Autumn 2008 Event - Report
There was mud, mayhem, mountains and madness at this year’s Apex Extreme. It was an event which built on the Apex history to create a whole new format.
While it’s always important people know roughly what to expect from an Apex event, this year we were keen to introduce some new elements to the Apex Extreme. We had spent the previous months devising new activities, new formats and new challenges – but this weekend it would all be put to the test.
It was our most Northerly location ever, but it seemed no-one was put off by the remote location on the edge of the North York Moors. We’d found a great new Scout site from which to base the event and Birch Hall proved to be ideal. So as teams began to arrive from across the country the stage was set in the Langdale Forest for this major three-day event to test teamwork, agility and skill.
Tents were being put up in the camping areas while teams began to compose their strategies. Then everyone crammed into our shiny new Apex Marquee for the briefing. The format for the weekend was explained and everyone was preparing for what was to come. But was there a rest to be had before it all began? Oh no – the Apex Intense was just about to begin.
Teams had just ninety minutes to collect as many points as possible in this mini, sprint version of our legendary Apex Overnight Challenge. As the automated control system started to set teams off, the usual ‘creative’ team names started to be announced – echoing around the Langdale Forest.
It was a mad rush for points as the fresh and eager teams scrambled to find controls in the darkness – from those hanging precariously above a misleadingly steep mud slope, to those tucked away under footbridges – a fair run from the centre. But soon teams were returning, banking those well-earned points to keep them safe from the Apex chasers who’d been doing all they could to track these competitors down. As the ninety minutes drew to an end, everyone returned. Teams headed to get some rest, ready to then face Saturday’s Main Event.
After breakfast, the enthusiastic Explorers and Network members began
heading off into the immense Langdale Forest for their seven-hour adventure.
There were a total of 14 main activity bases to test nerve, agility and
teamwork – as well as many more control points hidden in the woods,
stretching the team’s navigational skills.
From challenges involving radio-controlled boats, to those catapulting eggs, and others racing lawnmowers – the area soon filled with shouts of excitement, encouragement and fear. Many team members were having to face their fears at an unfeasibly high ropes course, while others were finding themselves caked in mud on the riverside scramble course. But the points were all adding up and event leader board was taking shape.
As the evening drew in, teams returned to Birch Hall, where the Apex Café was open for business. This year we’d responded to requests for a more ‘toned down’ Saturday evening so held an informal briefing and followed that up with the glow grab challenge. A simple – but highly visual and entertaining way for teams to top up their overall score.
Sunday brought us more fine weather and ideal conditions for the event finale – The Sunday Scramble. This was designed to test every element of the team’s skill – from the observational skills finding the somewhat bizarre out-of-place items, to the logic and navigation puzzle of tracking down the individual colour codes at the Apex Accumulator. Then it was off to meet the army for the Final Assault. This was as planned a truly exhausting challenge, led for us by the Yorkshire Regiment which made sure every last bit of energy was consumed. There were more than a few red faces and collapsing legs by the end of all that.
It was then time for our new fully automated scoring system to swing into action – totalling the scores from all of the weekend’s elements. Soon the leader board was finalised and the prizes and trophies were given out to rapturous applause.
It was another great event – A new area, which added a whole new
dimension to the Apex Extreme.
Here's a look at the main activity bases we had on offer in Saturday's main event...
A - POWERBOAT
It was your chance to be a speedboat driver - but in miniature. These micro racing boats needed to be successfully navigated through the waterfall pond to secure your fifty points.
B - ON THE ROPES
This took great strength and nerve. Which member of your team was nominated to tackle the 'dead man's crawl' over to the crucial punch?
C - DREAM STREAM
Here the control punch was locked in a box and the key was in a floating ball in a pipe. Water had to be poured in to bring it to the top - but with holes all around, did your team have enough fingers to stop the leaks?
D - DESERT ISLAND TAG
It was a barrel-load of fun! Your team had to navigate across the tretcherous ravine with your barrel in order to succeed.
E - DERWENT DARES
It's where the two biggest rivers in the area meet, and this challenge took some lateral thinking as well as great teamwork in order to complete this waterside challenge without getting wet.
F - SLINGSHOT
There was eggcellent fun to be had at this eggciting base! Catapults were firing dozens of eggs ova to your apron-clad teammates to catch in their special helmet-bowls. It was enough to make you crack up.
G - MOWER MOTORS
The legendary Apex lawnmower was back for another outing, but this time it had been refurbished with some balloon-popping spears. Your team needed supurb driving skills to navigate the balloon-popping course.
H - TENNIS TOWER
How's your aim? This was all about giving gravity a helping hand to release your punch. Tennis balls had to be hurled into the tower-based bucket to release your punch.
J - MINESWEEPER
It's a brain-teasing challenge in a cow field. Could your team successfully work out how to navigate through the course without getting blown up?
K - GO GORILLA!
It was the highest ever Apex Challenge ropes course. First a ladder, then scaling the tree, then pulling up on a rope and finally you were high enough to take on the monkey bridge over to the punch.
L - FOOTBRIDGE FRENZY
The obstacle course looked challenging enough as it was, but when all your team was tied tgether at the ankles, this became a real test of teamwork and nerve. The final scramble net through the river was a fitting finale!
M - SLOPE OF DOOM
There was no way of leaving this base with a clean t-shirt! Water had to be carried up this muddy, slippy slope to release the punch.
N - ZIPLINE
Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! This was our fastest ever aerial runway through the steepest part of the spectacular Langdale Forest.
P - STREAMLINE
It was something the RSPCA would have been proud of. You had to rescue the three little ducks from the shark infested pool. But were you careful enough not to damage their delicate plumage?
Read more from this section
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Autumn 2015 event
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Spring 2015 event
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Autumn 2013 event
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Spring 2013 event
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Autumn 2012 event
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Spring 2012 event
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Autumn 2011 event
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Spring 2011 event
The event sells out in record time for a weekend baked in sunshine!
Autumn 2010 event
Brand new activities this year included archery and rifle shooting.
Spring 2010 event
The warmest weather of the year so far for this year's spring challenge.
Autumn 2009 event
Gale force winds add to the excitement on Ilkley Moor.
Spring 2009 event
There were record levels of interest for teams to take part in this event.
Autumn 2008 event
70 teams navigate through Langdale Forest in North Yorkshire.
Spring 2008 event
A new record of 16 activity bases was waiting for our teams.
Autumn 2007 event
Centenary year sees us travel further North than ever to Ilkley Moor.
Autumn 2006 event
First ever three-day Apex sees several new event elements tried out.
Spring 2006 event
Same location but new challenges at Sherwood Pines Forest Park.
Autumn 2005 event
More prizes were given away at this event than ever before.
Spring 2005 event
The overnight event moves to a new location with dense woodland.
Autumn 2004 event
More teams and more activity bases than ever before in Burbage Valley.
Spring 2004 event
Apex Challenge opens up to teams nationwide for the first time.
Autumn 2003 event
Stanage Edge hosted our second daytime challenge event.
Spring 2003 event
Same idea as our first event but this time in the darkness!
Autumn 2002 event
More than 20 teams compete for the honour of being our first winners.