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The Bidgee School

The Bidgee School

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Climbing Mt Bogong

It was very dark when staff and students began rolling into The Bidgee School at about 5:40am on Friday the 13th November. Surprisingly everyone arrived on time and the busses were loaded and ready to go just on 6am. The group seemed excited and a little nervous as we left Wagga, heading South into Victoria to climb its highest mountain, Mt Bogong. Thanks mainly to the culinary skills of Wendy and Robyn everyone enjoyed a ham and cheese croissant for breakfast as the sun rose over Albury Wodonga. There were still plenty of ominous dark clouds in the sky and everyone was wishing away potential rain. Some staff had flashbacks from their travelling days as we sat on the cold hard gutter in a car park eating an economical but delicious breakfast.

After meeting up with Carol who drove up from Melbourne we all converged on Mountain Creek Camping Area. Everyone scrambled around the area checking it out. Bevan and Dante proudly showed the others their coveted camping spot from a previous hike attempt. Others checked out the freezing cold mountain creek. After collecting their food and water for the day and getting prepped for the hike the group headed off along the relatively flat trail towards the foot of the mountain.

After about half an hour of walking the group converged at the bas of the Staircase Spur. This is where it gets very steep very quickly. Conversations waned, heart rates increased and the pace slowed as everyone settled into their own groove in an attempt to make it to the hut. Everyone that is except for Ben, Demetrie and Beau, who bolted up the mountain together and weren't seen until we reached the summit many hours later. There was however a report about them from another hiking group coming down the mountain. "There was a bloke and two kids running up the hill together like something was chasing them".

The rest of us walked, clambered and rested till we reached the hut, where we had some lunch and students contemplated the rest of their day. The majority, I'm happy to say, decided to continue up the mountain.

As we passed above the tree line the view became spectacular. With the clear day we had you could see forever. Getting to the top and being on top of Victoria was a surreal feeling, which seemed to have a strange, euphoric effect on some of the students. After a few quick photo's we began our descent. Beau, Ben and Demetrie had been up on top for quite a while now and were eager to get to the bottom of the mountain.

Once everyone had reached the bottom we piled into the busses, weary and leg sore. We drove North, stopping for some much needed sustenance at a famous food outlet, before continuing back into NSW. We were given an epic sunset as we drove along, which signified the end of an epic day. Ben's watch had calculated that we'd completed a 20km round trip, 40,000 steps in total. A big thankyou goes out to the staff who attended the trip. Especially to the ones who think hiking up a huge steep mountain isn't a fun way to spend the day. It is definitely not for everyone. Thankyou Bidgee staff. Without your dedication and commitment, experiences like this would not be possible.