Intrepid King’s Ely students scale the heights of North Africa’s highest peak

King's Ely students at the top of Morocco's Mount Toubkal.

King's Ely students at the top of Morocco's Mount Toubkal. - Credit: Archant

Five courageous young students from King’s Ely have returned from a remote mountain refuge in Morocco after a successful summit attempt of Mount Toubkal in the High Atlas – North Africa’s tallest mountain range.

During the Christmas holidays, the team spent five days nestled below the slopes of the mountain, learning how to use ice axes and crampons and practicing essential mountaineering skills such as movement on hard snow.

Negotiating scree, ice and steep snow, they successfully reached the summit on January 2 in just under five hours. After their descent, the cultural adventure continued in the busy and vibrant city of Marrakesh.

The students’ inspirational start to 2016 was facilitated by the school’s Ely Scheme – a programme that aims to build important life skills that cannot always be taught in the classroom.

Sophie Cheng, Director of Outdoor Education, said: “At King’s Ely, we teach a progressive programme of outdoor education, beginning with a year of activities and camps in Year 9. The programme focuses on delivering technical skills and knowledge within mountaineering, rock climbing and kayaking at a pace suitable for each individual. In Year 11, the students have the opportunity to become instructors themselves, becoming inspiration role models for those starting the scheme in Year 9.”

Sophie added: “As all of our expeditions and trips are facilitated in-house, we can provide consistent, long-term training and development for our pupils, as our team of staff and instructors know each member’s strengths and abilities prior to undertaking any of our expeditions.”

For more information about King’s Ely and the Ely Scheme, please call Jane Formston on 01353 660707 or email