LOVE IS IN THE AIR, AND DAMN IS IT COLD. If you were too cold to come to the meeting, or otherwise engaged in some other Valentine’s Day activity, don’t worry! I’m here to sorta let you know about some of the stuff that may or may not have happened at the meeting.

Here ya go:


Recent Adventures and LESS EXCITING THINGS:

  • Maddy and Mo and others went snowshoeing and it was COLD.
  • Catharine and Olivia and Keenan and others (and me!) hiked round top and it was COLD. No blood anywhere though, which is good I guess.
  • Sara wimped out and decided not to snowshoe to early bird just because it was -20 with the wind chill or something. Wimp.
  • Emma caught a twizzler. It was actually quite fantastic.
  • Sara watched some people play hockey and possibly told them when they hit each other too hard and stuff. It was probably COLD.
  • Anna XC skied for the first time ever and only fell a lot! Well done Anna!
  • Julia ‘just said no’ to some responsible uncles on a ski lift! A fine example for others to follow.


Those things that might happen in the time period after this current time period:

  • Spencer and T$ Gregston are leading a trip to Sugarloaf Friday evening for moonlight climb. Skinning and snowshoeing are allowed; piggybacks and sledding are not; darkness, cold, and spencer are mandatory. Keep an eye out for more info on this trip.
  • Sara and Jake overnight XC ski trip Friday night to Saturday night! Minor experience is recommended.
  • Emma is leading an XC ski clinic on Thursday! More info on the way.
  • Jack is leading trip to Devil’s Chair at Quarry Road sometime in the future. This will be a beginner ice climbing a trip and will technically be a CMC trip; however, anyone interested may sign up. The COC-CMC feud is informal and will not affect trips, only eating competitions between club leaders.
  • Lidia and unknown second leader are leading snowshoeing to Early Bird Sunday morning, since Sara is a wimp.
  • Emma and Julia might lead winter camping trip Friday-Saturday!
  • Social Justice Sundays now after every meeting! Let us ( know if you have any suggestions for topics.
  • Next week is spirit week (hosted by SGA)! Monday the 22nd the COC (us!) will be giving out hot chocolate between 4-5 pm on dana lawn; email Jake Lester if you wanna be there! His whisperlite skill is the stuff of legend; if you haven’t seen it before you better try your best to be there.
  • Tree-trimming Tuesdays continues! Come on down to trim (whittle) 7-8 pm in the office!
  • Ski waxing with Sara and Spencer this Wednesday from 7-8 pm in the COC!



  • Events: committee meetings will be during Wednesday community hours; stop by if you want to be involved. Movie night next Thursday! Email hjbossi with ideas. TRAMPOLINES.
  • Gear: Spencer is lonely. Send him pictures of helicopters.
  • Trips: community hours and committee meetings on Monday nights. Come tonight if you want to be on the committee! Also if you want help planning a trip.
  • Sugaring: committee meeting Monday 7-7:15 pm.
  • Community Outreach: Rachel read her platform and is running unopposed! I wonder who’s gonna win. Electronic vote this week. Best of luck to all candidate.



  • Everyone send Buck nudes! But seriously, if you want to be part of the Naked in Nature competition, send Buck ( your tasteful (outdoors) nudes. 
  • Submit t-shirt designs! We know you’re artsy. Believe in yourself. Submissions to Spencer. DO NOT SEND NUDES TO SPENCER (unless you want them to be on COC t-shirts.
  • Patches by Jake Lester. Be on the lookout for an email about getting them. This is not a contest, I do not know why I put in this section. Just go with it.



  • WFR certs are in! If you took WFR and haven’t gotten your cert, email Logan or stop by during community hours.


Hot Seat:



Before I let you all go, I must let you know of a very exciting opportunity. Our very own Eric, Tom, and Tyler have submitted an app to the Red Bull “Can You Make It?” competition and they need all your votes. Here is the link: Throw ’em a like. I dare you.


I hope you all had a wonderful day of Valentines. I myself drank a lot of chocolate milk. Couldn’t have been better. Live, love, eat Twizzlers. Au revoir, amigos.


