Trip of a lifetime for Sgt Barker

Posted on November 24th, 2023 by WO Lyons

In August Cadet Sergeant Barker took part in Exercise Mountain Storm, an incredible two week trip took to Banff, Canada. The overseas expedition involved a six day wilderness expedition and a whole range of outdoor adventure activities, including white water rafting. Read more about the exercise from Sgt Barker below.

Exercise Mountain Storm 2023

When I saw the trip advertised I knew I had to go for it, with just over 2 weeks in the Canadian Rockies including a 6 day self-sufficient expedition followed by an abundance of activities, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I could not look past. 125 cadets from across the country submitted a written application, of which 40 were selected for the selection weekend. It was challenging and exhausting but the end goal was worth it. A diverse group of 22 cadets were selected as the final team, but we were not there yet. Leading up to the trip we had a total of 5 training weekends in Snowdonia, Dartmoor, Brecon Beacons and more. Over these weekends we began refining our skills, preparing ourselves for the expedition and practiced teamwork. We also got to know each other and went from a  group of strangers to a group of friends. The harsh UK weather put my squadron borrowed tent to the test and certainly contributed to some team development.

After 11 months of build up, we made it to Canmore, Alberta. With wildlife training fresh in our mind we began our 6 day expedition which took place in the Wild Goat Wilderness area. Over the expedition, we covered roughly 78km with approx 2194m of ascension and 2678m of descent. Each day we were constantly amazed by the breathtaking views that just kept coming. As a team, we faced different challenges along the way but we worked together to find solutions and we successfully completed the expedition phase of Exercise Mountain Storm. After the expedition we completed a range of activities which included: white water rafting, mountain biking, horse riding and zip-lining. The trip itself would not have been possible without the staff volunteers who spent hours of their own time in order to make our adventure possible. 

Watch this great video from Benji Scott, one of the cadets who attended Ex Mountain Storm.