Stories from Summit to Sea 2010

On February 5th, 13 deserving participants were greeted by the cooling waters of the Tasman Sea. They had just completed the ultimate Australian adventure -26 days hiking, mountain biking and rafting their way from the ACT to Bass Strait. The group endured patches of terrible weather, scaled Australia's three highest mountains and travelled over 650 kilometres on this year's Summit to Sea. Each participant has their own story to tell about why they choose to take on the adventure and what they have learned on their journey. Continue reading to hear four participant's recollections of their journey.

Twenty year old James Feeney was not new to Outward Bound's adventures before commencing Summit to Sea. In December 2009 James completed Outward Bound's Pinnacle program, an amazing 14 day journey in some of Australia's most spectacular countryside. For James, completing Summit to Sea has meant the attainment of a personal goal to live a healthier life.

"In November 2008 I weighed 132kgs and I could never have done anything like Summit to Sea," James said.

By the end of this Summit to Sea, James was 1.5kg below his goal weight of 95kg. He had also done many things he never thought he could have done.

"On the last day we left our packs with 14 kilometres left to the ocean and we ran. I ran the whole way and that's the longest I've ever run in my life. I loved Summit, I had such a great time and learned that I can push through pain and go beyond my limit. I'm a lot stronger now and Summit to Sea has encouraged me to continue living a more active life," James said.

For German tourist Katrin Wegener, Summit to Sea was a unique way to discover Australia. What she didn't expect was to learn about the importance of teamwork along the way.

"It was a very tough physical challenge and not something I'm used to. At times I thought I could not complete it, but the group was so supporting. I could not have completed it without them."

"It was a great way to experience the amazing nature in Australia. Watching the sun finally break out on Lake Eucumbene after heavy rain, sleet and snow is a picture that I will never forget," Katrin said.

Seventeen year old Zac Dyson was encouraged to go by his family, who have a long term connection with Outward Bound. He believes he learned a lot about himself that will help him in the future.

"I absolutely loved the adventure. The days on the mountain bikes were my favourite. I also learned a lot about myself and others. I feel I can work better in a team now and I know I can do a lot more when I push myself," Zac said.

Alice Matthews, an 18 year old from Sydney believes that Summit to Sea was the perfect way to take a break, see Australia and prepare for the challenges of starting university.

"Summit to Sea was great on so many levels. We saw some great scenery, amazing views and formed some really close bonds with the other participants."

"It really allowed me to take time out, take stock on what I want to achieve as I enter my first year of university. I also feel that my leadership and teamwork skills have improved a lot," Alice concluded.

Be sure to check back here for more recollections of this year's Summit to Sea or subscribe to our newsletter, Ozbound.

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