For their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Qualifying Journey, Emiliana and her team opt for an alternative mode of backcountry travel – kayaking. Dubbed the Kayak Kapers, this team of twenty-four students (over half of whom had never kayaked) bravely took up their paddles and developed new skills during a multi-day exploration of the Marlborough Sounds.
“By the end of the weekend, we were like a well-oiled machine.” As recipients of the 2022 FMC Training Grant, members of the Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club shift from uncertainty to competency during their wilderness first aid weekend training.
Over the April school holidays, six students set off to complete their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying Adventurous Journey in Tongariro National Park. Demonstrating excellent planning for their tramp, the group successfully navigates all the challenges thrown their way and completes a trip of a lifetime.
"All too often we can apply the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to exploring the outdoors, but in an emergency, that is of little help." After assessing their outdated first aid skills, the Otago Section of the New Zealand Alpine Club puts their FMC Training Grant to good use – an intensive first aid course where they learn everything from CPR to managing real-life scenarios with hands-on practice.
"Journey – a long and often difficult process of personal change and development." For these four FMC Youth Award Grant recipients, they draw upon their strengths and honestly address their shortcomings to come together as a team to support one another, as well as look after fellow trampers on the Tongariro Crossing Northern Circuit.
Examining their Gold qualifying tramp through the lens of Te Whare Tapa Whā (the four dimensions of wellbeing), Alicia and Sophie reflect on the significant challenges they faced on the Rees-Dart Track and what strategies helped encourage them to continue.
Freezing temperatures bring unexpected challenges to a group of Duke of Edinburgh Silver qualifiers on the Ruahines. But through it all, they embrace the magic of a winter wonderland tramp surrounded by snow and icicles and demonstrate what is to be a good hut steward.
A second attempt and an alternative route pays off for these four Duke of Edinburgh qualifiers. After a flooded track and health problems forces the group to turn back on their first try, they persevere and successfully complete their next tramp with lots of fun and skill building along the way.
After a close call occurs during a club outing, the North Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club (NOTMC) recognises the need to offer winter skills training for its newer members. With support from a FMC Training Grant, they organise a backcountry training weekend with a well-respected mountaineering and ski touring guide.
With packrafting on the rise, PRANZ recognises their responsibility to establish a culture of safety and training around this popular sport. With support from the FMC Training Grant, they have developed and are now road testing a curriculum for packraft instruction.
Winter tramping and a roughly polled track presents these FMC Youth Award Grant recipients with new challenges, as they complete their Duke of Edinburgh Gold tramp along the Two Thumbs range from Mesopotamia to Tekapo in four days.
As a Youth Award Grant recipient, Harri Pickett embarks on a snowy Kepler Track and faces the tough decision to turn around when conditions become unsafe.
After receiving the tragic news that her partner Lochie is missing, Tara pauses their plans to traverse along the Southern Alps from Cape Farewell to Fiordland to help with his search. When the search is called off, she makes the heavy-hearted decision to continue with the trip. Tara recounts the final leg of her journey as a Simon Bell Memorial Scholarship recipient – a solo trek across the Olivine Ice Plateau towards Red Mountain and down to the ocean at Big Bay.
What’s the hardest part of any tramp? A return to civilization. The Glen Eden Venturers tackle over 80km along the Rees Dart Track and while feeling reluctant to rejoin society, they become inspired to take their knowledge and train young scouts in backcountry skills.
Well known for being one of the muddiest tramps, Brianna Loan learns firsthand the frustration (and fun) of being stuck in the mud with mates. As a recipient of the FMC Youth Award Grant, she and her team share laughs, forge friendships, and together face a crucial safety decision when the weather turns.
As recipients of the FMC Youth Award Grant, eight students from St. Peters College brave the Humpridge Track in rain-soaked conditions and make lasting memories along the way.