On Friday, February 28th, Spring ’14 – all 45 students plus 7 faculty – drove to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to hike 4,802 foot Mount Moosilauke. Why? Because we are hardcore. Because we enjoy wearing five synthetic layers on our upper bodies, and two hats. Because snowshoeing is fun! (thought no one, ever, in the history of time). Because Vermont radio has excellent selections for long car rides. Because on-campus sledding conditions have been mediocre recently, and mountain slopes provide good opportunities. And debatably because climbing Moosilauke offered an opportunity for environmental science field studies and data collection. But mostly reasons 1-5. Mountain Day was a full day event – leaving at 9 am and returning as late as 6:30 pm.
Summarize your Mountain Day experience in 3 words or less:
Charles: Pain, strain, beauty
Baird: Bombastic, arduous, endure
Ben Y: Successful perseverance
Jacob: A pathetic molehill**
**As a Seattle native, Jacob does not believe that the east coast has real mountains.
Ben G: Broken leg syndrome
Oliver: Very rewarding
Sam K: Scenic, rewarding, strenuous
Liam: Wind, wind, wind
Sam D: Cold, accomplishment, fun
Grant: I, got, frostbite
Xavier: Leg cramps
Leo: Cold badass mountaineering
Armando: Back to my roots (4 words, he cheated)
Courtney: Triumphant, exhilarating, accomplishment
What was a highlight of your Mountain Day experience?
Ben G: Hanging out with Sue Kruse a mile behind everyone else
Liam: Reaching the summit with my 802 crew
Oliver: We weren’t supposed to go to the summit, but we did anyway. Walking up, the winds were ridiculously strong – like my face was purple by the end – but once we got up there, the view was incredible. And just hanging with everyone at the top.
Jacob (bitter Seattle-ite): I guess it was cool that I got to see the same view I see every day on my way to school
Sarah: Getting to the top!
Sam K: We were walking up the hill to the peak and the person in front of me stops and says, “Turn around,” and I do and what used to be all trees with just specs of blue opens up into this expansive view of sky and the snow-covered valley, and it was just this moment of awe at what nature could be.
Ariana: Getting to the top, but also I really enjoyed the hardest parts because they were so funny. Everyone was just laughing because we were all dying. It was a good bonding experience.
Charles: Entering the tundra for the first time and photographing its beauty.
Rena: The first time we got about treeline. Katie and I went off the main trail so we could get a good view in advance.
Jack Kruse: A low-light was discovering my wool pants were not slippery enough to slide down the mountain, BUT the soles of my winter boots have worn down enough to work like skis! So I could crouch down and slide down the mountain like I was skiing, and that was fun, and I got pretty good at it! I kept my boots parallel to each other, I was making turns… it was great! (I heard you kept bumping into Ruby on the way down). Yeah, she was a little slower – her boots didn’t work as well as mine – so I’d be crouched down like this, you know, and then I’d bump into her… But no harm done.
You can see more photographs of the group’s triumphant ascent here.