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.


Hi everyone! It’s your secretary here. This is where I write words about what happened in the COC office on Sunday night at 7 pm juuuust in case you were lame and happened to not show up!

Quick recap from our actual first meeting on 9/13: Everyone sat in a pile and it was sweaty. Sam Krumholz wore a sleeping bag because he was excited (??).  We also hot-seated Allison and Sophie as trip leaders! They sat in the fun chair on top of the old chest thing.  This was an exciting development. OK ANYHOO

This week, the gist:


Stars Over Katahdin; Two weekends ago, a glorious crew gazed upon Katahdin’s curves and the vast night sky for the second annual (*that we’ve attended*) Stars Over Katahdin event in Katahdin Woods and Waters. YEEEee fall in maine.

LTT: Our first Leader Training Trip graced Acadia National Park, and seven innocent laypeople became wise woodspeople in just two days! You can too! Congrats, though, actually.

Katahdin: Spencer and Alyssa took a crew up Katahdin, roasted weeenies, and slept under the stars.  Nuff said!

Katahdin^2: Maravilla and Eric also took a crew up Katahdin, but couldn’t come to the meeting unfortunately. Look for their epic blog post describing their rad adventure in Baxter!

Reesy SEES Bigelow: Nathaniel gave gummy bears to a thru hiker who likes to “keep it breezy”on the trail……………..

Jake Lester + XC: The cross country team revealed their upper thighs to the ocean in Acadia this weekend, where they went for a long run!

Teddy + BC: The boss country team revealed their smiles to the arboretum, when we went for a *lite* trail run.

JENNIFER PHARR DAVIS: She came to Colby, and it was incredible.  We now have one of her books, which she signed! She told us about all three times she’s thru hiked the AT, and about what to pack in a pack, and introduced us to her child, who is awesome. Thank you, JPD.


Katahdin: Do you want to hike the tallest mountain in Maine?? (“yes omg yes”) Then you should sign up for one of our 2 trips heading up to Baxter State Park this weekend! They are on the CALENDAR (click this thing)!!!!! Sign ups close tomorrow night at 7 pm, and then we will do a lottery to see who goes!

Common Ground Country Fair: This is an epic thing that is happening this weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). There are shuttles that will leave provided by Colby! Also sign up for Cassandra and Spencer’s half-bike-half-drive trip that will save you a couple dollars on the entrance fee! WOOoooOo farms!

Old Speck: Maddi Bistrong and Teddy Simpson are leading a day hike to the Mahoosucs to hike Old Speck, the 3rd tallest mountain in Maine! Signups will go up tomorrow (Tuesday) night!

HOLLERINGS (idk, its like “announcements”)

***Fall Break***: If you want to lead a trip somewhere over Fall Break, look out for an email this week with a quick form to fill out! It’s gonna be epic.

Climbing Nights: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday this week with the Colby Mountaineering Club! 7-9:30 pm in the field house of the Athletic Center! Come one, come all, no experience necessary!!

Meru: The epic film was extended and is still showing at Railroad Square this week! GO SEE IT

Trail Work: Are you interested in helping the Woodsmen Team and PPD out with maintaining our beautiful arboretum trails a couple times a month? Shoot me in email if this really get’s you goin’:

OK OK MINIONS THAT’S ALL FROM ME – have a lovely week. PEACE

Mt. Katahdin / Baxter Area, 09/12/2015-09/13/2015, Difficulty (1-5): 2, Trip Length: Overnight

This weekend 8 daring Colby students visited the stunning area by Katahdin and Baxter State Park. After what seemed like hours on a potholed, rocky, precarious road, we met with the Woods and Waters of Katahdin Organization and went on a quick 3 mile hike up Barnard Mountain. At the top we had a great view of the monstrous Mount Katahdin!IMG_4320

Our guides told us the history of the trail and of the area. We made our way down and roasted some hotdogs (Kimberly burned one and so did Thomas but they were good with a lot of ketchup). Then a few local astronomers and professors gave 10 minute discussions about various space topics like how the Big Dipper (really called the Great Bear) got its long tail from a hunter who did not want to kill the bear but wanted to save a boy the bear wanted to eat. So he grabbed its stubby tail and swung it around until it stretched and tossed it into the sky…yeah some of the astronomers were very expressive.

The telescopes were set up after dinner and the Milky Way came out! Luckily the clouds stayed away so we could view Saturn, the Lagoon Nebula, the Dumbbell Nebula, and more!

