Year 9 Ski and Snowboard trip departed with ten year 9 students. We left at 12.15 pm on Thursday, 10 August, to avoid the worst of the traffic in Auckland. We stopped to pick up Peter Reinsfield and had a late afternoon tea and toilets at Bombay. We headed on to Otorohanga for dinner and arrived at the accommodation in National Park at 8.30 pm. After supper and a talk, the kids settled into the 2 dorms for the night.
An early start was had on Friday, which was wet and windy, as forecast. A hearty breakfast was shared, then we headed up the mountain with 6 of the 10 preferring to try snowboarding. Three of these had done it previously, however they all benefitted from the lessons at 9.30. The day was cold and wet to start with, and got worse from there. It was sheltered in Happy Valley learners area, and most persevered at their chosen code, with 9 of the 10 really getting a handle on the skills. My phone succumbed to hypothermia, so students were told to contact whanau directly using wifi or similar. That evening after a Burger and Chip dinner, volleyball was played, then an early night was had by tired students.
Saturday was forecast to be a pretty yucky day, and we were all less keen to get an early start. It turned out to be windy with very limited visibility, with warm, wet rain falling in Happy Valley. The call was made early not to attempt the higher runs up the mountain, for safety reasons. With their confidence up, and their gear sorted from the day before, almost all students ripped straight into it. The snow falling turned to slushy drizzle and students got wet and cold, eventually retiring to hot chips in the cafe. We left the mountain at 1.00pm stopping at Otorohanga for dinner and arrived back at school at 8.30 pm.
The students represented the school well at all times and were keen and positive. The lodge was well suited to us and our students with an area for volleyball to be played. Students had great attitude and resilience, despite the conditions, helping with cooking, lunches and cleaning as required. The students benefited greatly from the experience of visiting a World Heritage Park, and seeing the mountain at its worst.
Many thanks to the BOT, and a special thanks to Peter for giving up his time, and relinquishing his ticket to Seinfeld Live. His energy, experience and support for the students was invaluable. Huge thanks to Val for sorting the kids the Grant money.