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Heels 1973

Freshers' Trip ' 73

page 15

Freshers' Trip ' 73

A grand contingent of about 50 (minus two would-be hunters) trooped along the road from Holdsworth Lodge to Donnellys Plats fairly late on the Friday night. Following this 15 minute spurt of energy it was time to pitch camp and hit the pit. The next morning saw the track over to Totara Creek dotted with strange student creastures; puffing, panting, slipping and sloshing in the mud. Our leader, Marion, was constantly checking numbers - I mean to say, anything could happen to an innocent fresher on such a trip - one could become engulfed in the mud at Pig Flat or be blown away by gale force winds on the open look-out area.

Most of us had lunch at our campsite on the flats - one exception being our venerable chief guide, who, along with a group of followers had his lunch further back and actually found the time to indulge in a pit-bash. As with any freshers' trip, some people were under-equipped, others over-equipped, but most were just well-equipped, e.g. Nick had his floral beach baggies all ready for L'icy Riviera and Rob brought his brolly just in case of that inevitable spot of rain (during the drought??)

After a few tents had been pitched there was fun and games for everyone. We reverted to kindergarten days and passed the time by having three-legged races, wheelbarrow races, and by piggy-baciting one another all over the snow. One does have to occupy one's time somehow, doesn't one??

Dinner was our next concern, Unfortunately, because of the fire ban, we had to use primi. We were divided into six or seven cooking groups. Right in the middle of the campsite, one group of about six (namely Rob, Nick, Russell, Marion and Marvellously-Merry-Margie) provided some amusing entertainment for the other diners with antics caused by a bottle of something or other. I regret to say I can't quite remember what it was. The lack of a bonfire didn't stop the usual flow of songs and jokes. The Wild West Show seemed to have more verses than ever, and Nick turned out a good repertoire of limericks. At this stage of the evening there were a few notable absentees - Ken and Andy, to name but two.

Sunday - time to return homewards once more. Naturally, the creampuffs preferred to take the sidle track down the Waiohine while the hale and hearty braved the rather cool waters of the gorge. However, despite differing routes of return, most arrived at Walls Whare in good time for a snack before the slog along the road in search of the big blue truck.