 Welcome to Second Semesterrrrrrr- the semester of snow, movies, snow, thimbles, and pancakes. Though our fearless sexcretary Theodorus is gone, we will soldier on and completely forget about him until September.


So here’s what happened:


Who are the outside people?

  • People went to Banff! There were movies there! If you wanna learn more, here’s the link: I know there’s a way to make it so you can click the word link and it goes to the link, but I’m just not that savvy. Lex went to Banff. Also, Lex was here. But she’s gone, so don’t get too excited. Logan got sad about a dog.
  • WFR- 9 (10?) people took a Wilderness First Responder course! Fini learned a lot. Especially which joints to let hang (hint: it’s almost never right to amputate).
  • we had a game night this past friday. twas fun. words were spoken.


What’s happening in the future??? 

  • Tripzzzzz (all going live on the calendar at 7 tonight):
    • Mo and Fini are leading a trip up (down?) the Messalonskee Stream this Saturday!
    • Keenan and Sam (moi) are heading to Round Top on Saturday. This is guaranteed to be the best trip of the weekend.
    • Sara and Lydia are snowshoeing to Early Bird to eat on Sunday morning! Extra points if you bring a certain member of the K-Council back a plate bacon.
  • Eventzszszszsz (and future tripszzzz):
    • Sara and I are leading an intro backpacking clinic on Wednesday at 7. Come one, come all, come after dinner.
    • Hannah’s gonna wax stuff with people in da future
    • Sara and Jake will lead XC ski trip February 26-27
    • Whittling Wednesdays is now Tree-trimming Tuesdays! Just an extra reminder about the importance of alliteration, which some people don’t seem to get (Cassandra). Anywayz, that starts tonight! 7-8 in COC office.


Committee Stuff!

  • Trips- if you wanna become a leader, look out for email and/or carrier pigeon from Julia and Anna (only select few will receive carrier pigeon).
  • Events- Teton Gravity Research! Sammy C Project ( will be coming to Colby with a 50% discount! Please thank your local neighborhood Bossi for this lovely event. Should be in late Feb-early March.
  • Community Outreach- We need a committee head! Apply by next week’s meeting. We believe in you all.
  • Gear- Committee members please do inventory of something(?). You’ll get an email. Spencer has literally no idea what we have in that locked room. Any work will be appreciated.
    • Gear purchase being made soon! Come talk to us or Spencer, we have no friends. Most likely gear purchase will be helicopter
  • Cabin- Amy and Kaitlin found unplowed roads. Made fire safety changes. Doing great things.



  • Naked in nature contest! We gonna be naked (not mandatory). Buck is gonna look at all our naked photos and create a contest! Prize yet to be determined.
  • Spencer is leading the tshirt contest! People will submit logos and we might choose one! Send your ideas to Spencer, but make sure not to send him naked photos. Unless you really want to, no judgment.



  • Mo hot-seated and is now a leader! Here are all of her answers with no context- NO FOLD DIGERIDOO DIDGERI ALWAYS ONE PIECE CRANBERRY JUICE CLIT I LOVE ALL OF THEM SAM LEX DAVIS EARLY IN THE MORNING


Anyways, everyone have a magnificent week and a Valentine’s Day full of merriment, chocolate, and lovvvvvvvv. Salutations to all, and to all a good Tuesday.


If you guys missed the meeting, hey, don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s ok! But it was the last one of the year 2015 and it was nice. Guys soon it’s gonna be 2016 CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT??? I CANNOT.  Ok I digress, here’s what happened:



One thousand people went skiing. Reports include some good ol’ #skitheeast hardpack, all white snow (yay no mud), an epic Owens’ coat, and burritos galore. PSA ROLLING FATTIES OPENS THIS WEEKEND so whip out ya wallets, plebes.

Emma and Sara went on a very epic and intense hike up Mt. Philip.  They hiked for a LONG time and woke up EARLY (20 mins / noon) but I guess it was nice.

