Year 9 Alpine Adventure Trip Report
Year 9 Ski and Snowboard trip departed with 18 year 9 students from a wide range of classes, accompanied by Mr Mills, and Mike Allen, (who had to step into the breaches to fill the space left by Mel’s injury). We left in 2 vans at 1:15 pm on Thursday aiming 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. The two vans headed on to Otorohanga for dinner in very wet, wild and windy conditions. At Taumaranui the road was closed with barriers etc, so after a hasty phone call to Shireen to “jack us up some beds” so we headed over to Turangi to stay the night at Club Habitat (where we used to stay until 2007). We knew by now we were on an adventure! The students were great, as we explained the flexible nature of alpine travelling and settled into their warm beds for the night.
We had a slow start on Friday as all roads had been shut overnight. We cautiously headed towards the mountain with 10 of the 18 preferring to try snowboarding. The day was overcast with a strong, cold windy, with only the lower mountain being opened. It was relatively quiet, sheltered, but snowing in Happy Valley learners area, and everybody had lessons and a great day. That evening we had a fish, burger and chip dinner, followed by an optional group walk to the shop. We then played pool, table tennis, Connect 4 and card games by the fire, with an early night being had by tired students.
Saturday was forecast to be a brisk, busy and windy day, and students were keen to get an early start. There were one hour queues to get up the Chateau, and long queues everywhere. It turned out to be very windy with unlimited visibility, with students seeing both Mt Nguruahoe and the views across to Mt Taranaki in the distance. Only Happy Valley was open initially so we opted to stay there for the day. We left the mountain at 4.30pm stopping at Otorohanga for dinner and arrived back at school at 1130 pm. Students cleaned the vans and all were met by family members, or dropped off by other parents.
The students represented the school well at all times and were always keen and positive. The last minute change of accommodation on Friday was understood by students and our students had great behaviour and attitude, helping with cooking, lunches and cleaning as required. No behaviour incidents came to light and the students benefited greatly from the experience of visiting a World Heritage Park. They saw the mountain at its best and worst, and had a snow fight!
Many thanks to the BOT for the student time released, Mike and Peter for their time, energy, cooking, experience and lost earnings. Thanks also go to Iain Haynes, Poi and Deuke for modifying the snow chains to fit the vehicles, which proved to be essential. Photos will be on student drive, subject AAmills all class trips.