On Sunday the 5th of August, a group of 10 students were lucky enough to attend the Hillary Outdoors Pursuit Centre. On Monday, we learnt how to navigate around the facility, participate in Activity Based Learning and completed a high ropes activity. Tuesday was a snow day, meaning that we spent the day learning and furthering our skills in snowboarding. We then spent the evening relaxing at the Turangi Thermals Pools. On Wednesday, we went to the Okupata Caves, where some of us struggled but conquered the challenge. We spent that afternoon planning our expedition to Pehi’s Crag, where we would spend the night camping in the snow and then complete some abseiling. Thursday was an early start, where we began our hike up to Pehi’s Crag from Scoria Flats taking us 3-4 hours with plenty of stops.

When we arrived, we set up camp and settled in for a cold uncomfortable night. Waking up on Friday morning to brisk air and a warm sun was definitely something else. It was an exciting thought knowing that we were going back to the lodge but before we left Pehi’s Crag we made our way further up the mountain so we could accomplish our objective which was to abseil. We finally hit base at the Hillary Outdoor Lodge and unpacked, readying ourselves for our departure home. Saturday morning was an opportunity spent fixing up any mistakes made in our unit standards. After that we headed down to the high ropes course and finished on the big swing. On behalf of the group, we want to thank Ms Smith and Sam Panoho for coming along and supporting us the whole way through.

Here are a few of the student’s highlights:

‘Amelia – My highlight of the trip was definitely caving because the activity was really difficult for some of us, especially those with a fear of small spaces. It was my highlight because I loved seeing us conquer our challenges and fears together. Thanks once again to Ms Smith for making this trip possible.

Klay – My highlight was snowboarding, learning to trust my group, being in the cave and tramping up in the snow. I really enjoyed the whole trip.

Toni-Jean – It was great to communicate and get to know others more and to be able to trust and respect my group and the instructor while doing all the activities. The final day with the big swing was really terrifying but was an awesome experience.

Timothy – My highlight would have to be snowboarding with Nic our instructor.  Also, camping in the snow was different and a really good experience and is something that I would like to try again.

Blake – My highlight was snowboarding and bonding with new people that I did not know so well.  Camping in the snow and the mountain view in the evening with the stars and moon.