Buck & Sam & Keenan went to Hogback mountain (no hogs, some backs) and they had some experiences with a tractor (…) They also invented a word that I don’t fully understand but it sounds like “ingenuity” ? unsure

Sophie and Sophie (G&J) walked through the arb briskly, and it sounded like it got heated! Ask ’em about it via tumbr

Anna, Julia, and Sage went to Round Top and had a lovely hike with some people who were new to the outing club! Hoo rah new membership!

Logan hiked up the back side of the loaf on the AT, and met a very very intense man who is attempting to hike lots of mountains frequently.

Grace and Sophie hiked up the loaf, skiied down, and then did a couple runs as the Bossis!

SPRING BREAK WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO beach bods more like tuck that knotted hair into your buff #sweat

The CMC trip to Joshua Tree has, unfortunately, been cancelled. Email if you have any questions. Otherwise!! SIGN UP HERE BY DECEMBER 10TH:


Four rad ladies read their platforms for this position at the meeting.  They were eloquent and cool as cukes.  Please keep an eye out for an electronic vote coming early this week!

**John Bengtson was hot-seated, grilled about his experiences as an ~adult~ and Buck was hot-seated regular. 

MMMM THAT FINALS STENCH IS IN THE AYER – güd luck munchkins, just remember that soon we will be j playin in the snow (would it SNOW already???)


A famous person entered the strange college cave of the outing club office on Sunday night. And the crowds were silenced by his greatness.  His wit and rad experiences and sleek noggin amazed the masses.

You missed out because Ken Meidell is a COOL MAN and he chatted with us LIKE WE WERE ALL FRIENDS!


ANYHOOOOOOOOOOOOOoo0ooOooolololol, The Minutes? Is that why you were here?


  • Buck went mountain biking behind his grandfather’s farm in the Berkshires.  Sounds like a fireside novel to me.
  • Hannah and Brittany inaugurated a Turkey Trek with the fam! They are extremely wholesome!
  • Tayte had a bonfire with some high school friends! Warmth.
  • Emma Wood went skiing at Sugarloaf on Saturday! Hayburner is open. THE LAWD IS A MULE
  • Emma and Lex ALSO hiked up Sugarloaf at 4 am and then skied down it a couple times! They are cool, which we already knew.
  • LEX CAME IN 4TH AT A FANCY SKATE RACE THANG IN QUEBEC (Red Bull Crashed Ice) – she is practically famous, which you know to be true because she didn’t even come to the meeting, we just found that our because of HEARSAY
  • Teddy went running and biking around the Cape with ex-Treasurer of the COC John Tort (he was a savant at this job btw)! He sends hugs.
  • Julia took her family on a hike, and she said it was lame. (ending on a suuuper epic tale I know)


  • Biggy “Smalls” Low: Hannah squared are hiking this cool mountain that nobody’s heard of.
  • Round Top: Julia wants to lead this beginner hike, and needs a co-lead!
  • ~MyyysterrYYYY~: Buck and Sam want to do one we gathered via intense eye contact.
  • Hike n Ski: Spencer wants to wake up early on Thursday and hike and ski at Sugarloaf. Stay TUUUNEED (do ya feel me???)


  • There will be many.  We will be tabling in ze spa for these epic adventures THIS WEEK! They will include backpacking and skiing and other things.  Details TBD!!!! (Think Death Valley and Quebec and JoshTree w/ the CMC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! among others)




We discovered that at the meeting. I just had to get that off my chest. AnywayZ


LTT: The second Leader Training Trip was a success!!  Sam and Sara (Samra?) were supposedly good leader trainers which is shocking but we’ll let it slide.  They hiked the Bubbles in Acadia and enjoyed the scenic fall days.

Saddleback: Jake and Cat and others hiked this #cool mountain. It was windy and really fun and there was even some SnOoOwwW

Clifton: PJ, Jack, and Julia (and others) went to Clifton to do some climbing! They learned a lot, did some bushwacking, and struggled to do find parking lots.

Owens: She went to the ocean and hit the waves and was trained and was tested and did super duper deee duper well!! Go Owens!


Canoeing: Teddy and Emmy are planning to go canoeing this week! Details TBD, stay loony-tuned.

