They will leave at the end of July to spend four weeks trekking across the West Coast Mountains of British Columbia in Canada, following the final section of the rarely-used Mackenzie trail.
Pitching and striking camp, cooking meals, purifying water and all the other essential camp tasks will be just some of their daily chores as they take on the wild country of mountains, rivers, lakes, stream crossings, bogs, unspoiled forest, alpine meadows, scree slopes and even bears.
Both cadets need to raise £1,200 each to pay for the trip, subsidised by the Yorkshire Cadet Trust, and about £600 for their own kit and equipment which they are doing through a range of fundraising activities. They have also been on a 12-month training programme ready to face extreme conditions.
Alice said: “It’s hard to believe that in two months I’m going to be trekking across the wilderness of the Rockies. It’s going to be an incredible experience, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s also going to be a big challenge.”
James added: “We’ve been told that the trail we’re going on is not often used as it’s considered too tough for most trekkers. But we’ve been training well and have another couple of months to go to ensure we’re as prepared as we can be. With the help of our instructors I’m confident we’ll be ready for anything the expedition may throw at us. I can’t wait.”
Colonel David Fuller, who has been training the cadets for the trip, said: “An expedition like this offers skills and challenges that they would otherwise never get to experience. It is also a great occasion for the cadet movement, which continues to offer fantastic opportunities, such as this expedition, not only to young people but also the adult volunteers we rely on to keep the cadet movement running.”
Anyone who would like to help raise money for Alice and James should contact Colonel Fuller by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org