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Apex Extreme - October 2010

Having taken part in the Apex Annual Night Challenge for the last two years, three Explorers from Gemini ESU thought it was time this year to get a taste of the much bigger and more intensive three day Apex Extreme Challenge. In the end, sufficient interest was drummed up for three teams to enter this year's event which took place over the surprisingly warm week-end of 8th - 10th October and was based out of Gradbach Scout Camp providing one of the most spectacular areas of the Peak District as the play area. They we competing with 67 Explorer teams and 11 Network teams from 19 Scout Counties from as far away as Dorset, Hampshire, Cumbria, Clwyd and even the Isle of Man!.

The competition began straight away on Friday evening with the (apparently traditional) curtain raising Apex Intense, a fast-paced event where stealth, cunning and precise navigation was needed to beat the Apex Chasers.

By 10am Saturday morning, the teams were out again in one of the competition's biggest playing areas ever, covering some 10 square kilometres of woodland, moors, rivers and the crags of the Roaches to hunt for those crucial Apex Points. A series of spectacular activities were awaiting the teams including archery, rifle shooting, rock climbing, abseiling and dramatic river crossings as well as a wide range of pure fun activities. With the main Challenge completed, it was time to be fed, before the chance to join in at the Camp-Fire or simply chill out in the 'Chillout' Tent.

Sunday morning introduced the teams to the brand new event of the Apex Apocalypse when the teams had three and a half hours to track down 20 Apex fugitives using all their skills to locate them in the thick undergrowth. Then, finally, it was time for the Apex Eliminator, the competition's biggest and best ever Assault Course. As the Army instructors bellowed their commands, teams had to go up, under, around and through all the obstacles in the quickest possible time.

Finally the Apex Supercomputer got to work processing all the results before the final results presentation to see who was to be leaving with the top trophies and the title of Apex Champions!

Our Gemini teams fared well considering this was their first experience at the Event competing against teams with members who were taking part for the second,third or even fourth time and who had the benefit of strategy advice handed down from previous generations of their Explorers. They had an amazing weekend and learnt a great deal for next time.

Visit the Apex Challenge website for much more information about the event including a photo album of over 400 photos taken at the event.

If you like the idea of trying out Apex for yourself, then the next event is the Apex Night Challenge which takes place on 9th - 10th April 2010 right on our doorstep at Sherwood Pines. Entries will open in mid-January.

Hope to see you at Apex next year.
Howard De Jonge