Operation Aspire: Transylvanian Challenge

Operation Aspire was a youth development programme for young people aged 16-21 from East London. It offered the opportunity for 20 young people to take part in a programme of outdoor education in the UK followed by an overseas expedition in order to develop their self-esteem, team working and communication skills and raise their aspirations for the future. In 2015, the climax of the Operation Aspire programme was a challenging 3 week expedition to the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania.

Transylvania, the central region of Romania, is flanked by the Carpathian Mountain Range on its southern and eastern borders. This mighty mountain range arches across Romania and stretches across neighbouring countries to cover 932 miles in total. At 2,544m, the highest point of the southern range is almost twice as high as Ben Nevis in Scotland and is characterised by jagged awe inspiring ridges and amazing rock formations. Sparsely populated and home to one of the largest undisturbed forests in Europe, 400 unique species call these mountains home and the area provides the perfect setting for exploration and challenging adventure.