On March 8, Mr. Boileau took our grade 10-12 Outdoor Ed class on a weekend long trip to Eastbranch. Leanne Harrison, Kim Moore, and David Kopas came along as chaperones. We snowshoed in through the untouched winter wonderland. The weather was perfect, not a gust of wind, or cloud around.
As soon as we arrived we had a quick snack break then got right back outside to build a place to sleep. Hours later after shovelling, packing, and digging snow everyone managed to complete a quinzhee (snow cave). Later that afternoon, because the weather hadn’t changed we all geared up and hit the rope-tow. Some students already had the hang of it, most took a few tries, and the rest who decided, maybe snowboarding wasn’t for them, took time to tube. Once everyone was tired and wet we finished the day off with a family dinner of chili prepared by the group.
The first night was awesome. Everyone bundled up and crawled into snow cave. It was warm and comfortable for a snow cave. Most people slept well. The sun shining through the snow and ice above woke my group, just minutes before Mr. Boileau began his traditional awakening “Great Canadian morning!! The birds are chirping…..”
Day two was nearly as beautiful. The majority of the day for me was spent trying to get up the hill on the rope tow. For others it was full of avalanche training, snowboarding, shoveling snow off of the roof and card/snack breaks. The highlight of the trip for most came after a dinner of moose burgers though.
It was time for the night hike exercise. Everybody rummaged through their bags for headlamps then gathered around the table for a compass bearing lesson. Once everything was ready, we split up into groups and followed a our bearings to the top of a hill. The sky was breathtaking, dotted with stars in every direction.
We all gathered at the top, reset our bearings for a lake and broke trail on our way down. The hike was perfect and so was arriving back to the cabin with hot chocolate waiting. For the rest of the night before heading to bed people split up. Some built a fire and had smores, others tubed, and the rest stayed inside and played some long card games. Soon after everyone became tired and headed back out to their “quinzhees” for their second night’s sleep
The second night wasn’t nearly as cozy as the first. I was still warm but after two days of winter activities people were beginning to feel a little stiff/sore.
Day three was dedicated to cleaning up the cabin, lots of people showed up for the Sunday snowboarding/skiing, so we had to make the cabin look untouched. When all was cleaned up, we snowshoed a bit to a place where Mr. Boileau had prepared an avalanche awareness lesson. It was a good way to end the trip. In small groups people began to hike back when the lesson was complete. We packed up the vehicles and headed home. I think everyone would agree that it was a fun, successful and beautiful trip.
SAMS Outdoor Education Program would like acknowledge the following organizations and people for their support: School District 49, Williams Lake and District Credit Union, School district 49 board of directors, the bus garage, chaperones David Kopas, Leanne Harrison, and Kim Moore. Also thank you to Bill Anderson for lending his skimmer, Wendy Karran for sleding equipment out and to Tweedsmuir Ski Club and BC Parks. The participants on this trip were: Ashley Moore, Kelly Harrison, Kasey Karran, Andrew Christensen, Dylan Tuck, Aodhan Carneigh, Marcus Apps, Daniel Ellis, Drake Gignac, Elijah Mecham, David Brooks, Jordan Hall, Connor Kopas, Randy Grueter and Morgan Durocher.