Paul Murphy
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Paul Murphy - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1979

The three week course in the mountains as a 15 year old Leeds morning paperboy really toughened me up for life and if I had had a boy, I would have blessed him with the very dangerous and huge physical challenges that my course taught me in three condensed weeks of GOLD!
I've worked on the king crab boats off Alaska, logged in BC Canada for two years, skied every continent, printed my way around all the Australian cities and have even chosen to live in a cosy Campervan on the road for free when I'm working the city dollars, which is easy after ice axing up 100 mountains with NO ropes!
Memories of great breakfasts at 5am and meals of green beans etc.! Many went down the pub and got kicked off the land; I didn't drink then thank goodness! An Outward bound course is the best gift to a young lad and I thank the organisation immensely for forming me with little fear of life! To Serve To Strive And Not To Yield!
I strongly believe that it doesn't matter what family background a youth, male or female, comes from as the course, FAB staff, and location will change the mindset of any youth for all the positives, as you have to work as a team. The course is not a race or medal to win, it's the very ultimate of a levelling of all characters and personalities.
I was one of four 15 year olds in our group of 12 and there was no hierarchy or ganging/grouping up as you were up at 5am going for a run around the rough perimeter of the frozen lake, running in minus 5-10 before the thoughts of breakfast – which was fantastic - porridge, honey toast & an orange!
One day ice axing up a 70 metre wall un-lined with just an ice axe, crampons, a desperate will to live, and a top to reach, I didn't get my axe in far enough and fell, with absolutely no help out there in the wilderness!
Does the Eskdale Winter course still do 2 nights in an igloo & 2 nights solo? I hope so as being away from contact really steads one up in a short time. That is another attribute to surviving in this world of choices, many thanks to you fabulous folk at all the posts trying to give the young a MUCH better option of living a healthy and fun life! Throw em up the cold, wet mountains as you lot did to us back then. And don't go soft as life starts, the course gifts you with huge life lasting gains of many qualities, confidence and team working! I hope its cold wet and wild up there or there's less point! Best memories of 79’, and swap smart phones for spikes! OB didn’t make it a fun run and this is why I think the course is life lasting value!

I also liked the 48 hour "Solo”! One had a 3mtr sq dish cloth, a pick and a wall by sheep creek - talking to yourself for two days and nights.....
Ten years ago I was canyoning, climbing, caving etc. and did a RAP JUMP! Again, trust from previous OB memories and judging the person who is holding ones rope of life helped me through! I'm sure the Conniston ice axing helped towards these and may have helped me to do many more things than MOST do too!

Thanks to O.B, for doing what you're doing for the young and trying to show some better options for our sometimes aimless youth. Too many stories to tell, thanks to Eskdale 1979.