Snowcraft Course Debrief 2008

November 2008

This year we had a New Look snowcraft course, with changes to make it more user-friendly and encourage lots of keen bodies to join us for a fabulous time down at Mt Ruapehu, learning new skills or brushing up existing knowledge.

Firstly

Participants could take part in individual weekends rather than having to do the whole three-weekend course. We also had the cunning plan of offering a healthy discount for signing up for the full package.
But instead of the expected huge influx of eager snow-bunnies, we had only 11 people complete the full course, with four others doing a combination of individual weekends.

Secondly

We split weekend three into two streams: students had a choice of either a ‘technical’ or ‘scenario’ syllabus. The technical bods generally got stuck into the cutting edge of alpine adventuring.
Scenario was more aimed at ‘alpine trampers’ who didn’t really want to get involved in all that rope stuff.

Thirdly

In previous years, weekends two and three required the students to provide a fair amount of hardware. This year, by working in ‘bases’, the course provided all these necessaries for weekend two.
So, other than hiring crampons and borrowing a bike helmet each weekend, most scenario participants could do the whole course with just their existing tramping kit.
Scenario Group, Weekend Three: Alex, Ronald, Pete, Sharon, Philip, Lisa.Now where exactly are we going?

Fourthly

we had the fantastic resource of our own dedicated website:
The genius behind this was Pete Waworis.

Finally #1

A huge thank you to the instructors who volunteered their time for: Instructor briefing, theory/introduction night 1, snowcraft 1, snowcraft 2, field trip to Ngauruhoe, theory night 2, snowcraft 3, instructor debriefing.

Finally #2

If you were thinking of doing the course and have read in last month’s Wanderlust that it took seven hours to dig a snow cave, please don’t be put off. The group in question built a huge snow PALACE. A small snow SHELTER for five people should only take about three hours to build in similar conditions.

Finally #3

We’d really love to see a few more club members join us next year. And better weather too - this year our strike rate was only one out of three, but the perfect weather for the September weekend was well worth the wait.

Thanks to everyone who took part for another successful course.
Right, I’m now off to sunnier climes...

Diane Dowle: (Snowcraft Administrator)