It may be cold and windy, and we may have had to postpone to next Sunday the planned trip to the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in Old Town, but some of us still wanted to be outside. So Sunday morning, at 11 AM, Anna, Lydia, and Gregory strapped snowshoes to our feet and headed into the Arboretum.

We snowshoed over hills and through valleys. The wind alternately blew in our faces and didn’t blow at all. We took main trails, side trails, dead-end trails, and loop trails. We spotted familiar landmarks and went through totally new areas. But despite everything the weather could throw at us, we still had an amazing time.

Sadly, no pictures were taken so we can’t liven up the blog with those, but this is what the conditions were like:

Picture 2

Picture 1


Trail Difficulty: 1.2

Weather Difficulty: 3.7

Location: Oakland, ME

Date: January 25, 2015

Trip Difficulty (1-5): 1.3

Trip Length: Half-day trip


On the bright, sunny morning of January 25, six enterprising Colby students embarked on a casual jaunt along the Messalonskee Stream Trail toward Oakland in search of an amazing brunch. We enjoyed snowshoeing at a leisurely pace through the newly fallen snow.

Eventually, the trail briefly came right up to the stream.


We then walked through a beautiful snowy forest, paralleling Messalonskee Stream, until we arrived at the 5-way intersection in downtown Oakland. The Early Bird Restaurant was just a short walk from there.

We went right in and ordered our brunches. Our waitress was Gerry, who, according to Sara, who has had her before, is excellent. Our walk had built up our appetites, so we ate our food with great delight.

Lydia eating


We made excellent time on the way back, and got back to Colby at around 1:30 in the afternoon.

I can’t think of any ice cream or yeti metaphors to add here, but suffice it to say we all had a great time!

Location: Great Pond Mountain

Date: January 24, 2015

Trip Difficulty (1-5): 2.2

Trip Length: Day trip


This Saturday a group of trippers braved the snowy roads and the icy trails to hike the mountain of the Great Pond near Orland, Maine.  Unfazed by an oncoming storm, the group dominated the hike up the mountain and reached the top in record time.

View from summit

The summit provided the group with some great views and lots of smiles.

At the summit

The way back down the mountain brought about many more challenges than the way up, but along with that came a lot of fun.  The group was faced with trails covered in ice, and no obvious way down the mountain.

Icy trail

Of course, the group made the best of the situation and saw a chance to get some solid buttsliding in.

Maddi buttsliding

Our fearless leaders led the way down treacherous terrain and back to the cars to brave the snowy roads home.

Gregory crossing the ice

Snowy icy road


Despite the lack of microspikes (that were all being used by John and Hannah’s trip), no serious injuries were suffered, even though everyone did fall at least once. That did not prevent our intrepid group from having an amazing day on the mountain.

Location: Camden

Date: January 17, 2015

Trip Difficulty (1-5): 2

Trip Length: Day trip


This Saturday a brave troop of Colby students journeyed to the deepest depths of the Camden Hills in search of the monstrous and mysterious yeti. We are proud to say that not a single explorer was lost along the way during this perilous expedition. And despite the danger, all members of the group were able to don a hearty smile.


At times, the snowshoes they wore gave them trouble…


Near the cliff

… but they eventually got their act together and straightened themselves out.

Our snowshoes

The group’s first order of business hiking on the trail was to find the renowned Maiden Cliff, where 150 years ago it is alleged that a yeti threw a girl over the edge, where she fell to her death. This story was confirmed, as the trippers discovered a large white cross in the place where she was pushed over, and quite a spectacular view to accompany it!

In front of cross

Gathered around cross

After confirming the existence of the yeti, the troop moved onwards in search of the creature himself! They followed what appeared to be his tracks for a few miles…

Open ridge

Just because the team was on a mission doesn’t mean they didn’t have loads of fun!

Dagmar and Kimberly disguised themselves as the yeti to surprise the rest of the group…

Snow in the air


… and they all had a good laugh.

Eventually they arrived at Zeke’s Lookout, the deepest point of the woods, and a fantastic spot for looking out at the ocean.

Zeke's Lookout

There, the team sat down for a refreshing lunch, which refueled them for their long journey home. The balmy 7 degree weather provided perfect conditions for a possible daytime yeti sighting, however, it did not prove to make eating lunch an easy task. Even so, the team prevailed with all limbs intact!

Back out of the woods, no yeti having been spotted, the team of explorers decided to utilize their talents instead by surveying the frozen lake at the bottom of the cliff.

Frozen lake

Overall a fantastic day. Trees, snow, sun, cold, spectacular views, and no wind! But most importantly, the awesome troop of explorers lit up the forest with their good attitude and heart-warming camaraderie.


