THE Crossing’s Sea to Snow party departed Mooreheads Beach in Bermagui on Saturday.
The 11 youths aged 15 or 16 were to travel 250km over nine days by biking or hiking, beginning by riding to Wandella and taking in Tralfamadore, Conways Gap and Cooma before finishing on the top of Mt Jagungal.
While they are accompanied by two adults, the teenagers take turns in being team leaders, checking everyone is prepared and telling the team where their journey will take them for the day – work that had to have been done in advance.
The teenagers have all bonded previously at training camps where they practised and learnt necessary skills for the journey.
Fifteen-year-old Jye Turner was one of the teenagers setting out on the trip, and said he was “really excited” about the journey.
“I always thought it would be a good thing to do, to push my boundaries a little bit,” he said.
He expected the 50km bike rides or the escarpment hike to be the most challenging parts of the journey.
“Also having to be organised the whole time, and keeping our spirits up,” he said.
“It will definitely help me get fit, and definitely help my navigation and leadership skills.
“Also, it’s a good opportunity to learning things you need to do to go on long journeys.”
Jye is the son of The Crossing’s project director Dean Turner, and has seen many different groups set out on the journey.
“I was surprised he was so keen!” Mr Turner said.
“He’s grown up with The Crossing, so I thought he might say, ‘I know all that stuff Dad’.
“He has got a lovely peer group, so they should have a ball.
“He even asked if he could come again next year!”
The Crossing is considering moving the annual trip from spring to autumn, meaning the next Sea to Snow could leave in April 2015.
“We might even get to see a bit of snow at the end, that’d be exciting,” Mr Turner said.
Mr Turner said while there are other groups in Australia who running multi-day journeys for youths, no others do a trip from the sea to the snow.
“It’s beginning to become a bit of a thing, the word has got out about it,” he said.
“It’s a pretty amazing journey.”