Canyoning in the Waitakere Ranges

February 18, 2016 at 2:42 PM

As part of the Physical Education department’s commitment to provide engaging, contextual learning experiences, this week, a group of our Year 13 students undertook the exhilarating thrill of canyoning. Such an authentic experience related directly to their risk management Achievement Standard through which our students critically analysed the ill-fated canyoning trip completed by Elim Christian College students in 2008. 

In completing the case study of a previous canyoning trip, and then doing one of their own, our Year 13 students were able to experience first-hand the skills of abseiling, controlled jumps, scrambling and sliding down rock faces into deep pools.

The trip was led by Auckland canyoning specialists, AWOL Canyoning.  Their well-qualified, highly experienced instructors shared their vast outdoor knowledge with our students regarding safety and risk management.  They provided comprehensive safety briefings related to abseiling technique, different types of ledge jumps and safe belaying technique.  The students were treated to beautiful scenery, ‘refreshing’ water temperatures and a unique opportunity to try something completely foreign to them all.  Such contextually-rich learning experiences allowed our students to safely relive the same activity that so sadly took the lives of 6 students and a staff member from Elim Christian College.  

Sound judgement around safety issues came to the fore when the weather turned inclement on the day the second group was due to go. Their trip was rescheduled and they are now looking forward to their own opportunity to be challenged in an outdoor setting.

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