Our Year 10 Wilderness classes set out for their 5 day Kosciuszko expedition last Monday which was a very exciting time considering how interrupted our 2021 expeditions were.
This trip however, wasn’t without some obstacles and significant modifications made in the week leading up to the program. With severe weather forecast for the latter end of the week we needed to adjust the route which, unfortunately meant we were not able to summit Kosciuszko, but we were still able to explore some breathtaking parts of our Snowy Mountains.
We assembled at Chevalier on a chilly Monday morning at 6.30am for a gear check and ‘shake down’ before loading the bus and heading south to begin our week in the mountains at the Snowy Hydro plant at Guthega. The group was divided in to respective teams and began their hike up in to the mountains. Monday afternoon was a stunning day for hiking in the mountains and no sign of forecast inclement weather evident at the time. Night 1 saw the teams set up camp at Whites River hut and camp grounds which was spectacular.
Tuesday Morning saw the team divide once again in to 2 groups with group 1 really pushing hard and exploring vast areas of this part of the National Park, which would be the theme, and last time group would be together until our early departure on Thursday.
With this program being a new inclusion for the Year 10 Wilderness Calendar as a substitute for our traditional Yerranderie expedition, it is pleasing to have students exposed to such a beautiful part of our Australian Wilderness, in an area steeped with history and stories from our First Nations people and early settlers in Australia.
Over the course of the days Tuesday – Thursday the groups were able to climb and explore some stunning parts of the Kosciuszko National park including Granite Peraks, the Rolling Grounds, Schlinks Pass and the Schlinks (Hilton) hut which would be the base for group 2 for the majority of the trip. Other highlights included Valentine’s Hut, a quirky and very cute camp group 1 were able to visit, stunning views from Granite Peaks to Mt Jagungal (Australia’s Northernmost peak over 2000m), Dicky Cooper Bogong and countless other beautiful parts of the Kosciuszko National Park. The group was treated to some early season snowfall on our final day which was very pretty and novel for some of our students who have never seen snow falling before.
Wilderness is an incredible inclusion in our curriculum and the opportunities our students have through the program are invaluable. This trip in particular had some challenges for the group with significant weather forecast and illness striking the group early in the trip. 2 students needed to be evacuated early due to illness and a number of others to fall ill over the course of the trip. However, adversity breeds resilience and the character and strength of the group was a true pleasure to witness. The way the group came together to support each other and the courage, grit and spirit that allowed the group to progress and forge some unforgettable memories together was remarkable.
We look forward to building our skills with our Year 10 students as we look ahead to our Rock Climbing, survival / Solo and Sea Kayak programs later in the year.
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