On Wednesday morning, July 27th, 21 of the year 12 Geography class students, as well as two teachers, hopped on a bus driven by the awesome Brian. Poor weather caused road closures leading us to detour through the scenic and snowy Lindis Pass, although the drive was long, class spirit was upheld through the keen watching of Mamma Mia.
After five hours on the bus we arrived at the Hooker Valley Track, running out of daylight we walked to the first lookout to stretch our legs after the drive. It became apparent that everyone had energy to be released as snowballs started flying left and right including the odd one from the teachers. Chatter about when bedtime was to be started as we rolled into the Glentanner Station camp site that night. At Glentanner we stayed in cabins, got up to snowman making and worked together to complete tasks such as cooking dinner.
After the suggested yet questionable eight hours of sleep we were directed to get, we were up and ready for a day at Aoraki. We met Janine, a DOC ranger who talked to us about the processes of glaciation and human impact in the South Island High Country. It turns out the room we were in would have been 600m under a glacier hundreds of years ago. Janine then took us on the Governors Bush walk trail to collect data for our internals, we noted down plant types, altitude, temperature and so on to suit our own research topics. The track had no shortage of snow and bush as well as views of the stunning surrounding Mountains.
That night we watched a 3D movie about Aoraki Mt Cook at the Hermitage Hotel, at times it felt like you were the mountaineer climbing the peaks. On Friday morning we woke to clear skies and news that we were going to be able to fly in the helicopters, this sped up the rate of packing up camp as everyone was eager to hit the air. Flying in the helicopter was an amazing experience, you could see everything from braided rivers to white mountain tops. Our pilot landed us on a hilltop that we were able to get out and explore, the snow was deep with a crisp top and the views were incredible. Flying in the helicopter was a sure highlight for every geography trip goer and a great way to wrap up an awesome few days.
Special thanks to Mrs Roberts-Blyth, Mr Pickles and Brian for making this trip possible.