A group of 19 students working on their Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award completed their Silver Qualifying expedition in the Waitakere Ranges from 1-3 September.

They tramped from Huia, up and over to Karamatura, then onto Whatipu to camp in some pretty atrocious conditions. Tracks were extremely wet and muddy, and the rain never-ending. Sunday saw them walk back up the Gibbons track, along the Walker Ridge and return downhill to camp at Barn Paddock in some improved weather. Monday was a relatively short tramp uphill to finish at Arataki Visitor Centre.

All the students who completed the 31km tramp carried their own gear, food and tents for three days, and were still able to remain cheerful to the end.

Thanks to Mr Richard Fullerton for training and organising the trip and Ms Nadine Mackinnon for her assistance in running the camp.

Mr Andy Belson, Head of MAGS’ Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award programme