Spring Break!!  It may seem like a very far way away, buuuut….it is. Fine, it is. BUUUUUT we have to start planning now because we are on top of our GAME!!!! So get in your PROPOSALS BY NOVEMBER 15TH. 


Events: COC Thanksgiving planned for the Sunday before the holiday itself, during the meeting time, at the cabine!!!! Be on the lookout for a splendid email from Ms. Hannah “Flossy” Bossi regarding a form in which you can say what you will offer the bountiful table of friends.

Sugaring / Cabin: Wood was stocked at the sugar bush and at the cabin! Thank you to that hard work!

Gear: Send Spencer Martin ( just everything you’ve ever wanted with a COC logo / design on it. It’s fun and it also we’ll spread our mission and greatness far and wiiiiiide.

Trips: No comment, Owens was still in ocean mode.


WFA: This weekend it is happening! If you want to do it, get your money ($152, but you can get reimbursed $100 if you become a COC or COOT leader) to the COC office by tomorrow (11/9)!!! Office hours are 7-8 pm Monday-Thurs PER USUAL team.

Hot Seat: Julia “Go get ’em” von Ehr and Brittany “Fresh” Bossi were hot seated!!!!!!!!!!!!! That means they’re now COC leaders.



They came. They saw. They talked and hung out on couches.

By the Grace of God, Teddy completes the minutes this week, allowing you to live vicariously through words to experience what proved to be another epic day in the graffiti-ed temple.



Skiiers: The club continues to be occupied by people who CANNOT APPRECIATE THE PRESENT. Fall is at its prizzzime, people! Just kidding, these rad folks went to Sunday River and tore it up (literally, like with mud and dirt): Lex, Emma, Cat, Buck, Spencer!

Beehive: Eric and Reesy and Sage (among others, who did not choose to make the trek to M-low ce soir) hiked in Acadia this weekend, in costume!

Tumbledown: Gregory, Ramon, and Logan hiked the loop trail of Tumbledown, helping dogs and humans along the way to make it safely through caves and to live their dreams of seeing a moose! (Alyssa’s costume was super convincing I guess?)

Parents Hike: Brittany and Anna and FORTY OTHER PEOPLE went hiking via the magic that is Parent’s Weekend! Dogs and middle-aged humans were there.

Sugarloaf: Buck and Maddi hiked it! Buck decided socks were a no-go on this one, and it worked out anyway!



LTT: Tell us by tonight if you want to go on this! This weekend, Saturday-Sunday, Sara and Sam will lead the Leader Training Trip, which is required to become a COC leader unless you have done a backcountry COOT training trip. There is a mandatory meeting on Wednesday from 4-6 pm to talk about risk management with Ryan “Wolfdog” Linehan as well!

Saddleback: Cat McLure needs a co-lead for what could be an epic trip!

Round Top: Anna C needs a co-lead for what ALSO could be an epic trip!!

Trail Work Opportunities: 1) “Debrushify” Quarry Raod!!! Important work. Email for more info! And 2) Work in Liberty, ME (free ice cream) ! Email if you are interested! 

Paintball Biathlon: Quarry Road is hosting this awesome event this weekend!!!!!!! If you are interested in volunteering or in participating in the event itself, email!




  • Meeting this week at 7 pm in the COC office, come on by!
  • Working on a COC Thanksgiving event! (Taking suggestions for catchy names as well).  We’re thinking bring the food that you’re thankful for, and it’ll be a mis-mash potluck fiasco extravaganza sha-bang!


  • Thanks to all who helped clean this past week! Much appreciated!
  • Full inventory now, so go check it out, and check it out!! (hahaaaa)
  • Black Diamond pro-deal now exists! Celebration nation! Working on an OR rental deal for rain gear!!!!!


  • If you’re interested in becoming a trip leader trainer, please email!! This is an awesome position to have w/in the club.  Must be a current COC leader.  If you’re interested in outdoor ed, this is 4 U!
  • SPRING BREAK Proposals are due November 15th!!!!!! Please get brainstormin’ on this, guys! Dream big! Grand Canyon! Zion! Cleveland!
  • WFA money is due this Wednesday, the 4th, to Logan!
  • Next week we will have a trips planning seshhhh after the meeting, so if you’re a leader or have ANY KIND OF ENTHUSIASM AT ALL, feel free to stay till 8 and get psyched about the woods and mountains!

