New experiences in the outdoors

August 16, 2018

Spending a night at the mercy of the elements in sub-zero temperatures was an adventure a group of Year 12 and 13 students will not forget.

But it was all part of the experience for 17 Dilworth students who visited the Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre (OPC) in Tongariro in the last school holidays. The trip was an opportunity to spend time in the mountains and try out activities including skiing, snowboarding, abseiling and high ropes as well as mountain climbing.

It was also a chance to build leadership skills, with boys using navigation skills during walks as well as being in charge of cooking and setting their own campsites.

Year 12 student Zach McKenzie says the students didn’t know what to expect when they were told they were going to sleep on Mount Ruapehu for a night.

“We arrived at the mountain in the morning and it took us all day to hike two kilometres. On the way up however we had some good yarns and we practiced some climbing techniques. We then found a safe spot and set our tents up. 

“Since we were so high up, it was super cold so you couldn’t really feel your feet. But the sunset was like surreal, like nature really provided the goods,” Zach says.

Year 12 student Kellen Dudley-Rode says learning to ski and snowboard was a highlight for many. 

“Tuesday was the day everyone had been looking forward to because we got to head up Mount Ruapehu into some snow to the ski fields. Most of us started on the Happy Valley for our lessons. Here we all learnt the basics of snowboarding and skiing, so that we could go further up the mountain to try the harder trails,” Kellen says.

The six-day trip was rounded off by cleaning up the cabins and a haka to thank the staff at the OPC. The students gained life-long memories and did themselves and the school proud.

Zach says: “This trip honestly was a fulfilling experience there were so many memories and good times made.”