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Alps Adventure

Date Posted: 04/01/2017 | Posted In: Latest news

A Level Geology students at QE have enjoyed an exciting week long fieldtrip to the European Alps. The aim of the trip was to study the landscape and geological evolution of one of the world’s great glaciated fold mountain belts. But they also participated in a number of thrilling adventure activities, including rock and ice climbing and trekking across a glacier at the summit of the Mont Blanc range.

The Alps were created by the collision of the European and African continental plates between 35 and 5 million years ago and are the highest mountains in Western Europe. Such provinces are an integral part of the A level Geology course and students at QE have the opportunity to investigate these landscapes in person. During the trip students trekked 1000 metres up a mountain to the famous icefall on Glacier d’ Argentiere, France; travelled on a cable car to the 3842m high summit of the Aiguille du Midi and explored the high mountainous terrain around Lac d’ Emosson in Switzerland. But the undoubted highlight of the excursion was trekking across the summit ice cap of Mont Blanc Massif. The staff and students travelled up to the ice cap on the Skyway cable car, which ascends 2200m from the Courmayeur valley on the Italian side of the mountain. After kitting up with crampons and ice axes the students were led by a team of experienced mountaineers across crevassed glaciers to the summit of Petit Flambeau, from where they enjoyed stunning views of the mountains.

Ed Anderson, trip leader and Head of geology at QE comments ‘The trip not only provided a valuable learning opportunity to study mountains and glaciers at first hand but it was also great fun and created many lifelong memories’.