Last week all Year 12 Outdoor Education students had their 'shake down' trip to Mt Somers. The focus was to get to know each other, foster/create a team culture that will help throughout the year and to find out if their gear is good or not. The mission was to walk into Woolshed Creek Hut to camp - explore the local streams and walk out via the bus stop shelter back to the bus. Very few wasps this year and slightly cooler weather made the walk in enjoyable. About a km from the hut one of the students twisted his ankle after some rest we slowly made our way to the hut. It was great to see the rest of the team step up and grab his pack and carry it for him.
While setting up the tents the norwester started to build as tents and flys flapped and tried to make a bid for freedom 'snap' one of the poles broke. We spread these students into other tents and found rocks to hold the corners down. Over a saddle are some fantastic water caves to explore which the students loved. After a safety cooker demonstration students started cooking their meals. Even though I had talked about tramping food prior to leaving it is always interesting to see what people bring. Pasta was popular pizza didn't work so well. The seven Japanese students did a fantastic job of their food. It was the first time I have seen chop sticks out tramping.
The southerly kicked about 7:30pm everyone dove into tents, now these tents are starting to show their age and slowly water found its way into the tents the conversation was incredibly funny to listen to which involved students trying to get away from the sides of the tents and resulted in one crushed bag of doritos chips!In the morning BJ's ankle was better but still a bit tender. We decided to make our way out the four wheel drive track with Hannah carrying BJ's pack pretty much the whole way on her front. We had some navigation and first aid lessons along the way before finding out the 'marked' four wheel drive road was covered in gorse! We found a step spur and slowly scrambled down to the track. The students were amazing, helping each, passing packs, pointing out a loose rock or a dodgy tree not to grab. I can remember looking back up as the Japanese students clambered through the under growth and thought you are a long way from Tokyo now! The students were buzzing with our little adventure but were happy to see the bus and van at the end of the trail. It was a great first mission and I must thank Paloma from Peel Forest Outdoor Centre for her help. I am looking forward to the next adventure in the Hurunui area.