The marshmallows we had later were outrageous. They were the size of apples. We gorged ourselves on processed sugar and sprawled out under the stars and slept soundly…until the rain came. We made a hasty retreat this morning and arrived safe and sound back at Colby.


Great food and greater people.

By Gregory Naigles

Date: 6/27/15

Location: Kent, Connecticut

Difficulty: 3.2


It had to be the right day. After suffering through two long weeks of temperatures in the 80s, I finally found a day where the temperature would be only 70 degrees – perfect. My choice of hiking destination wasn’t too difficult – I figured I’d return to a beautiful set of rugged hills in the western Connecticut town of Kent, located in a state park called Macedonia Brook.


I had done the 6.7-mile loop, climbing the highest hills in the park, once before, eight years ago. I wondered how much I would remember from then. The most salient facts that I remembered were that the scenery was incredible, and that the trail had, to quote the hike book, an “eight-foot ledge with minimal handholds” and a “thirty-foot sloping ledge” that were always interesting, and they proved to be this time as well.


And so it was at 10:15 AM on Saturday, June 27th that I pulled up to the trailhead in Macedonia Brook. It was located near a series of campsites, and the namesake brook babbled peacefully nearby. Without much hesitation, I started up the trail on the east side of the valley.


I hiked the first half of the loop in record time. This is the easier half, with relatively good footing (at least compared to the second half), and mostly gentle slopes. I enjoyed listening to the birds chirping and watching the ants crawling and the squirrels jumping. At one point, I crossed a road right next to a stream, and out of the stream flew a heron! Once I had joined the trail on the other side, the heron went back into the stream. I felt bad for disturbing it.


Twenty minutes later and one more hill conquered, I tumbled out onto another road, where a vehicle was parked. I noticed that the vehicle had a Georgia license plate, and briefly wondered why a Georgian would come all the way up to Connecticut just to hike Macedonia Brook. Then I saw that the license plate had Fulton County emblazoned on it. It all made sense to me now. Clearly Owens had come to do some hiking here, and I wondered briefly if I would bump into her. Of course, if she had started at the same place that I had, then she would probably have finished the entire hike already by the time I got to the vehicle, but that’s another story.


(The vehicle wasn’t actually Owens’. Her vehicle does say Fulton County, though.)


I then walked along a road that had been built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and mentally thanked FDR for it. I soon approached another road. However, as I did, I heard a strange noise from the other road, and looked down to see what it was. I could hardly believe it. It was a yeti.


I quickly hid behind a tree, hoping that the yeti would just continue along the road and not notice me. However, the yeti stopped moving, pointed its head in my direction, and started to growl. I got very nervous.


The yeti took a few meaningful steps toward my position. I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I run away as fast as I could? Should I yell and scream in the hopes that someone was there nearby who could fight off the yeti? Or maybe I should try to fight off the yeti myself. I did have my walking stick with me.


Suddenly, I heard a noise in the shrubs next to me, and a small child emerged. He waved at me, and then ran along toward where the two roads met. I realized that what I thought was a yeti was actually just a group of hikers coming up the road. I laughed it off, and we enjoyed witty banter.


One hill after that, and I was standing at the bottom of the eight-foot ledge with minimal handholds. I ultimately scaled the ledge without too much difficulty, but I needed all of my five feet and five inches to do so, and that left me wondering, “How on earth did I do this eight years ago?”


After I climbed the 30-foot sloping ledge, I suddenly felt exhausted, as if all my energy had just suddenly disappeared. I wasn’t too surprised, though. I had, after all, done the whole hike so far at a pretty quick pace. It reminded me of the Katahdin trip my junior fall, where I had plenty of energy to climb the Abol Trail, but as soon as I got to the Tableland I felt totally drained. However, I knew that the summit of Cobble Mountain, which has the best views in the area, was pretty close, so I summoned up my energy reserves and made it to the top.


The summit of Cobble Mountain is exposed to the west, and thus has an unobstructed view in that direction. I could see the Taconics in New York, and beyond that the Catskills. When I opened my lunch, I suddenly remembered that, along with my standard peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, I had also brought a special strawberry from the garden at my house. I named this strawberry BERR, and for the remainder of the hike I carried it in my pocket, wrapped in a spare sock that I had brought. From this exposure, Berr clearly learned a lot about the outside world that most strawberries don’t have the opportunity to learn. Unfortunately, once I reached the trailhead again, I found that Berr had started to turn colors from internal and external bruising, and that the leaves were going brown. Berr clearly needed immediate medical assistance. Luckily for Berr, I did just earn a diploma from a particularly fine institution, so I used the knowledge and skills represented by the diploma to tend to Berr. I opened my mouth and my stomach’s fluids welcomed Berr’s not-particularly-doughy substance with great pleasure. He had a good home in my digestive tract for a few hours.


