This year the Club again ran both an Alpine Instruction Course and a Snowcraft course. We had 6 people on the AIC and 14 doing Snowcraft so a total of 20 students. At the time of writing we had just completed the Snowcraft course while the AIC still had its final weekend to go.
We enjoyed two brilliant weekends based at the newly renovated Club Lodge.We were very lucky to get great weather conditions for 3 out of 4 days and a good variety in snow conditions, (from really soft through to the nice crisp stuff). There were many highlights from Snowcraft, but probably the most memorable climbing bits were everyone getting to Dome Shelter (2672) on Snow II and about a third of us going on to summit TeHeuheu (2732) and Tukino (2721) peaks. Maybe, by the time you read this the AICers will have added Mt Taranaki to the list of peaks bagged! Of the many other great experiences there were a couple of culinary endeavours that really stood out – the cheese scones and the death by chocolate self saucing chocolate pudding just to name two. There are some very talented bakers in the club! If you want to know more about what the courses were like you will have to wait for your copy of the 2009 Journal.
As usual the running of the courses was a team effort and lots of people were extremely generous with their time and energy. I would like to thank all the people who helped out with the courses this year, in particular Andrew McLellan, John Thompson, Yibai He and John Duggan who assisted with AIC instruction. Without the endeavours of these guys, most of whom have significant other commitments such as young families, we would not be able to offer an AIC. Thanks also to Allen Higgins, David Jewell, Marie Henderson and Steve Austin who again helped out with the low profile but absolutely vital administrative and practical tasks associated with making sure the courses run smoothly. These guys also did a fab job of instructing on the courses. Special thanks to Marie Smith and Donna Maher for assisting with gear allocation. Finally lots of cheers for Steve, Kev, Ant and Jenny for doing a superb job of driving us up and back from the mountains. The Club needs more people to become certified van drivers. If you like driving and go on club trips this could be a way for you to contribute to the smooth running of the club. All you need to do is have a chat to Gareth our Transport Officer.
Doing an alpine course is a great way to start winter but don’t forget to get out there and do some alpine trips! This applies not just to graduates of the 2009 courses. I’m sure there are Club Members who have done the courses in the past who are keen to test themselves on a few expeditions this year. By now the Spring trip schedule is probably out, Spring time = prime climbing time, so I hope you have taken a look and found some trips to do.
If you want to lead an alpine trip or help out with alpine instruction get in touch at . It is not necessary to be a seasoned mountaineer, in many cases the Club can provide practical backup, mentoring and support.
Hope to see you getting high on hills.