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by Fiona Ferbrache
The 50th Ten Tor event took place this weekend – a two-day challenge where young people navigate their way between the infamous tors of Dartmoor National Park. On routes of 35, 45 or 55 miles, teams of six persons carry equipment to endure the weather, cook meals, camp and complete their ten checkpoints by 1700 Sunday. Roughly 2400 young people took part this year in this tough but incredible expedition.
Expeditions help us to “get out (there) more” to engage with geography, and lie at the heart of the Royal Geographic Society (Maddrell, 2010). While the Ten Tor challengers are not collecting data, they are effectively ‘in the field’ and surrounded by geographies (as well as being part of this geography). In TIBG, Maddrell suggests that ‘getting out there’ improves perceptions and knowledges of Geography. So how might these youngsters engage with the subject?
Following Nicholls (2009), we can adopt a network approach to conceptualise Ten Tors which sees it integrated into hybrid combinations of people, technology, organisations and nature; for example, the challengers, the means of transport to bring everyone to Dartmoor on this particular weekend, the military and rescue teams organising and supporting the event, and the physical upland landscape of Dartmoor. This specific combination of relations combines in a particular assemblage to produce Ten Tors and situate this event firmly in a geographical perspective.
Well done to all teams who took part and finished the event!
Read about the Ten Tors on the BBC News website
Find out about Ten Tors Challenge
Maddrell (2010) The ‘expedition debate’ in TIBG
Nicholls (2009) Place, networks, space: theorising the geographies of social movements, TIBG