By Mr Hayden Titchener | Posted: Friday June 7, 2019
On the Year 13 tramp this year we made our way up the Cameron valley under the shadow of the Arrowsmiths Mountain range. The team included Heath, Ben, Jake, Juan, Patrick, Lucy, Amelia, Sam, Cameron, Jacob, Hannah, Paddy, Nils, Tom, Jules from Peel Forest Outdoors Center and myself. The Cameron valley is a pretty amazing area to explore. We meandered our way up this old glacial valley in search of the Cameron Hut. We didn't make it to the hut on the first night and found a flattish area to pitch our tents. As the sun sunk behind the mountains so too did the temperature. It was a race to get warm clothes on, tents up and the cookers fired up. A variety of dishes were on the menu including noodles, pasta, rice and for one team a can of Watties 'Big Eats'. It wasn't long before we crawled into sleeping bags and tried to keep warm and sleep.The hunter-gathers within the team had their eyes glued to the cliff tops looking for any sign of animals. A number of Tahr were spotted and locations remembered for another trip! It was amazing they could spot them as they blended in so well. There were a few Kea heard and seen but other than this not much in the way of bird life. We had an amazing sunrise and the team were a little slow to get going. Any wet clothing that was left out was frozen which made it impossible for some socks to be back on! The track up proved difficult to follow at times and found the crew hanging a left then having to sidle across uneven ground amongst tussocks and spear grass. The latter is much better to appreciate from a distance than being up close as the team found out. Making it to the Cameron Hut was a welcome sight and a great place to have lunch. For some of the team this was their first big tramp so they did amazingly well though some had pretty sore feet and a few had blisters. The afternoon was spent either hanging out and learning about navigation of walking a little further up the valley to get a better view of the Cameron glacier. The moraine walls were pretty impressive as tonnes of rock had been shaped and sifted by ice of the past. Small crevaeses could be spotted and Nils our German super keen skier was checking out lines that looked to me as if it wouldn't turn out well!
An extremely vocal game (or version of) mafia was played until 9:30pm. I'm not quite sure who won but everyone was happy to share their opinions. We didn't stay in the hut but camped outside. This proved to be interesting. Around 2am as the wind that had been predicted turned up. Tent flys flapped and made sleeping difficult. There was one broken pole in the morning but everyone was accounted for. The morning sky was amazing and the moon was also out to welcome us. We loaded up and started our way back to the bus a little more focused on where the track was. The feet were definitely sore by the time we made it. We loaded up the packs and made our way home tired but content.The team can be proud of their achievements as I thought they all did really well.