Cabin / Sugaring:

  • Wood was stacked at the Cabin and at the Sugaring station in the arb! Winter is coming!
  • Shirts are here and they are good looking and sans quotes marks, so get your wallets out kiddos!


  • Apogee Adventures is coming to Colby this week!! This is another great company to lead trips for in the summer! They have stellar programs, and a solid Colby contingent of leaders! Check ’em out in Lovejoy 213 on Tuesday at 7 pm.
  • Our presidents said “cool” at the same time!!!!!! They’re witches I think.
  • Ramon Arriaga, Thomas Gregston, and Jake Lester all were hot-seated and are now COC TRIP LEADERS so if you see them around campus, head butt them in the shin (they’ll understand).


(that’s French for “go back to doing your work, peasants”)

This is what we talked about:



Camden SheJumps: One thousand ladies went to Camden Hills to hike for the SheJumps event! There was rain and enthusiasm and empowerment!

Winter Came: Apparently there is snow in places, and an unhealthy amount of people went to Sunday River to ski the couple of slopes that exist. Reports say that it was 50/50 dirt and snow.

Tumbledown: Sage and Ella and Caitlin hiked Tumbledown and it was glOOOOOHHHrious!

Sugarloaf: Sam and Amy and crew went to Sugarloaf and they even hiked back down! (The chairlifts were not running)



Women in the Outdoors Month: Dialogue this Monday (tomorrow) at 8 pm in the coffeehouse! Attend!

Saddleback: Logan and company would like to go there.  You should too! Details TBD!

Halloween Hike: We’d love to have people lead this! Tell us if you want this to happen!!!

Parents Hike: Hannah B will be leading this hike for parents weekend! Sunday at 9 am.

Cadillac: Reesy and Eric will be going here. There may be a sunrise involved?! Look for an email Tuesday!

Costumes: Does someone want to a costume hike for HALLOWEEN?!

Trailwork: Would you like to lead a trip in Liberty Maine doing some awesome trial work?! Let us know! Nov 1 or Nov 8!


Tell us soon if you want to lead one! Grand Canyon! Zion! Dream Big (Bend)!

Committee Updates


COC Thanksgiving – bring the food you’re thankful for. Date? Location?

Hike w/ Hardy Girls, hike in the arb and maybe rock climb? Friday the 13th ooOOOOoo~~

Gear: skis are starting to get checked out…they look like they’re in good shape. whisperlites replacement parts were bought! and fuel canister caps were bought! exciting! tell spencer what kind of things you want him to buy…tele boots are looking popular right now?


LTT! Nov 7-8! Sign up here:


don’t burn down the cabin. also sam k lost a sleeping bag, so ESPECIALLY don’t burn it down. 


that’s all folks. HAPPY WEEK.




I am the captain now.


Trips that done happened:


Fall Break


Canoeing: Keenan and many others (none of whom were at the meeting) went canoeing! some blood (Keenan bled a lot) and sweat, no tears (very happy)

Presi Traverse! Chloe and Sam and others did all the Presidentials except Madison! But who needs Madison anyway, he wasn’t even one of the first three presidents. They saw the Bossis who DROVE UP WASHINGTON. NEVER LET THEM LIVE THIS DOWN. Also, Hannah has no say in Bossi family politics.

Acadia: PJ and CMC crew went mountaineering in Acadia! Blood, sweat, maybe tears of joy. No nude climbing unfortunately. Consider it a missed opportunity.

Dacks: Sara went to dicks range with an all-girls crew. Summitted 3 dicks plus 2 other unimportant peaks. Everyone universally agreed that the Whites are better than the Adirondacks.

Camden! Cassandra and crew went to Camden! They had no blood (losers) but lots of vomit. Cassandra distanced herself from the puke. Boats are tough.


