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Spring 2006 Event - Report

Event Organiser Matt Richards looks back at the eighth Apex Challenge event...

"It is the coolest thing I have ever done!" That's just one of the comments we've had from the 63 teams who took place in the 2006 Apex Overnight Challenge event. 250 Explorers and Network members were battling through the night at 13 top activity bases, navigating between control points and crucially trying to avoid those ultra-keen Apex Chasers.

The line up of activities at this event was truly spectacular. The old favourites were back, including the bouncy castle gymnastics and the laser shooting, but there were also some new appearances.

The 'Virtual Caving' base proved very popular where teams had to scale a huge disused railway bridge on a caving ladder. But when they'd reached the control point at the top, the challenge still wasn't over - as the other side had to be scaled in reverse. It was true adventure challenge which had everyone gripped.

Further down the track the mountain bikes were whizzing down dark tracks, lit only by a trail of glowsticks. A good sense of direction and stacks of nerve were the name of the game here. But elsewhere it was coordination and skill that was needed. The fairground side stall base had everyone knocking over coconuts and even hooking ducks in order to reach the crucial punch.

Then there was the odd base that was clearly not for the faint hearted. Screams could be heard for miles coming from the Unlucky dip base. With the keys you need for unlocking the punch hidden under all sorts of wriggly things, it took real bravery to fetch them out.

The canoeing challenge had the added excitement of a leaking boat! Teams had to paddle their way past large inflatable dolphins, then crawl along a wobbling pontoon to reach the punch. But even the experts were coming back more than a little damp!

But the best base award of the night went to the team who'd organised the 'Zipline'. This massive aerial runway took a full day to construct. Teams had to scale a huge tower high in the woods to board the seat - then off they whizzed down the line to the bottom, way off down the hill. A great way to earn 50 points.

As teams arrived back in the early hours of the morning, the chilled out atmosphere of the marquee was a welcome sight. The catering team had been busy preparing hotdogs and drinks - while the results team were already starting to work out how teams had performed. As photos from the night were cycled on the big screen, teams slowly retired to get some well earned sleep, but very soon the sun was already beginning to rise.

As everyone woke up on Sunday morning, it was time to discover how everyone had fared. Did we let the chasers catch us too many times? Did we get to enough of the activities? All was about to be revealed at the results presentation.

Soon it became clear who was leaving with the top prizes - but everyone was happy just to have been involved in such a large-scale event. Everyone left with a full results pack detailing their routes and how they'd performed... and discussions could be heard about how game plans would be altered for next time!

And that next time is just five months away and will be the biggest event ever staged by the Apex Team. Make sure you register early for the Apex Extreme in October as demand will be very high for the places available. If you liked the Apex Overnight Challenge - you'll love the Apex Extreme.

Below's a breakdown of all the main activity bases that were on offer...

A - FUN OF THE FAIR

There was everything but the candy floss at this fairground-themed base. From the coconut shy to hooking those ducks. You needed a steady hand to gain enough points to release the punch.

B - GOOD GRASP

This ropes course tested your head for heights as well as your balance and stamina. The whole team had to follow the wobbling route to get the 50 points.

C - ON THE ROPES

Simply follow the rope trail to lead you to the punch. But it wasn't as easy as it sounds. With tough and surprising challenges along the way, teamwork was critical to make the full distance.

D - ZIPLINE

It's the highlight of every assault course, and this huge aerial runway wasn't for the faint-hearted. The super fast journey down the hill will have led you to the 50 point prize - but only if all your team dared to be fully zipped.

E - UNLUCKY DIP

The punch is securely locked away and your team needed to find the right key to open it. But with so many keys in such horrendous places, how many of you dared to plunge your hands into the buckets of doom to find the right one?

F - WET AND WILD

It was a case of taking to the water in the open canoe to get full points at this base. But with all of you in this wobbly craft it needed great skill and teamwork to successfully navigate around the pond. Did your team avoid going for a surprise swim?

