For the next phase of our expedition leader training we were joined by three medical students (medics) from Cardiff for the expedition medicine part of their course, and later a fourth medical student on a gap year. After an evening meal together we set off the next day for waterfall camp for the medic’s basic jungle training, which was also the start of our assessed leadership days and teaching sessions. For this we were teaching them basic jungle skills that were taught to us by the previous TEL group before us. We all found this a lot of fun and were made even better by the late arrival of our sixth team member from a short trip into the US for work. With the whole team working together the medics had a full week of jungle training before we all moved to yax che jungle camp for our cave rescue scenario. Here we were joined by two gap force trekkers who had spent the last few days in the quays on R and R.
We were all thrown right into it as soon as we arrived at the camp with half a day’s recap on knots and harnesses before we set off for the caves. When we arrived one of the trekkers was taken away to be our casualty and hidden in the cave system, it was down to us to locate and rescue him. This included a making a floating stretcher and abseiling alongside the stretcher down a 70ft cliff face. We all re emerged the next afternoon after 18 hours of work, and headed back for a well needed shower, meal and sleep. The final part to our stay in yak che was kayak training; this took place in caves for the first day and in the open air on the last. This was also the first time in a kayak for some and first time negotiating rapids for the majority. Everybody managed really well and we finished off the day with a leaving party for the medics upon our arrival back at base camp