Air cadets tackle long trek across big Icelandic glacier

42F Squadron Air Training Corps cadets and officers making their way across Langjökull glacier in Ic

42F Squadron Air Training Corps cadets and officers making their way across Langjökull glacier in Iceland - Credit: 42F Squadron Air Training Corps

While most of us were sheltering inside from the icy spring weather one group of youngsters travelled more than 1,000 miles to take on freezing conditions as they crossed a glacier.

Eight cadets and two officers from 42F King's Lynn Squadron Air Training Corps travelled to Iceland to ski across the country's second largest glacier, Langjökull.

The cadets camped on the glacier, melted snow for drinking water and learned techniques to survive in sub-zero conditions.

Commanding officer of the squadron Flight Lieutenant Pauline Petch said: 'It was absolutely out of this world, everything we'd planned for and more. When you see the vastness of the glacier it just blows you away.'

The cadets and their officers arrived in Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, on Friday, March 29, before setting out on their epic journey the next day.


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As well as having to carry their own packs cadets took it in turns to drag 60kg sleds, called pulkas, containing all the equipment and food needed to survive.

As part of life on the glacier cadets had to build walls of snow to protect the camp as well as digging holes for toilets and being taught survival techniques by their guides.

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'It was freezing cold, it reached about -10C or -12C at night,' said Flt Lt Petch. 'We slept in tents with ice on the inside it was so cold. Every morning you woke up with everything frozen.

'The whole thing was a highlight, it was something that these kids might never see again. For some of them it may give them a thirst for adventure, to go on and do more things like it.'

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