Other Trips


Buck is a defector! He went to the Fundy Footpath in the grand land of Canadia. It was cold.

Logan went to Burnt Mountain! That’s near Sugarloaf! Skiing!! Anyway, he failed to follow Gregory’s example and therefore there was no lone nudity.

Spencer has no friends so he went to acadia with his family! He was a tourist. Brother Spencer found a knife! No news of him using it yet.

PRETTY FACES was watched. That wasn’t a trip, but it was AMAZING. More movies ahead?

Owens and Julia went to Katahdin this weekend! Owens wanted to do ridiculous stuff but instead just summited katahdin in a blizzard. As you do. Also, Owens was scary.

Logan drove by Katahdin this weekend! It’s still a mountain.

Bigelow was attempted to be hiked by Maddi and crew! Instead they just all got naked. Bought some alpacas too!

Spencer drowned in a kayak and has now come back to life.


Trips that gonna happen:


Logan wants to lead a Saddleback hike the weekend of Halloween (friday-saturday?) Rumor is one Gregory Naigles might be there??

Sara’s leading a costume hike on Halloween!! Gonna be spooky.

Brittany is leading a parents weekend hike the Sunday of parents weekend! Yay parental units!

Chloe and Lex and Sophie and Grace are doing SHEJUMPS on Sunday! Check out emails from them for more info!

Sophie Gould and I are leading a Sugarloaf hike on Sunday! It’s gonna be like skiing uphill without skis!

WFA november 14-15!! You need it to lead! Really cool course. Info will come later this week. Hooray for medicine!

LTT weekend of november 6-7!!! Info will be coming on that. We’re bad at getting info.




Events: Women’s climbing night (and whittling!) this Wednesday!! We love alliteration!

Old dudes fly fished! Anna did too. They then caught people on Dana Lawn! That made people mad at Sara, as all COC events should do.

Hardy Girls hike is being planned by Emma! Around November 13th maybe?

Events committee meeting Thursday at 7! Y’all better be there.

Coffee house discussion on women in the outdoors at 8 pm on Monday the 26th!!


Gear: Spencer has a lot of work to do!

No more buying little things, just selling them (aka headlamps). WE GONNA HAVE A SHOP.

New stoves and fuel stuff! Yay Spencer.


Cabin/Sugaring: shirts are coming!! Talk to Seth or Lydia, especially Seth


Trips: Owens is sad because she doesn’t have anything to say.


Hot Seat:


Chloe: likes to poop in mud

Eric: has no voice, couldn’t hear what he was saying


Spring break?


Think about it!



PS PSA (pre script public service announcement): come to the meeting 10 mins early to enjoy raging dance parties.

Trips Reports:

Katahdin! Cat and team went up and down the Saddle Trail, because of conservative recommendations by the BSP rangers (idiots). Cheers to accurate itineraries / punctuality!  Also there was ~papaya~ !!

Wahsington! PJ and cru hiked MT WASHINGTON! They ate pancakes and local bacon courtesy of local parents (PJ’s).  HOOOO rah. 

Shag Crag! Owens and crew climbed outside! sport leading! climb at the wall in the gym! then go outside!

SLOAF season begins! Sara and Spencer and Julia and Sage and more people walked up the mountain and then sat down the mountain. (Chairlifts!!!) Bummin’ it like some professionals. 

Grace Fowler wins Portland Half Marathon! jk she finished though! Also there’s this crazy running moose that you should all look up on the world wide web! 

Katahdin w/ friends! Maddi B hiked the great one, via the Hunt trail! She saw a thru hiker who she had given a banana to 2 weeks ago! 1 new friend!

Committee Updates:

Gear: Email if you wanna have some #input with what we #purchase


  • A successful Fall Fest was had! INCREDIBLE ice cream was made courtesy of Chef Hannah and her sous chefs, along with some toasty sugary banana goo.  People also enjoyed some slacklining and whittling in the fall sun!!!!!
  • Women in the Outdoors Month is ONGOING!!!!!! Look for future events comin’ your way!

Cabin / Sugaring: Nothing new on our end!

Trips: Owens made a new online ERP for trip leaders to use! It is spleeeeendddidd. Innovation!

