Manning Park – A Winter Wonderland

By Aaron
Under the cloudy skies on January 15th, 2017, eighteen eager and keen discovery students began their first winter outing. Under the supervision of Ms. Tutsch, Ms. Lutes, Ms. Bell, and Mr. Hesketh, the boys began the long bus ride to their new home for the next three days: Manning Park. This trip would be the first time the whole Discovery cohort camped together since the third night of he Chilcotins in September. Naturally, high spirits and excitement permeated the group.  This trip was intended as practice for their future winter trip.  The main focus was learning avalanche safety skills.  After arriving at the campsite, the boys would have to tread through snowy terrain to greet their home for the first day, Lone Duck 2. Lone Duck 2 was a winter shelter that had a wood stove and a couple of picnic tables.

After setting down their gear and finishing lunch, the boys would have their first lesson ofthe day: how to use transceivers, shovels, and probes. The boys would also learn the “Boot Dance,” an activity done with a partner to keep yourself warm.

After practicing how to search for missing persons, the instructors set up a testing ground
to assess the boys. While testing was progressing, the rest of the boys were starting to learn how strenuous gathering water was. Without an available water source the first day,
everyone had to melt snow to create water, a tedious and dull task.

After testing had finished and dinner was eaten, the boys slept in the chilly cabin of Lone Duck 2. Illness had also permeated the group and some members weren’t feeling great. In low spirits, the group began their hike.

Unfortunately for the group, they didn’t make it to their intended destination due to time, weather, and objectives. Instead, the group decided to turn back and spend another night at Lone Duck 2. This meant that the group wouldn’t be able to practice building snow shelters, something everyone was looking forwards to. On the way back, the group practiced how to find multiple people with the Tracker 2 transceiver using the Special Search mode. After, the group spent a while playing around in the snow and testing each other.

As the sky darkened, the boys headed back to Lone Duck 2 and spent their last night there, eager to head back home the following morning. Despite not sleeping in shelters they made, the boys were glad that they had a nice, dry night in the cabin rather than in slushy snow domes. In the morning, the boys had their last test of the trip, this time seeing if they could find multiple transceivers hidden in the snow. This procedure took many hours, but after everyone had finished, the boys packed their bags and began the long ride home, concluding their first winter outing.

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