Last week, a number of Jindabyne Central School Year 11 students experienced a Snow Survival day up in the national park. The beautiful sunny day was a great chance for the students to learn the basics of building snow shelters and snow caves in case they were ever in an emergency situation, or even if they wanted to experience some back country camping.
The group snowshoed out to Mt Wheatley to find a sutable site for their cave construction and for the majority of them, it was the first time they had attempted this form of hiking.
The day was run by local organisation ALI, and instructor Jay Williams gave the students a run down of what to look for, when planning to build an igloo or a cave and after a quick demonstration the group divided into two and went to work.
The igloo group, under the supervision of Montana Harrison, set about cutting blocks out of the snow and piecing together the structure with much precision. Meanwhile, the cave goup got to digging with Hayden Cox carving away a nice entry into a big snowdrift and Rowan Enders, Hudson Emery and Ryan Bellingham continuing the tunneling work.
The students took turns at the different jobs and worked away for a couple of hours. On completion, the snowcave was big enough and deep enough to fit all 15 of the group into it and to sit and marvel at their construction work.
PDHPE Teacher Paul Livissianos said, "It's a great experience for the local kids to get out of the resorts and to see what the back country can offer. They had a fantastic time designing and building the igloo and the cave and if they are ever caught in bad weather, they can be confident in knowing what they can do."