At the summit, I also briefly considered holding a flag behind me in a pose that Eric knows well, however I was deterred from this by the fact that 1) there were other people on the trail, and 2) it started to rain. I hiked the final 1.5 miles downhill through a light rain, which was refreshing. As Sam knows, it wasn’t my first hike where precipitation began while at the summit.


The hike was pretty close to perfect. The weather (mostly) cooperated, the trail was a mix of easier and more difficult sections, and the scenery was classic Litchfield Hills. I hope that all of you are going on lots of hiking trips (or, in Owens’ case, sea kayaking trips), and I’d love to hear about them!

By Gregory Naigles


Location: Salisbury, Connecticut

Difficulty: 3.0


I wanted to find the perfect day for a hike. All last week was insanely hot, and over the weekend and in the first part of this week, it rained. However, I could see that June 3rd would be both sunny and not too hot, so it was the clear choice for my hike. I then had to figure out where to go. After thinking about this only briefly, the logical decision seemed to involve visiting the place where, only 14 months ago, I almost fell off an ice cliff. This hike also involved ascending the highest peak in Connecticut, Bear Mountain, located in the extreme northwest corner of the state. Driving up from home, I passed through Spencer’s old stomping grounds in Barkhamsted, and briefly wondered what he did in his spare time when skiing wasn’t possible.


(Just FYI – interesting fact. Bear Mountain is the highest peak in Connecticut, but it is not the highest point. Just northwest of Bear Mountain is Mount Frissell, whose summit is in Massachusetts, but whose south slope extends into Connecticut. The point at which the south slope of Mount Frissell hits the border with Connecticut is at an elevation of 2,380 feet, while the summit of Bear Mountain is only 2,316 feet. Thus, the south slope of Mount Frissell is the highest point in Connecticut, while Bear Mountain is the highest peak in Connecticut.)


There were three other cars at the trailhead on Undermountain Road (Route 41) in Salisbury when I arrived. I set off just before 11. The last time I had done this trail was that time 14 months ago, during Spring Break 2014. The trees and shrubs hadn’t bloomed yet, so I could see the countours of the area around me. Not this time. Everything was green and in bloom, and it pressed in against me, so that I could barely see off the trail. But I had hiked this trail, the Undermountain Trail, several times before (this was actually my sixth ascent of Bear Mountain), so I knew what to expect. I made good time up the first part of the trail, and made it to the junction with the Paradise Lane trail, a 1.1-mile distance, in almost exactly a half hour. This is pretty fast by my standards, although I’m sure Owens would have left me in her dust if she had been there.


At the junction, I knew that the Paradise Lane trail would be a right turn, so I took the first right turn that I saw. In not too long of a distance, I found myself in a camping area. This was unexpected, since I had used the Paradise Lane trail at least twice in the past, and neither time did I encounter a camping area. I assumed the trail must have been rerouted. But then the trail just seemed to end at the camping area. There were a few side trails there, but they were just to the wash area and the privy. The woods road that the trail had followed to get to the camping area quickly became overgrown and unblazed past the camping area. I was briefly confused, since I had never had this problem before, but then I saw a sign that said ‘Trail’, and a trail that went up the steep hill just west of the woods road. My confusion was only slightly allayed, since I did not recall this steep ascent on this trail either, but I followed the trail up the hill.


The short ascent took me up to the Riga Plateau, where the trail quickly ended at a T-junction. There were no signs at all, and only the trail to the left had blazes. However, I knew that I wanted to go to the right instead, so I took a right, and followed the unblazed but well-maintained trail for at least a mile. I suspected that this was the Paradise Lane trail, but I couldn’t be sure. However, gradually my suspicions were confirmed. The east side of Bear Mountain became visible from the trail, something that I remembered from past uses of this trail. In addition, the trail gradually became more blazed, and ultimately I arrived at the junction with the AT north of Bear Mountain, 2.1 miles from the junction with the Undermountain Trail.


