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Western Springs College has had an active trampling club for three years. The club has grown and usually does a couple of tramps per school term.  The school club partnership with the Auckland Tramping Club over the last two years has been fantastic offering  Springs students more experience, resources, and fantastic tramping trips.

In 2016, Tony from Auckland Tramping Club suggested that I apply for a youth expedition scholarship from Federated Mountain Clubs to go somewhere more wild and adventurous. This granted $1000 towards a trip.  Being successful, we planned a trip with four from the Western Springs Tramping Club This included myself, Anthony, Thomas and Darius who were Year 13 last year and Jim Morrow from the Auckland Tramping Club. Jack Naish (Year 13 this year) was unable to come because of an injury so Darius made a late addition to the group

We decided to walk from Arthur’s Pass to Lewis Pass, taking a route that was not often travelled. This was a route that Jim had suggested, and looked fantastic because there was a variety of terrain, and some great looking remote areas.  Because of the time of year, and everyone’s availability, we had to wait till December 2017.

We flew down to Christchurch, and caught a bus to the Arthur’s Pass national park to start on the tramp. We walked nine days in total. Each day was quite different, and the scenery in the area was fantastic.

On my favourite day, we crossed the Pouter Range, where there was no sign of people, stunning views, and even some residual snow. We were off track for the whole day and followed a stream, bush-bashed, and climbed a scree slope.

The weather was perfect every day, although pretty hot (and giving us some great looking gaiter tan lines) it made the trip really straightforward. We never had to worry about navigation issues from bad weather, or any of the rivers being high. And it was really nice not to have wet gear.

It was really great to have Jim with us. We had a great time exchanging stories and got some pretty handy tramping tricks from all his experience.

The trip was a fantastic experience. I  learned a lot and it has given me the skills and confidence to lead trips in the future.  Thanks to Jim, Tony and FMC for all the help making it happen.

To anyone who is keen to do some tramping, the Western Springs College Tramping Club trips are always a great time. Email to sign up, Or keep a lookout for the stand at orientation week!

by Max Truell

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