What’s the PLAAAAAAN:

Fall Break!!!!!!! Peeps be headed all over the state! And out of the state! Take photos and text them to Teddy so you can be insta famous (follow @colbyoutingclub / @sammysinkles)

Email Jake Lester for a date 😉 over Fall Break. Canoe the Charles with ur resident campus cutie.  But on the real if you live near Beantown, hit him up!

Leader Retreat!!!!!! If you are a leader, check yo email for details regarding our retreat OCT 16-17th at ze cabine.


By Gregory Naigles

Location: Mount Washington, Sargent’s Purchase, NH

Date: 9/15/15

Difficulty: 4

Trip Length: Day Trip


Now that I’m living in New Hampshire, I figured, what better thing to do in September than to hike Mount Washington? It’s something that I had read a lot about and had always wanted to do, and Tuesday, September 15 looked to be the perfect day. It was that time of year again, the same time of year that I had hiked Katahdin the past three years. The weather report said that it would be quite warm at the base, meaning that it might not be too cold at the summit (whose average summer temperature is 52°F), and it was supposed to be a sunny day. Of course, I knew about how changeable the weather on Mount Washington could be, so I brought a raincoat, a full change of clothing, and a bunch of layers with me anyway. I made my normal peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, and then went to sleep early the night before so that I could wake up early and have enough time to do the hike.


I woke up at 5:45, and ended up leaving my apartment around 7. It took just over two hours to drive to the trailhead. Before starting out, I asked the people at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center a few questions about the conditions. They said that the temperature was nice and the sun was shining, but that it was a bit windy. I’ve dealt with some pretty strong wind before, so that didn’t discourage me.


My chosen hiking route was the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, the most popular trail on Mount Washington. I had briefly considered doing Huntington Ravine, but then I decided that, since the Huntington Ravine trail is the most difficult trail in the White Mountains, that I should wait and do it when I’m not hiking alone. On weekends, Tuckerman is apparently very crowded, which is why I decided to do the hike on a weekday. The trail is about 4.1 miles long, and ascends 4,250 vertical feet. But the first part seemed fine. The 2.4 miles to the Hermit Lake shelter are basically a wide, rocky, gently climbing road. It wasn’t too hard, but it can take away a good deal of energy if you’re not careful. And the thing was, I knew that I would need as much energy as possible in order to climb the headwall of Tuckerman Ravine.


There were a good number of other people on the trail, but it wasn’t too crowded. At the Hermit Lake shelter, there was a spectacular view of the ravine above. I could see Lion Head on the north side of the ravine (and in fact, next time I hike Washington solo, I’m going to use the Lion Head trail). So far I was making relatively good time, but I had a feeling, after seeing the immensity of the ravine, that my good time wouldn’t last. I was right.


The 1.1-mile climb from the shelter to the plateau above the headwall ascended about 1,500 vertical feet, and took over an hour and a half. The steepest part was entirely above treeline, so while I was huffing and puffing from the climb I did get to enjoy incredible views. As I approached the top of the ravine, the wind started to pick up, so I took my hat off and put it in my backpack so that it wouldn’t accidentally get blown off my head. Going up the headwall, I hiked with a German couple, sometimes ahead of them, sometimes behind them. I also met a woman who told me of the existence of a hikers’ shuttle that brought hikers down from the summit back to Pinkham Notch via the auto road. As the ascent was taking longer than I anticipated, this began to look like a better and better idea.


At the top of the headwall, it was clear that there would be no respite from the climbing; all that was left was a climb of about a thousand feet in 0.6 miles, over fragments of bare rock. This final part bore some resemblance to some of the trails on Katahdin. This part wasn’t as extreme as the Cathedral Trail on Katahdin, nor was it on a sharp ridge like the Hunt Trail below the Tableland, it was instead kind of like a much steeper version of the last half-mile of the Hunt Trail on the Tableland. I only had to use my hands a few times on this stretch, but it was still very tiring. Just below the summit, I passed a group of SCA volunteers who trying to put rocks in strategic places to make the trail more well-defined, which was definitely necessary since this stretch was not well-defined at all. I was just about spent by the time I finally reached the parking lot at the summit of Mount Washington, four hours and thirty minutes after I had begun.


