As I mentioned in my last post, Saint Mike's runs a series of pre-orientation weekends during the summer for new students enrolling in the fall semester. One of these programs, the Wilderness Orientation Weekend (WOW), is coordinated by the Wilderness Program office (WP), and I got to co-lead one such program this past weekend.
|Having lunch on a rock, day three, Lamoille River.|
The multi-sport program consisted of three different field excursions: a day hiking, a day climbing, and a day white-water paddling. So on Saturday morning, our group woke up at 6.15, rolled out of Pontigny Hall at about 7.00, and began our ascent up Mt. Mansfield at about 7.50. The weather on Saturday was looking like it would be a bit sketchy in the afternoon, so we decided to hike up the Sunset Ridge trail in the morning so we could catch it before it got nasty (which was well worth it, because I imagine the exposed ridge line would have been much less enjoyable in a torrential downpour). We made it to the summit before noon, took the Laura Cowles trail down with a lunch break on the way, and then made it back to the campsite at Little River State Park by early afternoon.
Sunday was part-two of our multi weekend, and WP vet Mike helped us set some some top-rope climbs out at Bolton, VT (about a 15 min drive from Little River, 40 min from SMC). We spent the day working on basic belay and climbing technique, but mostly on encouraging everyone to try climbing and have fun doing it. Total, we set about 4 or 5 routes (one of which was the notorious Harvest Moon). There was a variety of strengths in the group, and it was fun to see each of the participants challenge themselves in different ways (it's also possible that I may have sent a climb myself, but that's beside the point).
|Swimming the rapid, funniest face of the day.|
It was a great weekend, and I can't wait for fall orientation to roll around so I can see everyone again (seriously, we miss y'all!!!). I'm already looking forward to a new semester, and hopefully spending some more time outdoors with all the awesome people I got to meet on WOW.
So see y'all in a month! And thanks for reading!