Thursday, February 28, 2008

Day Four

This is the 2nd attempt at today's blog as technical issues led to the first one disappearing into the ether. Let's just say the internet access is pretty dodgy up here and I suppose getting anything up is a minor miracle. I just feel sorry that Lydia and crew did a great job on the blog before the whole thing went down on us. So, I'll keep this brief...

Great day again today - despite less favourable weather over the crossing. The misty conditions reduced the views for Andesite and led to the desicion to not go for Ngauruhoe, instead Mr Brooks took James & Eliza to the summit of Tongariro, only to submit them to press-ups at the summit! The rest of the group enjoyed the trip across and here's a misty photo from the day...

Rhyolite enjoyed the field studies and after measuring daisies and studying hebes down various parts of the Bruce Road we made our way to Silica Rapids for lunch. The talk on the chemistry of the rapids was interrupted by Brendon's curious invertabrate discovery, "What's this Mr Steed?" he enquired. Sadly it wasn't a new mollusc but a plain old possum poo...classic discovery Brendon.

Basalt blitzed the rafting, swam at Pukawa and had time to enjoy a soak at Tokaanu hot pools, a luxurious finish after a full and busy week.

So tomorrow we pack up and head home but while the trip will come to end and we hope you enjoy the all the stories about the week.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Day Three

I'm going to hog the first bit of the blog today so I can have a rave about one of the most fantastic days across the Tongariro Crossing I have ever had. The weather was perfect, warm but not too hot, and clear blue skies. It was spectacular. I was lucky enough to take a small group (Jodi, David, James & Sho) up Ngarauhoe, which took only just over two hours...a huge effort. The views from the top were to die for and because we had time on our side we could enjoy both the crater rim AND the true summit, something that hasn't been done on a Freyberg trip before and something that was great to be part of. The puns from David & James came thick and fast..."what was the PORPOISE of the trip? To get the ENDOLPHINS flowing". After shingle sliding down the mountain we caught up with the rest of the group for lunch and enjoyed the rest of the crossing with them. An amazing day!

So the three groups continued their rotations today. Rhyolite did the crossing, Andesite went rafting and Basalt did the field studies. Here's some of the classic stories from the day...
Rhyolite: As earlier said, it was a perfect day for the Tongariro crossing. Matt Rennie took up a left-field challenge to carry a 6kg rock up the Devil's staircase. Why? hard to know, but impressive? Oh, yes! Jodi Curtis, after having climbed Ngaruahoe and catching up with the main group for lunch, carried on down the rest of the mountain, running parts of the way and finishing the whole trip at the front of the group - exhausted? No, she was ready for more. How does she do it....Maybe we should ask Mr Young, who did the crosssing for the 2nd day in a row and is lining up a 3rd tomorrow!

Andesite: After Miss Stewart entertained everyone by putting on her life jacket backwards (accidentally) and looking like a tele-tubby the group hit the water. Georgie, Katie & Moana tell me... their mouths got full of water from all the waves splashing over, Roanna put her helmet on backwards, they laughed their heads off from Tommo's (the guides) lame jokes, got numb from the cold from their swim half way down the river and felt like beach whales when they got pulled back into the rafts (very funny !). The group also enjoyed Pukawa for a swim and Tokaanu to look at the hot springs, where this photo was taken...

Basalt: Mr Collier totally had everyone sucked in when he was giving a talk to the group up at Whakapapa today when he fell backwards (well purposefully leaped backwards) down a ledge out of view from the group. Some students were very relieved to see him reappear shortly after, nasty trick! A perfect day for field studies again today.

Lawrence & the field studies group measuring daisies

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day Two

Day Two

Thanks to those who have commented on the blog. Hopefully I have fixed up the time-zone :). Today we split into three groups (named after common rocks in the area) to start the rotation of activities: Rhyolite went rafting, Basalt did the Tongariro Crossing & Andesite did field studies. I will now leave it to the students to describe their day (Craig Steed).

Rhyolite: Sooo we went rafting today down the Tongariro River. There was amazing scenery and took us 2 hours to raft 13kms. Jordyn took a fall out of the raft but no harm done just a bit wet. We took a swim in prison land waters which was absolutely freezing!
While Hannah, Sian, Mrs B and John the Bus driver went for a coffee and supermarket shopping to stock up the food supplies, along with 8 cucumbers, in the mighty town of Turangi.
We had a look at some mud bubbling at the thermal pools at Te Kaanu. And we found trout in the little river.

Basalt: Pretty much we climbed up a giant mountain, and we went swimming in the Emerald lakes and it was freezing only five people had the balls to get in. On the way down it looked like a five minute walk to the hut easy as but oh, no an hour and a half later we finally get there. Major mission completed.

Lawrence & Alan - swimming in the Emerald Lakes Brrrr... Tongariro Group

Andesite: It was time for a bit of school work today, measuring mountain daisies and counting plants. Pretty exciting stuff. And also the size of leaves was needed in this work. After this we walked to the Silica Rapids and took the pH levels of the water.

Written by Hannah, Lydia, Katie, Kayla, Christina, Eva and Grace.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Day One

Blue skies and warm sun accompanied us for our journey north. After a lunch stop at Taihape we enjoyed breath-taking views of Mt. Ruapehu as we skirted around Tongariro National Park heading towards Whakapapa. We all jumped out part way along the Desert Rd. so Mr. Collier could give a brief talk about the geography of the region.

After arrival at Whakapapa we set up tents and sorted out cabins before heading off across old lava flows, under light rain, to the Taranaki Falls. The very keen went for a swim in the icy waters before heading back to camp for dinner.

A good start!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Weather Outlook

I have been ferreting about for new forecasts and one of my favourites - is suggesting that the chances of rain are decreasing from Monday next week, winds from the west.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens over the weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Trip Organisation

The trip week is fast approaching and it appears that not enough people want to stay in a tent. We are looking for at least 2 groups of people - 8 probably to move to tent accomodation. I am sure that this will be sorted by Friday this week though.

Weather is looking average for next week. The big anticyclone straddling the country is sure to move off and we will start to see to arrival of a more northwesterly pattern which can bring some rain and possibly snowshowers to the Tongariro area.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ruapehu Trip 2008

This blog has been set up to allow Freyberg students to blog their experiences outside the classroom. We are going to try and do a daily blog while we are up the mountain. So watch this space...