Trip Date: March 7, 2015

Trip Location: Burnt Mountain: Carrabassett Valley, Maine

Trip Type: Snowshoeing

Trip Difficulty: 3.1

There we were, facing the goliath of rock that stood unmoving, unfaltering, unyielding to any force of nature. Burnt Mountain. The beast. The ice monster. The challenge. We were going to climb it and conquer it. Nothing could stop us. There we were, facing the goliath.

We set off, trekking the snowy path that drifted and sloped, winding around tawny birch trees and shivering pines that peppered the mountainside with spurts of green. We were shivering and sniffling in our snowshoes but soon the blazing sun put beads of sweat upon our brows, forcing us to remove layers. The ski trail was packed and smooth so we made excellent time to Burnt Mountain Trail. Upon arrival, we caught our breaths before continuing our schlep through the powder.

The real journey began once our boots hit the trail. The group muscled through the cold, churning up snow fine as confectioner’s sugar, stubborn as mules. The hike seemed to drag on but we refused to give into the cold that gnawed at our legs and bit at our faces.

IMG_2631

Suddenly, a Yeti leapt out from behind a rocky alcove where it was lurking. The hulking, hairy beast whipped its white claws at us, roaring ferociously. Someone had worn cotton…and Yetis love eating cotton. Knowing this, we fought back. We threw snowballs and chunks of ice at the furry animal. Then, out of nowhere, it snatched up our courageous leader, Gregory, and gobbled him down. This was Gregory’s last snowshoe before graduation and we were not going to let it end like this. We gathered our resources and bombarded the beast until he spat Gregory, still thrashing, out of his mouth. The Yeti knew then that we could not be beaten! It whimpered and slipped back into its cave, never to be seen again. (This would have been totally awesome if it actually happened but as it turns out, Yetis are very peaceful and reasonable creatures so instead of fighting, we shared some of Gregory’s Nutella with it and swapped riddles.) Cool beans!

IMG_2641

The author of this blog post. Multiply this by eight, and this is how we felt during the hike.

We said our farewells to our Yeti pal and dove back into our strenuous hike. The next section was steep and unrelentingly slippery. Finally, we wound our way past the last scraggly, stunted tree and emerged onto the wind-swept land above tree line. Rocks littered our path with sharp edges and jagged points but we found a spot to eat lunch. After our short break, we pushed through the last bit of icy incline and breached the top of the mountain. We summited the beast at last! We were there going camera crazy, taking pictures of peaks and hills in every direction.

IMG_2633 IMG_2638

We soon became extraordinarily cold being exposed on top of Burnt Mountain so we shimmied back down. We almost lost a few trippers to the deep snow. They sunk through and fell but they persevered through the giggling and hysteria and we all made it safely back down to the car.

IMG_2649

Our next hike began at the base of the Sugarloaf Lodge. This was the most difficult part of the trip. We had to hike steep staircases and maneuver around boisterous skiers and snowboarders. At last we reached our desired destination: the restrooms. After we summited that, we packed up the gear and drove back home to Colby.

 


Trip Date: February 22, 2015

Trip Location: Old Town, Maine

Trip Type: Snowshoeing

Trip Difficulty: 1.3

Snowshoes

Sunday was a beautiful day for snowshoeing in the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge. Last night’s snow sparkled on the undisturbed trail. Our little group was the first to mark the untouched winter landscape. The white drifts were fluffy and deep, like plowing through powdered sugar.

Unfortunately we saw no real live wildlife at the refuge, but we did see many tracks. Fun fact: chipmunk tracks are incredibly cute strings of dots from tree to tree.

untouched trail

The untouched trail leading off into the majestic distance.

 

For a sense of snow….

Hirundo sign

Here we see our fearless trip leader surveying the plan of attack into the depths of the snow-bound forest while the troops stand idle in the background.

Gregory with map

The snow was so pretty, still sticking to all the branches.

snow on branches

We discovered a delightful shelter about a mile down the trail and stopped for a quick bite to eat. It was quite cozy. Much fun was had!

in cabin 1 in cabin 2

Farther on we came to the overlook point. I didn’t even take a picture because it was so underwhelming. A circle around a log that is two feet higher in elevation than the rest of the trail is not an overlook in my opinion. Whoopee!

Lunch was made all the better by having Nutella to put on our oreos. It almost made us forget how cold our butts were sitting in the snow.

Sophie in the snow

 

We also found a sign that said YOU ARE HERE tacked to a tree. And in fact that’s exactly where we were. How did it know? [insert philosophical thought here] This is also happens to be an excellent picture of everyone on the trip.

IMG_0295

All in all it was a fabulous adventure into the wilds of snowy Maine. And what a day for it too! It was almost above freezing as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds.


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.

group

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.

Group

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.

IMG_0431

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.

IMG_0435

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.

IMG_0443

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.

View

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!!


IF YOU DIDN’T COME TO THE MEETING YESTERDAY, THAT’S OK! WE ACCEPT YOU. also come next week its fun

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!

WILDERNESS FIRST AID WAS LEARNT: Learning!

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 kostrawi@colby.edu (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.

Gear

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!

Events

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.

DAS ALL FROM ME.

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