G - VIRTUAL CAVING

You needed all your caving skills for this one - yet it was totally above ground. After successfully climbing high on the electron ladder it was a case of tackling the abseil to get back down. It's caving but without the crawling and squeezing - sounds good to me!

H - WET WANGERS

Transport yourself back to the middle ages as your team attacks the fortress with your makeshift catapults. But the enemy won't give in without a fight. Don't get caught in the crossfire or you could get more than a little wet.

J - DUAL DESCENDER

It was a case of blood, sweat and gears at this moonlit mountain-biking base. Your team had to tackle all the obstacles on this downhill route with just a line of glowsticks to follow.

K - LASER LOUTS

Large-scale laser quest in the forest. It was a case of ducking and diving to avoid the lasers while still trying to achieve your team's goal.

L - BIG BOUNCE

It was the winner of last year's favourite base award and so the bouncy castle was back for more! But you had to overcome your team's giddiness to complete the challenge on this ever-wobbling fortress of fun.

M - WELLY WANGING

It's like the shot-pot or the discus... but with more of a footwear theme. But as well as giving it as much welly as you could, your team also needed to exercise the brain at this challenge.

N - PIECE BY PIECE

How could building a simple Lego model be so difficult? Well, with the instructions out of sight and just a couple of radios to help you out, did your team have the communication skills necessary to complete the challenge?

P - TREAT IN THE TREES

If you made it all the way down here there were 50 points just waiting for you. No tricky activity, no daft challenge - just punch your card and go. How generous are we?!

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Autumn 2016 event

Three days of adventures and challenges on the Peak District's Eastern Moors.

Spring 2016 event.

Spring 2016 event

An unforgettable night-time challenge through the Temple Newsam estate in Leeds.

Autumn 2015 event.

Autumn 2015 event

The exclusive Harewood House estate welcomes Apex for the first time.

Spring 2015 event.

Spring 2015 event

The Apex Challenge returns to Bramham Park in West Yorkshire.

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Autumn 2013 event

A military theme at Strensall near York for Apex Special Ops.

Spring 2013 event.

Spring 2013 event

Apex returns to Sherwood Pines for a challenge during the night.

Autumn 2012 event.

Autumn 2012 event

Returning to our first ever location to celebrate our tenth anniversary.

Spring 2012 event.

Spring 2012 event

A new location at Bramham Park near Leeds for the first event of 2012.

Autumn 2011 event.

Autumn 2011 event

A thrilling three days of adventure with the hottest weekend of the year.

Spring 2011 event.

Spring 2011 event

The event sells out in record time for a weekend baked in sunshine!

Autumn 2010 event.

Autumn 2010 event

Brand new activities this year included archery and rifle shooting.

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Spring 2010 event

The warmest weather of the year so far for this year's spring challenge.

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Spring 2009 event

There were record levels of interest for teams to take part in this event.

Autumn 2008 event.

Autumn 2008 event

70 teams navigate through Langdale Forest in North Yorkshire.

Spring 2008 event.

Spring 2008 event

A new record of 16 activity bases was waiting for our teams.

Autumn 2007 event.

Autumn 2007 event

Centenary year sees us travel further North than ever to Ilkley Moor.

Autumn 2006 event.

Autumn 2006 event

First ever three-day Apex sees several new event elements tried out.

Spring 2006 event.

Spring 2006 event

Same location but new challenges at Sherwood Pines Forest Park.

Autumn 2005 event.

Autumn 2005 event

More prizes were given away at this event than ever before.

Spring 2005 event.

Spring 2005 event

The overnight event moves to a new location with dense woodland.

Autumn 2004 event.

Autumn 2004 event

More teams and more activity bases than ever before in Burbage Valley.

Spring 2004 event.

Spring 2004 event

Apex Challenge opens up to teams nationwide for the first time.

Autumn 2003 event.

Autumn 2003 event

Stanage Edge hosted our second daytime challenge event.

Spring 2003 event.

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Same idea as our first event but this time in the darkness!

Autumn 2002 event.

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More than 20 teams compete for the honour of being our first winners.