On Thursday 7th November five gold level DOE students travelled to Mt Ruapehu to tramp the 65km Round the Mountain track. We checked the track and weather out at the DOC visitor centre and started off in light rain which soon turned to strong winds, sleet and then by the time we left the Tama Lakes, snow arrived. Our gear certainly got tested.
As we neared the Waihohonu Hut the weather came out hot and sunny and it was to be like this as we tramped through the Rangipo Desert, sleeping the night at Rangipo Hut and the next day onto Blyth Hut. The scenery was stunning!
We stayed at Maungaturturu Hut as the weather had taken a turn for the worse. Again, however, the sun came out and the boys had a great afternoon bombing rocks while the girls built cairns beside the river.
The last day saw us on the track by 7am as we still had eight hours to tramp and then a long drive home.
This tramp tested everyone at some stage in some way and proved a perfect practice tramp before our qualifier to Stewart Island 5 to 17 December.
A HUGE THANKS must go to Ken Hames, Llew Smart and Robyn Bruce for being our shadow party. The DOE programme could not happen without the great pool of 'shadows' that we have and their voluntary time.