I turned left and started the ascent of Bear Mountain. Just before the mountain reared up ahead of me, I passed through a flat area, where the trail to the cabin on the northwest slope of Bear Mountain meets the AT. The trail goes sideways up the mountain a bit, but then turns and goes straight up. The rock ledges were everything that I remembered them to be – big, tough, and fun. About halfway up, I saw a particularly high ledge, and a tree right at the edge of it, and recognized it as the place where I had almost fallen off an ice cliff 14 months ago. I remembered what happened – I had lost my balance on the ledge (not hard when the trail is icy and you’re wearing a backpacking backpack), and ended up sitting right at the brink of the ledge, straddling the tree, with it being the only thing preventing me from falling off the ice cliff. I couldn’t move because my backpack was heavy and my snowshoes couldn’t get any traction. If I had fallen off the ice cliff, I could easily have broken some bones. So instead, I took my backpack off and let it fall down the mountain, and without that weight I was able to get up and find a safe way around the cliff. Luckily, this time there was no ice or snow, so I was able to ascend the ledges without much trouble.


I always enjoy the summit approach on Bear Mountain. Finally the open sky comes into view, and gradually the monument as well. From the top of the monument, the views are amazing in all directions, but particularly north and east. Two people were there when I arrived, and I learned that their plan was to go back down the way I came up, and take the Paradise Lane trail back around to the Undermountain trail. They left about five minutes after I arrived.


While enjoying the views, I ate lunch, which was, as usual, a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich. I encountered a bunch of people at the summit – one thru-hiker, two people who looked like section-hikers, and a few others who were waiting for the rest of their group to show up (they never showed up – at least not while I was there). After spending a half-hour at the summit, I went down the much-more-gradual north slope of the mountain. I encountered a bunch of people on that section of trail as well, and they were all asking how far it was to the summit; this is the kind of trail where you always think that you’re almost there but never are. I made good time to the junction with the Undermountain Trail, which I took back down.


Just as I was approaching the junction with the Paradise Lane trail, I saw a pair of hikers on the Paradise Lane trail also approaching the junction. Sure enough, it was the two people who had left the summit five minutes after I arrived. We exchanged pleasantries, and as they continued down the mountain, I looked around briefly at the junction. It was not the same junction where I had joined the Paradise Lane trail going up.


I suddenly realized what had happened. On the way up, the first right turn that I saw, which I took, wasn’t actually the Paradise Lane trail; it was just the trail to the camping area. The actual Paradise Lane trail junction was a few hundred feet up the trail from that first junction, at the place where those two people had come out from. The trail that I had taken up the hill from the camping area was clearly just a connector trail. And the trail at that T-junction clearly was, in fact, the Paradise Lane trail, which explained why it went in both directions.


Now that I understood all of this, I was content to continue my descent. I hiked down the rest of the trail about 500 feet behind those two hikers. I made excellent time going down, taking only 80 minutes to descend from the summit to the trailhead. Thus, I spent a total of 3 hours and 20 minutes hiking (not including the half-hour I spent at the summit eating lunch), which isn’t bad for a 6.4-mile hike that ascends 1,600 vertical feet.


At the end, I felt satisfied, which is always the right feeling to have at the end of a hike. Bear Mountain had never failed me in the past, and it certainly didn’t fail me now.

By Gregory Naigles


Location: Weld, Maine

Difficulty: 3.2


I got bored during Senior Week; no more work, graduation preparations haven’t begun yet. Thus, I figured that the natural thing to do was to go hiking. I debated a bit about where to go – I wanted to climb Mt. Abraham (which I will do on Thursday), but I wasn’t sure about the snow and ice situation at the tops of those mountains. Thus, I decided to climb a slightly lower mountain before doing Mt. Abraham. I eventually chose Little Jackson Mountain, which is just east of Tumbledown, and about 400 feet higher, and has lots of open ledges at the summit and great views (on nice days, at least). Thus, Wednesday morning I left Colby eager to climb a great mountain (and do my first solo mountain climb in Maine).


I had waited until Wednesday because of the rain on Tuesday, and the weather forecast said that Wednesday would be partly cloudy but without any rain. However, this forecast proved to be a bit optimistic, as twice during the drive to Little Jackson there were brief periods of rain. However, the temperature was excellent (not too hot and not too cold), and there were very few insects to annoy me.


I decided to park at the trailhead on Morgan Road, rather than at the Brook Trail area and have to walk an extra mile. This isn’t recommended by Maine Trail Finder or the AMC Maine Mountain Guide, however it worked just fine. Morgan Road is a dirt road that is more rugged than the dirt road where the Brook Trail trailhead is located, however my tiny vehicle still managed to traverse it just fine, so it would be a piece of cake for Big Red or the Bossi-van.


