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Snow in the High Peaks Doesn't Hinder HOC


When classes ended for Fall Recess on Oct. 16, the eager members of the Hamilton community set out to maximize their short respite from classes. The Outing Club (HOC) sponsored several trips out into the wilderness for students looking to experience unique beauty and to push their limits.

Dylan Morse ’22 and Shelby McVey ’22 led a canoeing trip into the Whitney Wilderness, the most remote and pristine beauty out there in the Adirondacks. As a hearty group of six, they set out to complete an approximately 35-mile loop of lakes, rivers, streams and portages over four days. Morse and McVey were joined by Brady Slinger ’22, Jake Ryan ’22, Lillian Norton-Brainerd ’23, and Anna Sakamoto ’23 on this adventure. The crew braved bitter rain and low temperatures as they fought through the wilderness.

Departing campus on a Wednesday afternoon, the trip planned to return Sunday afternoon. However, due to unforeseen and extremely adverse conditions, they utilized their lifeline to call the trip early. Using the decision-making and risk evaluating skills indoctrinated into their psyche by Adirondack Adventure, Morse and McVey rang Andrew Jillings, director of outdoor leadership, to come pick them up.

In addition, Andrea Shipton ’22 and Jay Carhart ’21 brought a trip of students up to the High Peaks of the Adirondacks on Friday. They loaded up the HOC van with all sorts of winter weather gear, including microspikes and plenty of hats, gloves, and puffy jackets. Anticipating some ice on the peaks, the leaders prepared the group with microspikes, which attach to the soles of boots, to increase traction on potentially icy faces.

They parked at the Adirondack Loj just outside of Lake Placid and hiked past the Marcy Dam on their way to the summit of Phelps Mountain. Phelps Mountain, named after Orson Schofield “Old Mountain” Phelps, the man who cut the first trail up Mount Marcy, is the 32nd highest peak in the Adirondacks. It stands 4,160 feet high.

A group of 10 departed from the Hamilton campus and met up with one student who is in the Adirondack Program at the Mountain House in Keene Valley, N.Y. Shipton and Carhart were joined by Thomas Coulon ’23, Nick Ng ’23, Bella Moses ’23, Violet Newhouse ’23, Dominic Lannon ’22, Fatima Oliva ’23, and Irene Park ’23. Ben Westcott ’20 left from the Mountain House to meet them for the daring hike. As the group approached the summit, they encountered more and more snow, but persevered nonetheless to triumphantly reach the top.

And just like that, it’s winter in the Adirondacks!

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