Location: Lincolnville, Maine

Date: January 10th

Trip Difficulty (1-5): 1.5

Trip Length: Day Trip

This past Saturday, 11 brave souls attached micro spikes to their boots and ventured into the woods. Fernald’s Neck, just outside of the Camden Hills area, proved to be an excellent hike.


As we trudged through the powdery snow, it was decided that both Nick and Eric would be eaten first if our trip turned Donner-esque. Within the half hour, we arrived at our first overlook and enjoyed a quick photography break.


We continued onward in hopes of finding a way onto the frozen pond. We came across the “silver trail” which took us to Balance Rock.


When we reached the edge of the lake, we saw snowmobile tracks and decided that if the ice could hold a snowmobile, it could hold us. But, just to be sure, we shed some layers and took awesome photos.


After sharing lunch on an island in the middle of the lake, we packed up our supplies (including cholula hot sauce thanks to Hannah) and headed back for the cars.

All in all, it was an awesome day. The wind was minimal, the snow was fresh, and the people were awesome.

Location: Rome, Maine

Date: November 22nd

Trip Difficulty (1-5): 1.3

Trip Length: Day Trip


This Saturday, ten gregarious Colby students set out with one special banana and the hope of seeing flying saucers turn the snow into flying monkeys. The trip was amazing. We hiked casually, taking breaks often, told lots of stories.

Alyssa and Kyle

As we were almost done ascending the round mountain, we took a break at a scenic overlook scattered with rocks. Within the rocks, A PORCUPINE EMERGED!! The group was in awe. Pictures were taken, memories folded into our minds, and the porcupine receded into his warm bungalow.


A special guest, YOB the Banana, joined us in our adventure to find the roundlieness of the top. Although he had a much more adventurous life than many other bananas, his body had to be consumed shortly after the hike. External and internal bruising turned his peel brown. He needed urgent remediation from this depraved physical state, so with my newly primed WFA certification, I assessed the hazards and consequences of this matter. I opened my mouth and my stomach’s fluids welcomed his doughy substance with great pleasure. He had a good home in my digestive tract for a few hours.

Yob the Banana


Nick with Yob

Outside matters of YOB the Banana and a porcupine, the group had a fantastic time hiking. All matters of fun were explored, including, but not limited to: picture taking, whittling, cold, stories, makeshift spear throwing, snowballs, standing on ice, and climbing rocks. At the top of the mountain (it was a very round top), the group sat down for lunch. Though it was very cold to sit bundled in our warmest clothes, the view was fantastic, and the company was even better.

Greta, Eric, and Nick at sign

This hike was like a round scoop of ice cream because of the roundness, the cold and the sweetness! First, the roundness of the top is similar to the roundness of ice cream. Second, it was so cold it felt like we were swimming in ice cream!! Third, the people and hike was as SWEET as doughy cookies n’ cream ice cream!!


Here’s what happened.

Trip Reports:

Molly and Kat enjoyed Runnals, with fire and bikes and hikes and smiles.

Caroline, Drew (internal bleeding?? prolly not), Logan, Eric, and Deanna (among others to be sure) went to the loaf, where there was snow on which to ski! Yahoooooooooooo

Shayla explored Baxter, which is guaranteed to be a good time. And it was.

John T went up Mt. Abrham, and he said, “It was fun. 10/10 would recommend.”

Cassandra learned how to repair bikes, go her! Learning! Bikes!


Many a fine folk learned how to splint and stitch and do surgery on the brain. We are prepared.  Congrats to all who passed the rigorous exam!!

Upcoming Trips:

Nathaniel and Cassandra will be hiking this weekend, be on ze lookout for email.

Nick and Gregory will be hiking Round Top. Their email has been sent!!!! See it now in your inbox!

Email (Owens) if you’d like a co-lead, she’s offering one of her days up this weekend in the name of leadership!

Committee Reports:

Trip Facilitation

Trip leader info is up on the website, so be sure to check that out. New or hopeful trip leaders, email Owens (kostrawi) to give her some info for our database!

Cabin and Sugaring

Wood was successfully stacked down in the sugarbush, and just a few more lines of tubing have to be put up! Good work ladies and gents!

Cabin loft is still closed. We’re gonna get a grill and sign soooooon.


We got some new shwag, including some sweet headlamps (WHICH YOU  MAY NOT STEAL), some stuff sacks, and more. A BiGgEr gear order will be put in soon (including winter sleeping backs, tele ski refurbishment, ice axes, and mo’), so be on the lookout for an email to approve and edit that!


Come to things on campus this week!!!!!

1. Skillz clinic in the office Thursday 7-8 pm!!! Fire with Bengtson

2. CACOC on Friday from 6-8 in LoPo ( BRING YO HAMMOCKS, BRING YO SASS, 21+ BRING ID)

3. Climbing night in the Field house with the CMC Thursday evening, head up after you learn about the flames.


much snow plz outdoors gods. bye bye babies.



