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Alpine Trip - Yr12 Outdoor Education

posted 13 Aug 2014, 20:32 by OC Web   [ updated 13 Aug 2014, 20:38 ]
Click here for photos.  Following is an account by ODE2 student, Nicholas Su:

"On Monday 28th July, the Ōtaki College ODE2 classes went on a joint trip to Mt Ruapehu. We were all ready and packed on Monday morning and we had put our gear in the 3 Ōtaki College vans and trailers. It took about 4 hours to get to our destination where we unloaded everything and took our walk to the huts.


The first activity was a snow walk, we learnt the basics on self-arresting so if we ever fell or tripped downhill in the snow we could save and stop ourselves. I felt very tired and fatigued after it because I don’t usually do these kind of activities - well also ‘cause I am very unfit. Then later on we went up to the flat location where we were going to build our snow caves and we also piled up some snow to begin them. We later went back to the lodge for lunch then went back out to finish off mounding and digging out the snow caves for the girls’ overnight stay. We did this for a solid 3-4 hours, when it got darker we headed back to the huts and then the girls headed down for their stay.


On day 3, the girls came back at about 7:30am and they said it was amazing but very wet and cold. This got me a little panicking because I'm not really good with tight spaces and I had a fear of the snow cave caving in on me. We later headed out to reshape the snow caves, and we ended up turning a 2 man snow cave into a 4 man!  It was getting late so we headed back to start packing for this spectacular night. It took all the boys about 2 hours to get everything sorted and packed but it was to make sure we had everything we needed. Once we were all in our snow caves it was actually pretty warm and well insulated. Overnight my supposedly ‘waterproof’ bibbie bag didn't really work and I woke up with a wet back, bottom and feet. When we all woke up, we got packed and were all keen to leave that place and go back for a hot shower and breakfast. We also had to bust down our snow caves for other people’s safety because others could find it and stay in it after a while and it wouldn't be as strong and efficient. We then took all rubbish back with us and made sure there wasn't a single trace of litter.


On our final activities day the boys had the morning off to have a rest after a hard night out in the snow. In the afternoon, after the girls came back from their activity, we got geared up to finish off the more advanced techniques of self-arresting and to practice the use of crampons. I found the self-arresting extremely scary because I’m not very confident of going down a snow hill head first backwards.


We then came back, had a nice and final dinner with the camp, then cleaned up. On the day we were leaving we did an extra clean-up where we were assigned with jobs. we then packed all our gear and hiked back to the vans.

Overall this Alpine Trip was the best trip I’ve been on so far at Otaki College. It was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t have spent it with any other people. Outdoor Education is no doubt the most fun and outgoing subject. "