Students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Snowy Mountains Grammar School embarked upon their first Adventurous Journey for 2023 from Saturday, 18 February, to Tuesday, 21 February. Key components of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award include the development of initiative, responsibility, self-sufficiency and teamwork skills. In order to facilitate this, students managed all aspects of the expedition, including navigation, cooking and camp-craft, with the accompanying teachers present for guidance and safety purposes only.

The expedition party, comprising thirty-four students from Years 9 to 12 and six teachers, commenced the journey by navigating in small hiking groups along the Rolling Grounds high above Guthega Village, then descending into Whites River Hut for the evening. Here, the students had to set up camp, draw water from the creek and prepare their evening meal before settling into the cool evening.

Day two of the journey required students to navigate off track through dense vegetation and boulder fields to find their way to Tin Hut. The younger students in the party certainly learned the importance of map reading and compass skills very early in the day, with the creek below the hut providing much-needed cooling-off after the warm and sunny day.

Day three of the Adventurous Journey required students to once again navigate through the densely vegetated terrain to summit Mt Gungartan, 2068 metres above sea level, before descending into Schlink Hut. After a spectacular but challenging day, the expedition party thoroughly appreciated the opportunity to soak their hot and tired feet in the cool waters of the nearby creek.

The final day of the journey saw the expedition party heading back to Guthega Power Station via Disappointment Spur. As the students and staff boarded the bus for their return to SMGS, an enormous sense of accomplishment and fulfilment was felt by all.

Melissa Bell