Summit Club Winter Camping

Alan Hesketh
The junior boys in their quinzee

Over the weekend of February 20th and 21st, the Saints Summit Club headed out on their annual winter camping trip, which took place in beautiful Manning Provincial Park.

The trip began at the Field House, promptly after the school day concluded on Friday. All of the boys quickly changed into their casual clothes for the drive up to Hope, where the group would have dinner. After the bus had been filled with everyone’s backpacks, as well as the snowshoes, transceivers and cooking gear, the group was officially ready to go on their expedition.

The bus was relatively quiet for the 2-hour drive to Hope, as boys were exhausted from the week that had passed, and were preparing themselves for the fun filled weekend ahead.

Once the group had reached Hope, the boys ventured into the local Triple O’s and A&W establishments to purchase dinner. Anxious to get to Manning Park as quickly as possible, the group took their meals to the bus, and ate as the bus began rolling again.

After about an hour more of driving, the bus rolled into Manning Park Resort, where the group would be staying in a cabin for the night. Once all the backpacks had been unloaded, and stored up in the cabin, the group made a beeline for the Resort’s games room and pool, to have some friendly competition in ping pong, shuffleboard, and pool, as well as some time in the water for those who wanted it. Later in the evening, the games continued in the cabin, with everyone participating in leisurely card games and board games before making their way to bed.

Mr. Hesketh and Mr. Kennedy awoke most of the students on Saturday morning at the leisurely hour of 7 o’clock with the smells of the delicious breakfast they had been preparing with the help of 2 students who had risen earlier. After wolfing down piping hot burritos filled with eggs, potatoes, cheese, refried beans, and salsa, the group was fuelled for the day ahead. Once all the packs were back on the bus, the group was rolling towards the trailhead.

Pascal Girard packing the bus
Pascal Girard packing the bus

At the trailhead, everyone was quick to strap on their snowshoes, packs, and avalanche transceivers, and head into the depths of Manning Provincial Park.

For almost the entirety of Saturday, the group had to snowshoe uphill, which was not easy for some of the lesser experience snowshoers.

The boys hiking
Alan Hesketh
The boys snowshoeing

Just in time for lunch, the group arrived at what would be their campsite for the evening. It was the perfect spot for everyone to take a seat, have a drink of water, and munch on delicious wraps of various spreads, meats, and cheeses. Once everyone was finished eating, the next big task of the day stood before them: building quinzees.

Quinzees are formed by shovelling snow into a massive pile, letting that snow settle, and then hollowing out that pile to reveal the perfect space for sleeping. The group split into two to build their quinzees, and spent the entirety of their afternoon, and the early portion of the evening, creating their homes for the night.

As the sun set, and the temperature had dropped, Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Hesketh began heating the group’s delectable meal of pesto pasta and vegetable soup. The hot meal was a welcomed sight to the cold hands of all involved.

After dinner, everyone was eager to hop into their sleeping bags, and the evening ended with feeling very accomplished after their long day.

The junior boys in their quinzee
Alan Hesketh
The junior boys in their quinzee

In the morning, the group munched on oatmeal to fuel the day ahead, and were quick to getting to the first task of the day: collapsing the quinzees. Following the fun of jumping through the roofs that covered their heads overnight, everyone strapped on their snowshoes, and headed back down trail. As the trip was downhill this time, some boys used it as an opportunity to practice their sledding skills.

The hike down did not take very long, and before anyone knew it, the group had arrived back at the trailhead, and were on their way home in time to complete the weekend’s homework.