The summit of Mount Washington is an elaborate series of parking lots, roads, signs, paths, and buildings. Due to the existence of the auto road and the cog railway, there were a substantial number of people at the summit. It was not too difficult to determine which people were hikers and which weren’t; the non-hikers were wearing cotton, while the hikers were not. By this time, I had already made my decision. I walked into the summit lodge and bought a ticket for the hikers’ shuttle back down the mountain.


I did this for a few reasons. First of all, if I had simply eaten my lunch at the summit and then hiked back down, assuming that the hike down took as long as the hike up (which is a perfectly reasonable assumption considering the trail – in fact, going down might have taken even longer), then I would have gotten back to the trailhead at around 7 PM. The sunset that evening was at 7 PM. Thus, if I was delayed by anything, I might not have gotten to the trailhead before it got dark. In addition, I was absolutely exhausted from the hike, and the fact is, most injuries while hiking occur on the way down, when hikers are more tired. Finally, and most importantly, I was hiking alone. If I had been with a COC group, particularly one with lots of experienced hikers and people who were certified in WFA, then I would have felt substantially more comfortable with hiking down. But since I was alone, if anything went wrong I would be completely on my own. Now, in all likelihood, if I had decided to hike down, I would probably have made it safely back to the trailhead, possibly even before 7 PM. But I simply didn’t want to take the risk that something bad might happen, especially considering that there was another option.


So I now had about 45 minutes to spend at the summit before the shuttle left. I ate my lunch, officially touched the summit cairn, and then wandered around looking at the views. The temperature was about 50 degrees, and there was not a cloud in the sky, so the weather was absolutely perfect. There were some strong winds, particularly from the west, but they weren’t too much of an issue. I was glad that I had put my hat in my backpack, especially after I saw the hats of several unsuspecting tourists get blown away (I find it highly unlikely that those hats were recovered). To the north, Mounts Jefferson, Adams, and Madison were clearly visible across the Great Gulf. To the southwest, I could see the Lakes of the Clouds Hut next to their eponymous ponds. It seemed so close, even though it’s actually 1.3 miles away from and 1,350 vertical feet below the summit. To the south I could see Boott Spur and the large, flat area between it and Mount Washington (sort of like a smaller version of the Tableland on Katahdin). And to the east the Wildcat ski area and the Carter-Moriah range reared up from Pinkham Notch. Beyond those closest mountains was a sea of hard-to-differentiate mountains in every direction. That’s probably the biggest difference between the views from Mount Washington and the views from Katahdin. From Mount Washington, you see lots of high mountains in every direction. From Katahdin, you see a few lower mountains in some directions, and then a vast, forested wilderness and a bunch of large lakes everywhere else. In addition, while the views from Washington were spectacular, there unfortunately was not a single point where I could stand and see the views in all directions at the same time. Katahdin does have a point like this.


When it was time, I hopped on the shuttle and began the ride down. Most of the other hikers on the shuttle had also done Tuckerman, and several were solo hikers as well. The driver pointed out that one of the mountains that could be seen way in the distance was Mount Blue, in Maine, which I have been to (in fact, it was my first co-lead). Sadly, Katahdin is apparently not visible from Washington even on the clearest of days. The road is narrow and has a bunch of hairpin turns, so the ride down was leisurely. The vehicles that are used for these shuttles have special braking systems designed to prevent the brakes from overheating on long, steep descents like this one. A half-hour after we left the summit, I was back at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.


Before I left, I went inside the visitor center and looked at a 3-D model of the Presidential Range, to scale and complete with trails and roads. It accurately showed just how steep the headwall of Tuckerman is, and that the headwall of Huntington is apparently even steeper. One of the AMC volunteers there showed a picture of the Huntington Ravine trail to demonstrate its steepness – the picture reminded me of the Cathedral Trail on Katahdin. With that image in mind, but with no firm plans about when I would return to Mount Washington, I drove back home.