Location: Acadia National Park
Date(s): November 9th-10th
Trip Difficulty (1-5): 2
Trip Length: Overnight
This weekend, 21 of Colby’s best and brightest headed out to Acadia National Park to learn about all manner of exciting topics: risk management, the relative quality of the COC’s Whisperlites, and which colors Spencer can and cannot see. As part of the COC’s new Trip Leader process, students spent Saturday and Sunday learning the hard skills, soft skills, resources and leadership lessons necessary to plan and execute a COC trip. There was also a lot of summer sausage (still unclear if it should now be called “Autumn Sausage”). 
We spent all day Saturday exploring some awesome spots in Acadia and holding lessons on LNT, Trip and Route Planning, Leadership Styles, and Backcountry Cookery. It got a little chilly at night, but Blackwoods was an awesome place to be once the fire got going. The place shuts down for the most part during November, but the gate is still open and self-registration is available; all in all, it’s a great way to experience the usually crowded National Park. 
Sunday, we woke up early, and after a hearty breakfast of instant oatmeal and risk management lectures, we split up to hike Cadillac via the North and South Ridge Trails. Cassandra’s and my group drove on the Park Loop road to the North Ridge trailhead and started south toward the summit, while Owens’ and Will’s people started hiking from the campground. It’s a sick ~6 mile hike with awesome views of Mount Desert Island, the Maine Coast and the Atlantic. 
Spencer did not go skiing. 
IMG_4736 IMG_4742 IMG_4733 IMG_4717 IMG_4706

The Office of Campus Life and COOT is looking for awesome people to be Iced COOT leaders. Help integrate a new group of First Years into the Colby Community! More details and application instructions can be found in the document below.



First and foremost, it SNOWED TODAY!! The COC celebrated accordingly (see Owen’s eloquent account on our Facebook page).

Trip Reports: Due to the seasonal transition, we didn’t have many official trips go out this week, but many folks still enjoyed Maine this week!

Spencer skied on Mt. Runnals and Lorimer Hill!! Gettin’ after it, as expected.

Ben took out his canoe on Ellis pond, and found some “cool old stuff” including a rock with a golden triangle on it. Send conspiracy theories to please.

Hannah Lafleur and Nate Eberly, both graduates of Colby class of 2011, were here to present about job opportunities with Overland Summers, but they also got outside this week! They hiked the Kinsmans in NH! Way to be.

Owens tried to enjoy the snow, but was unfortunately hit in the face with a snowball from very close range.  Her vision is recovering, but if you see her wish her well!

Seth and friends enjoyed the COC cabin this weekend…so they didn’t really get outside, but we’ll still count it.

Gretchen gave a couple haircuts outside, and a snowball came inside Miller Library. So some crazy activities happening in unexpected places!!!!!!!

Upcoming Trips:

Grace wants to hike on Saturday or Sunday (see email from Grace, Lidia, or Teddy with details)

Seth will be stacking wood and setting up lines in the sugarbush (behind the Alumni Center) on Thursday!

Brandon needs a co-lead!! Contact if you can help him out!

Spencer and co will be going to Sunday River, which is open on Monday only (?) contact with quomments.

Gregory and Nick will be leading a trip the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 22nd, so keep your eyes peeled for that future trip!

Leader Training Trip THIS WEEKEND:

As a part of our new Leadership process (see below) we will be holding leader training trips this coming weekend, going to Acadia!!!!

Leadership Process:

  1. Interest inventory / survey.  A way to connect with the Trip Facilitation Committee Heads, and decide the role you want to play as a COC leader.
  2. Shadow a trip.  Not assessed in any way, and not an official co-lead, but merely getting acclimated to the process of being a trip leader.
  3. Wilderness Advanced First Aid (at Colby Nov. 14th and 15th, otherwise look into WMA and SOLO programs nearby!)
  4. Leader Training Trip.  Establishes a curriculum that gives COC leaders a common curriculum for hard and soft skills when leading a COC trip.
  5. Co-lead (can happen prior to Training Trip). Evaluated co-lead of a COC trip, based on certain skills necessary (pre and post trip logistics, group dynamics, etc.)
  6. Interview. Not figuring out whether you’re qualified, but rather a final check in to see how the process was, and to establish your role as a COC leader moving forward!

Events Happening on Campus:

Friday at 5pm in Dana, we’re teaming up with the CAs. Sign up to head an activity here:

Katahdin Woods and Waters will be coming to speak in Olin 1 on Wednesday at 7 pm!

John T says look at his flow chart re: reimbursements! Very exciting stuff, he’s an artiste!