Simon Maskrey

In 1985 I was 17 years old in training for a Cardiff based Gold award expidition. 8 weeks of weekend training for 12 groups of 6 x 17 yr in the Brecon Beacons with our 2 trainers Martin Dogood and Dave Dymock. We doubted that they were real names as their day job was the SAS. Those days when the gold award expedition was 4 days of wild camping over 60 miles in Snowdonia with no outside contact or support leaving notes along our route for our assessors. How times have changed. Needless to say after 8 weeks of training with those guys our little team of 2 boys and 4 girls were more than capable of invading a small island nation never mind Snowdonia. At the start of our training, I remember running our route over Pen y fan and leaving the girls behind and arriving at Storey Arms 2 hours ahead of everybody else thinking we were so strong and clever. We received the most appalling hairdryer treatment (polite description) from Martin and Dave. We then spent the night looking for the rest of our team who were lost on the mountain. Lesson learnt. You never ever leave anyone behind. The jaunt through Snowdonia in torrential rain and 10’ visibility was, thanks to Dave and Martin no more than a Sunday afternoon stroll around Roath Park.
Oh, and the girls in our group, on the expedition, they could walk Chris Bonnington into the ground and map read their way out of the Amazon jungle, at night, with just a pair of sunglasses and half a pack of cigarettes. Legends are not born they are made. Thank you Dave and Martin wherever and whoever you are.