Hillary Outdoor Pursuit Camp 2019
Day One - Snow Climb
Day One started with a climb from Car Park 1 on Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa side. Tim, our instructor, set us the task of trying to make it all the way to the Alpine Lodge at 2000 m above sea level. Due to a few setbacks early on, we didn’t achieve this goal, but I believe our group hiked to our best ability, almost making it to our target. Glissading down Ruapehu was personally my favourite part of the day as the scenery was amazing and getting speed down the hill was exhilarating.
Day Two - Local Day
Day Two was a local day. We got out into the bush bright and early and Tim taught us how to navigate using a map. This was very helpful to know as in the next few days the map was going to be our best friend. After we were bush bashing for a few hours, Tim asked us if we wanted to do urban caving. We all jumped at the idea, some excited to go caving for the first time. We soon found out that it wasn’t going to be the cave that we expected. Tim brought us to the top of a drain that led under a driveway and made us crawl through a 20 metre long culvert underground. This was a super tight squeeze, crawling through grit and mud. After finally getting out into the sunlight, we realised what the week with Tim was going to look like. Hard, Cold, Severe but a real experience. After a few team challenges, we did the 50 m Flying Fox which taught us how to work as a team as all of us had to work together at pulling the other boys back up. Later, we had a competitive race against the other Boys High team in the pool, but after a close battle our team took the lead and jumped into the freezing water as a result.
Day Three - Bush Tramp
Wednesday consisted of a seven hour hike through the bush to our campsite ‘Jimmys’. This trip was hard for most of us boys but supporting and leading the team was fun and a great adventure. We got to Jimmy’s at about 4 pm, earlier than expected. After setting up a tent and eating burritos for dinner we made a camp fire and told creepy stories. It was today that I learnt how knowledgeable our instructor Tim was. He knows everything about the bush and outdoors, the best guide we could have asked for!
Day Four - Activities
On Thursday, we woke up at 7 am. We had a quick one hour walk to a 30m cliff which we would soon abseil down. This was quite a scary experience but I really enjoyed the feeling of dangling 30m in the air. After everybody was safely on the ground, we had a quick drive to limestone caves. This was my favourite part of the day. I personally loved being underground and the tight squeezes were a good challenge. It was really great leading the boys and helping out the brothers that found it hard getting through the rocks underground. Getting back to camp and into a warm shower was well-appreciated after a hard night in the bush.
Day Five - Cliff Jumping
After our last night at Hillary Outdoors, we woke up sad to leave but excited for the day ahead. Tim had organised for us to go with the other Boys High group to a waterfall just down the road. We got into wetsuits and life jackets and headed to the Tawhai Falls. The water was FREEZING! After 2 cliff jumps into the icy water, we headed back to camp for a last group discussion and Prize Giving. I am super grateful for being offered such an “ amazing” experience. It has really taught me how to lead and has brought me together with some boys I would have never thought I’d get along with. A massive shout out to Hillary Outdoors instructors Tim and K.D. The trip would have definitely not been the same without you guys. Thank you to Mr Lockwood and Mr Te Huia for not only selecting us but also coming on the camp and doing all activities alongside the brothers.