On Sunday, October 18th, a group of intrepid students woke up early, piled into vans and drove to Camel’s Hump, Vermont’s third largest mountain, for an autumn hike. Here’s what some of the participants had to say afterwards:
Francesca: It was amazing. It was really beautiful hiking in the snow, and then getting to the summit and seeing snow and in the background, the colors of all. It was a lot of fun.
Polly: It was definitely one of the highlights of the semester. I thought it would be harder than it was. There were so many people and we talked the whole time. It was cool experiencing fall and winter at the same time–like going from September to January. My favorite part was the peanut butter and jelly at lunch or watching Matt trying to eat the Vermonster at the Ben & Jerry’s factory. …It destroyed him. And it was so crazy when we got to the top: I looked at my watch and everyone else was just getting to brunch.
Hannah: I was the slowest person on the hike. I’d like to blame it on the altitude, but someone stayed back with me the whole time to make sure I was taken care of and that was really sweet.
Young Dan: It was the highlight of the semester–definitely the best day so far. It was really nice to see different scenery in Vermont because we’re so secluded here, and to get to see that with people from my semester.
Bev: It was so beautiful because when we were at the top it was snowing and looked like winter all around us, but if you looked out you could see all the colors of fall.
Sarah: My favorite parts were that as the elevation increased, you could see how the forest changed. Once we got to a certain elevation, it was mostly coniferous, and it was cool to see that change. When we were hiking up, we passed a bunch of hikers coming down, and they were really disappointed because they had gotten to the top and there was no view, so we were kind of worried. But when we got to the top, it was clear and we could see all the way to Lake Champlain and the Appalachians.
Jesse: I liked waking up early in the morning to go hiking, weirdly enough. I don’t think I’ve ever shed as many layers as I did-I would shed a layer, put on a layer, shed a layer again. It was cool because it was fall but snowing higher up–all out snow, like January. We couldn’t see–it was pouring snow, and then suddenly the clouds would disappear and it would be completely sunny. At the top, the sun was coming down through the snow in beams and you could watch the transition down the mountain. It was so icy going down: we just slid on our butts. The whole time, we sang songs that we only knew the chorus of and then we hummed the rest or made up lyrics. We all fell asleep on each other in the van on the way back. It was very fun, even though I had to do work after we got back, it was worth it. I thought it would be total Type 2 fun, but it wasn’t. It was just FUN.
Noah: Getting to the top was the best part. It was really cool how snowy it was at the top–it’s mid October but there was already a foot of snow in some places. In three adjectives, I would say it was slippery, anticipatory and tiring.
Ella: It was slippery. The walk up was interesting. It was cool to go from different forest to forest on one mountain–conifer, then maple, then conifer, then beech. It was cool to see that transition, and the transitions were strangely abrupt. The top was amazing and seeing all the white snow and then the color drop off of orange and green. I had never hiked in a snow environment before. It was funny because as we hiked up, I kept putting on more layers, and walking down, I wore all my layers and we threw snowballs at each other. It was really fun.
Zane: A huge highlight was the view from the top, and we could see Lake Champlain, which was cool. It was cold, but the process of putting on and taking off layers was entertaining. In three adjectives, I would say cold, fun, and pretty.
Miranda: It was really fun. It looked like a winter wonderland. We decided to call it Narnia. When we got to the top, there was a 360 degree view, and that was so cool. I always feel so accomplished after a long hike. At Ben & Jerry’s I had banana peanut butter, but I regretted that decision because I tried someone’s Americone Dream and it was really good…
Yesterday might have been one of the best days of my life. That hike was just out of this world. I didn’t mind waking up at 6 or the chilly air. Being able to go out in the fresh snow with a fantastic group of people was the best way to mark the half-way weekend. Walking through fresh, crispy snow sprinkled with fresh dry leaves was a magical experience and then continuing through a spotless Narnia-esque tunnel of branches. I brought candy for lunch. There was always great conversation and not a single complaint, even on the slippery ice near the top. Speaking of which, the view was stupendous, with dark clouds closing in on a baby blue sky on the other side of the peak. It was just a happy bunch of relaxed kids enjoying every part of our joined once-in-a-lifetime experience. Conquering the (mini) Vermonster at the Ben & Jerry’s factory wasn’t awful either. When I’m home, I think this is one of the days I’ll look back on to understand why this school is the unforgettable place that it is. –journal excerpt from OL
Shout out to Jesse for proposing the idea for a hike!