Sam Clulee reflects on the events of the recent Year 10 camp.
After leaving school late and stopping in Waikouaiti to pick up Dad and me, we headed to Huxley Lodge, which is near the top of Lake Ohau. We farewelled the first group of Year 10s (who were heading home), sorted out our sleeping arrangements and went to practise our river crossings. We then headed back to the hut, made sure our boots were set out to dry and had a very good dinner of casserole, mash and veggies. I was lucky enough to be selected to speak on the mountain radio to find out the weather for the next day.
Day 2 dawned with sunshine. After a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, we started the tramp to the South Temple hut. It was a 7km walk up the river, going past some very steep scree slopes. We had to take care here, looking for any sign of movement after the previous week’s earthquake. It was a long day of walking with a bit of drama when Billy, Harrison and Tim went for an unplanned swim while river crossing. Packs on backs got soaked, and we all learnt how not to cross the river! Tents were then pitched, dinner cooked and eaten, and our very thin sleeping mats nearly felt soft!
On Day 3, we were up and about early. After breakfast, we headed off to knock over Mt Mason. This was probably the biggest and hardest day of all. It certainly was not a walk in the park! Amazing views from the top made us all proud to have accomplished this trek. All started well on the way down, and then; unfortunately, Wei slipped over on his ankle – and this was the end of his camp. It was decided that Dr Macleod, Mr Marshall and Peter would take us back to the campsite, while Mr Cuthbert, Matthew and Dad looked after Wei. They got to use the satellite phone to call the rescue helicopter as it was impossible for Wei to walk down. Once he had been safely winched into the helicopter, the adults were able to re-join the group.
On Day 4, we packed up and headed back to Huxley. There we met up with the other class and took the vans to Glentanner. Day 5 was spent around Mt Cook Village. We went for a walk to the Hooker Valley Glacier Lake and a few of us braved the cold and swam out onto an iceberg. I don’t think I have ever been so cold! We then went back to Mt Cook Village and watched a movie on Sir Edmund Hillary. Day 6 was spent with DOC, finding out about what DOC do in the Mt Cook National Park area. We also visited the local Search and Rescue. We did a make-believe rescue – just a shame Wei wasn't with us as the real patient! On Day 7, we spent more time with DOC and also tramped the Sealy Tarns track. On Day 8, we packed up and headed home after a fabulous week.
Thank you so much to Dr Macleod, Mr Marshall, Mr Mountain, Mr Cuthbert, and the three parents: Peter Chamberlain, Matthew Leaper and David Clulee.