by Sue Roberts-Blyth

Year 12 Geography Trip to Aoraki Mt Cook

Year 12 Geographers were on a mission to collect data for their Level 2 assessments, so the intrepid bunch set off early on Monday for the South Island High Country.

From Twizel onwards up the valley the fog was so low we could only see just in front of us, but we made to the Mt Cook Village for a talk on glaciation by the DOC ranger. When we came out of the building, the fog had lifted and suddenly we were surrounded by snow covered mountains.

We walked the Hooker Valley track and learnt about the history of the area, before heading to Glentanner for dinner (Alex and Colin’s burger special). Overnight there was a big snow fall, and in the morning snowball fights began in earnest. We viewed a movie showing the Māori legends of the area at the Hermitage, then hiked up to Tasman Glacier lookout. The DOC ranger had us all singing at the top! Lunch at the Blue Lakes involved a new hairstyle for Ciara and stone skipping competitions, before heading to the Red Tarns walk - elevation 300 metres.

We collected the data we needed at four different sites, made snowpeople and engaged in some very strategic snowball throwing. We finished the day with a presentation from DOC on human impacts in the MacKenzie country, before heading back to Glentanner.

The weather was crystal clear on Wednesday and we were very lucky to take advantage of a Covid deal, and take a fixed-wing flight up to land on the Tasman Glacier. Magic.

Enormous thanks to our DOC ranger, Elliot Blyth for helping out, and to Ian Adamson – most excellent teacher support.