Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation

Navigation on the Central Plateau

For the final three days before the Adventure Guiding students disappeared into their mid-semester break, they found themselves learning how to not get lost up in the Central Plateau.

Navigation is an essential skill for a guide and we learnt how to use a compass, get a bearing and figure out our direction of travel; how to read a map and identify features such as spurs, gullies, ridges, knolls, crests and other features and then identify these in the landscape (and vice versa).

We learnt that Naismith (a rule for estimating the length of time a distance can be walked in) is an optimist, especially when hiking/stumbling off-track.

This trip was a first for the students in many regards.  The Tombolo class were separated into three smaller groups for this trip and we did not see each other again until we reunited back at the bus on the last day to depart.  It was the first time that many of us had hiked ‘off-track’ which meant slogging through thick scrub, cold creeks and scrambling over boulders, depending on which path the “navigator” had set the group on.  Everyone took turns to lead their group using various navigational techniques to get to their destination, and no-one got lost … for very long.

Not following a track really gave us a new appreciation for the Tassie wilderness and by using natural features in the landscape such as waterways, ridgelines, the contouring of the hills as catching features and handrails (navigational terms) we were able to identify where we were and find our way.

Something that was quite special was getting up to the high plateau and seeing cider gums and cushion plants where wallabies wandered.  It was also our first real winter trip and we experienced some high winds and wet weather, but the first opportunity for some of us (mainlanders) to experience snow/sleet (it’s cold!).

After a particularly windy wet night of wild weather the groups converged almost simultaneously back at the bus.  All a little less dry but more confident and capable in their ability to navigate.  A big thank you to the staff; Gemma, Renee and Tom who spent 6 days out in the field between both classes of students to impart their knowledge and remind us constantly to orientate the map!

As the bus drove back into Hobart and we entered the semester break, we were well on track to becoming Adventure Guides.

 

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River Crossings

The Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students recently facilitated an exciting River Crossings day for the Certificate IV Adventure Guiding students.  Recent heavy snow falls and the following snow-melt provided us with exciting river levels and very cold water at Plenty on the Derwent River.  We spent the day teaching the Adventure Guides all about river features and how to choose where to safely cross a river in a bushwalking context, as well as practical river crossing techniques – all valuable skills they are likely to need to use at some stage in their career as remote bushwalking guides in Tasmania and beyond!

The Outdoor Recreation students made the most of the opportunity to practice their practical teaching skills, as well as their swift water safety and rescue skills they learnt in a short course they attended a few weeks earlier.  We loved seeing the excitement on the faces of the Adventure Guides, many of whom were entering into the white-water environment for the first time!

For the Adventure Guides, many fears were overcome in the challenging swimming scenarios (swimming with a pack on and swimming over an artificial log) especially by the less confident swimmers who eventually succeeded in all the challenges set for them and they ended their day on a real high!  Some of the Adventure Guides were so inspired by the experience that they wanted to come back next year and do the whole Outdoor Recreation course!

White Water Introduction

Two weeks ago the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation students participated in an introduction to White Water Rafting.

The students spent two consecutive days on the Lower Derwent River starting from Plenty Bridge to Hayes.  With the intention of introducing students to the units: Guide a Raft on Moving Water and Demonstrate Self-Rescue Skills in Whitewater, the group participated in a variety of activities.

As leaders of the activity, Millie Legge and Alex Coutts were able to demonstrate awareness and understanding of the following units: Planning Recreational Activities, Guiding Outdoor Recreation Sessions, Facilitating Groups, Providing Customer Service and Following Occupational Health and Safety Procedures.

The whole group were exposed to rafting equipment/clothing and briefings; rafting safety; rafting procedures; river signals, reading river water features; personal orientation on a river and floating positions.

The students were also instructed in paddle strokes including forward and back paddle, forward and back sweep, draw stroke, rudder and J-stroke techniques.  The students also participated in a flipping a raft, re-righting the raft and defensive and aggressive swimming in white water.

Lost Falls

The Certificate III Outdoor Recreation group set off on the first bushwalk for the year to Lost falls in the North East of Tasmania.

With a wonderful high pressure system sitting over Tasmania the group had lunch and photos at the Lost Falls Lookout.  After providing the students with a thorough bushwalk safety briefing we began our hike, in a warm 22 °C, sunny skies with a slight breeze.

This bushwalk was an evaluation bushwalk for all students and Course Coordinator, Renee Harrington and Coordinator of the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation, Nate Welch soon took the group off track, to really test their bushwalking abilities and equipment.

Using maps of the area, a pre-planned route and compasses, we arrived at the highpoint of Crossing Hill, which we had a stunning view of the abundant White Peppermint Eucalyptus, (Eucalypts Pulchella) the steep Sclerophyll valleys, and in the distance the calm, blue waters of Oyster Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula.

Following the ridge line towards the Wye River and introducing the students to the unit ‘Navigating in Controlled Environments‘ we arrived at our destination with an opened and cleared campsite and close to the water, which was just perfect our needs.

The aim of this trip was not only to evaluate the students on their bushwalk abilities, but to also make a connection with all group members, the environment and for Renee and Nate to emulate the standards in which TasTAFE requires their students to conduct themselves on their journey as aspiring Outdoor Recreation professionals.

Mountain Biking

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Two weeks ago, the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation class had their first week of Mountain Biking.

Throughout the week, students learnt and practiced basic mountain biking skills such as riding positions, bunny hopping, track scanning, climbing and descending techniques and much, much more.

To facilitate the learning of these skills we rode at a variety of locations around Hobart, including Tolosa Park, the Pipeline Track and Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park.

The knowledge, guidance and encouragement provided by our mountain biking instructor Gemma Gooley was second to none and this meant all members of the group could learn and progress, no matter what their skill level.  Thanks to Gemma and Renee for a fantastic week!!!

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