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Photo by Peter Blank

The Holdsworth Hustle

UHC Admin —

Year 12 Adventure students have been put to the test, taking on Mt Holdsworth for a tramp. Students Brooke Binner, Emma Meinel, Paige Garwood, Charli Deans and Jakob Huntley give us a day by day recount of the trip.

Day 1:

Spirits were high as we all gathered in the weights room at 8:30am to check our gear and numbers, as well as distribute any additional gear that we may have needed for our two day adventure.

We started out in two groups, Miss MacTaggart’s group leading the charge, and the strike partnership of Mr Berkeley and Mr Carew sure to do some damage bringing up the rear. The start of the tramp was reminiscent of a pleasant stroll in the bush, but as we kept walking it gradually progressed into the walk to Everest Base Camp.

After a tough trek up the hill, it started to flatten out - much to everyone's relief. Ten minutes later, we arrived at the lookout for lunch. Everyone was very happy for a break! The view was awesome, and we could see that the climb that we had just done had actually got us up quite a way! It was around this time that Mr Berkeley decided to take the jam out of all our donuts by pointing out where our camp for the night was (a mere 1000 vertical metres up…). Shot Sir.

With this grand revelation in mind, we packed up our belongings so we could get back on the job. We had been walking for a hot minute when we came across Mountain House Shelter, where Miss MacTaggart and her team of chargers were having a well-deserved break. No time to stick around for chit-chat, they were off again, leaving our group to rest and prepare. However, no amount of rest could have prepared us for what was next…

Stairs, stairs and more stairs!! The climb up to the hutt was steep and full of stairs. No one was spared the struggle - but there was no other choice - we simply had to keep walking. After what seemed like an eternity, we broke through the treeline onto the ridgeline - meaning the hut was within sniffing distance (if the long drops were anything to go off). You might not know this, but the Tararua Ranges receive more rainfall in 1 year, than most places receive in 12 months. Well, all of it fell in that last 30 minutes of walking.

Once we reached the hut, we all split off into our bunk rooms, settling down and getting out of our wet clothes and into our warm gears. A fire was started, and dinner wasn’t far behind. No supermarket in Upper Hutt was safe from our class, as we brought them all out of 2-minute noodles. As the smell of Maggi Chicken and Beef filled the air, we all enjoyed our dinner, and afterwards we gathered around the table to play some card games before lights out.

Day 2:

Dawn broke with a spectacular sunrise - a precursor of the great day to come. Miss MacTaggart and Mr Carew wrangled together a group affectionately known as the Summit Squad, and they set off on the two hour round trip to the summit of Mt Holdsworth.

The trek to the summit was a piece of cake compared to the day before, and without the weight of our tramping packs, we chatted and laughed our way to the top to enjoy some incredible views and take some pics for our Insta’s. Back down we went, where Mr Berkeley and his group had the hut looking fresh, and were warming up the vans for us.

After checking to make sure that Macca’s frozen coke machine was working - we arrived back at school and regaled our friends and families with how much fun we’d had over the last 2 day.

Mt Holdsworth: 10/10, would climb again.