The trail was easy to follow. The only unsigned junction is the first one, maybe 0.2 miles from the trailhead, where the Parker Ridge Trail goes left and the Little Jackson Trail, which I took, goes right. There’s a sign for the Parker Ridge Trail, but not for the Little Jackson Trail. The trail then ascended at a moderate grade. It includes two well-blazed detours around the dominant woods road where the road was washed out. The Pond Link junction was well-signed, and I continued to the right at that junction toward Little Jackson. The next part of the trail involved crossing several streams (very easy) and then went up a short, steep section on rocks and dirt. This part certainly requires exercising caution, but it wasn’t that hard.


The steep section leveled out at same time as the trail finally reached above the trees and onto the open ledges. From here, it was a very windy 0.8 miles to the summit. So windy, in fact, that I put on the extra layer that I brought just in case, and took off my hat since I was concerned that it would blow away. The day was a bit foggy, so the views weren’t quite as amazing as they would be on a clear day, but they were still excellent. The trail was a mix of open rock, and the kinds of vegetation that Sam is named after. It took me, a relatively slow, solo hiker, almost exactly 2 hours to hike the 3.4 miles and 2,300 vertical feet to the summit.


The summit had a large cairn and a USGS marker, and helpfully also had a small rock structure that offered some protection from the wind. If Eric had been there, we all know what he would have done, however I didn’t do that, since there really isn’t much point if there’s no one else there to document it.


I headed down relatively quickly, since I wanted to eat lunch somewhere that wasn’t quite as windy. On the way down the open ledges, the wind picked up, and my ears started to get very cold. I began to think that a hat like Lydia’s yeti hat might have been useful. I ultimately ate lunch just before the trail went under the trees – there were great views of Webb Lake and the mountains to the south.


I then ducked under the trees and went down the same way. It took slightly less time for me to go down. Ultimately, the whole hike took 4 hours and 10 minutes – 2 hours to go up, 20 minutes for lunch, and 1 hour and 50 minutes to go down. By this point the weather had improved, and the 90-minute drive back to Colby went smoothly.


I highly recommend this hike for people who want an alternative to Tumbledown in the same area, that is a little higher, a little longer, and still has lots of open ledges. The views were pretty good even today; I can’t imagine how nice they would be on a clear day. Additionally, Little Jackson is much less crowded than Tumbledown – I didn’t see a single other person on the trail today.

And then, on the first Sunday in May, they gathered once more.  Their boisterous laughs and winning smiles outdid even the most vibrant of the COC office’s graffiti art. The people elevated the room to a level deserved of only deities.  And gods there were, in attendance: a departing class of ladies and gentlemen who have graced this office, yes, but also these mountains and rivers and forests and snowfields, for four beautiful years. So, per usual, the Colby Outing Club celebrated a week of good times spent out of doors.

“So, who went outside this week?” John Bengtson ’15
  • Gregory Naigles ’15 went on a geomorphology field trip! School is cool, kids!
  • Lydia went in the arboretum for a jaunt, as did JB
  • Kim went running in runnals
  • Eric reported a “good” leader training trip to Acadia.  His nonchalance is inaccurate, folks!  Sleep with your eyes open till we get a blog post up on the site that is worthy of our adventures (we had 3 bottles of Chahlula……………)
  • Kat Belle ’15 danced her last dance at the ‘loaf on Sunday.  She and Molly Nash ’15 may not sleep inside again until graduation.
  • JB played croquet?
  • Ryan Cole ’15 and John Tortorello ’15 went to Chipotle…and walked between science buildings. John rode his bike once.
***Important: Owens made a motorbike. That’s the loud thing going around campus. She describes it as “like a chainsaw between my legs.”  Do with that what you will.
CABIN SHINDIG: It shall be Sunday the 9th
There will be meat. There will be non meat. There will be awards. (please send suggestions for all 3 to
PLATFORMS for Committee Heads
Events: Hannah Bossi
Sugaring: Lydia Wasmer, Anna Krauss
Gear: Ben Wheeler
**Please vote in these non competitive races in the email that John B sent out!
not many people because of Loudness. BUUUT:
  • carina wants to hike the bigelows during reading period!!!!! We cannot endorse this, however, so this will be unofficial.
  • Jake Lester, Ryan Linehan and a CRU will be paddling’ the ‘ski on Thursday!

AU REVOIR MES AMIS I WILL MISS WRITING THE MINUTES SO MUCH haha I am coming back next year nerds !

Signing off,

Teddy “Sexcretary” “T$” Simpson