Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekend in the Outdoors! (finally)

Hey y'all!

So like I briefly mentioned before, I just had a snow-filled, kinda chilly weekend full of wilder-awesomeness. As a part of the Wilderness Instructor Training Program, in which Boates is also participating, us twelve instructors-in-training (ITP'ers) spent this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday getting acquainted with winter mountaineering gear in the field, and developing skills in maneuvering safely and efficiently in a winter environment.

We were split up into groups A and B, so on Friday each group did one activity, switched activities on Saturday, and on Sunday we did the same hike from opposite ends of the trail, meeting in the middle to high-five and exchange van keys. A description of the weekend is also on the WP Facebook page.

I was in group B ("B" for better ;p), so on Friday we began with snowshoeing down by Sugarbush, VT. I had, oddly, never used snowshoes before, so that was a first for me! It was pretty cool to be walking over snow and ice that would be rocks and streams in the summer, and it was just nice to be outside in general.

Saturday was mountaineering day for group B, so we went up to Smuggler's notch to cruise around in the woods with some crampons and ice picks. Now, I said "cruise around", but this is actually some serious equipment, and we were with a trained professional in a potentially dangerous environment, so this isn't something one should just go out and do with buddies (unless y'all are some mountaineering bosses). That being said, it was a great time, we all stayed safe, and I learned a lot. Also, rappelling down ice is REALLY fun. Check out this photo from the WP facebook page:

Not ice, but still fun.
Last but not least, Sunday was the day that us ITP'ers got to plan our own trip. We made time control plans, collected "group gear" (emergency shelters, emergency stove, etc.), and planned a hike at Camel's Hump in VT. It went well; we hiked the same trail from opposite ends and were able to meet in the middle. Our group had some difficulties in the morning (bad roads, finding trails), but although an hour later than the other group, we made it home safe. It was cold and windy, but we had a good time, and learned a lot about planning and guiding trips.

'Til next time, and thanks for reading!

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