Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.
Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.
- The opening paragraph describes the Darran Mountains as “rising sharply,” “castles of stone and ice,” with “sheer rock walls guarding their flanks” and “bordered by the cold dark shadows of the Tasman Sea.” Do these descriptions remind you of any novels you’ve read or movies you’ve seen? If you were writing the score to a film that opened with this landscape, what kind of music would you write?
- The writer uses the name Kā Tiritiri o te Moana instead of the Southern Alps. Do you know anything about where the name Kā Tiritiri o te Moana comes from, or the story of the brothers who were frozen in stone to become the mountain range? You might like to find out about it.
- Adventurer William Grave wrote in the late 1800s of the “irresistible impulse” to venture into “the fastnesses of nature.” Can you put this into modern language? Do you relate to what Grave is saying?
- When completing a particularly difficult climb, the writer describes how he copes. He says: “Rather than being weighted by the increasing airspace below, I focus on what is front of me.” He mentions focussing on the small details in the rock, the way the chalk feels, the clink of carabiners, the careful breathing and focus. He says these things “keep” him in the here and now. If you were using this as a guide for yourself before you went rock climbing, what advice could you take out of it?
- What is your response to the photo of the climbers in their bivouac sleeping bags? What might they see, feel and hear overnight, or first thing in the morning?
Activity: Make some rock art
Use a phone or a printer to make some interesting cards with photos of rocks or items like flowers.
You will need:
- Items from nature—flowers, leaves, rocks.
- A printer or camera phone
Step One: Collect some items that might make interesting images.
Step Two: Arrange them on an interesting background—you can even write a note.
Step Three: Take photos with the phone to share with whanau and friends. If you have a printer with a scanning function you can scan the items and print them out in colour.