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Otaki College year 12 Outdoor Education trip to Mt Ruapehu

Ich mache hier viele umglaubliche Erfahrungen (I am having the most unbelievable experiences here).

You would expect students from Germany to be so used to snow that a trip up Mt Ruapehu wouldn't be particularly special, but Helene from Berlin thought differently, and on each of the five days up the mountain she, along with 5 other German students, 1 Thai student, 1 French student, and 7 Kiwi students experienced the most amazing week in an alpine environment.

The group were on the annual Outdoor Education alpine trip, with teachers Howard and Daniel, and instructor John, to learn and practise skills that would help them appreciate the harsh conditions that exist in the mountains and how they could have fun at the same time as keeping safe.

Over the course of the week they learnt to walk in different snow conditions and slopes using just boots, then using crampons and an ice axe. They also learnt what to do when you slip over and start sliding down a slippery slope - roll over onto your stomach and put the pick of you ice axe in - called a 'self arrest'.

For one night the students slept in a snow cave that they had dug during the day. With this exercise they felt the extremes of the hot sun on a cloudless, windless day, to the sub zero conditions once the sun went down. But with good thermal clothing, warm sleeping bags, and the security of their snow cave they all managed a warm night (except Hamish in his old down sleeping bag).

Some students even had a go at ice and rock climbing, while others spent their free time bum-sliding, tobogganing or snowboarding.

When not out and about in the beautiful mountain terrain the students enjoyed the comforts of the Manawatu Ski Club lodge in Iwikau Village, Whakapapa.

Have a look on the Otaki College page. Otaki college also organises a (European) summer programme, see more on this page.