Warm sunny weather and beautiful fall foliage made for an unforgettable fall break for members of the Hamilton Outing Club. The short vacation saw Outing Club trips hiking in the Adirondacks and sea kayaking in the Atlantic off the coast of Maine while other members used the break to tackle individual challenges throughout the Northeast.
Casco Bay Sea Kayaking
Andrew Jillings, director of Outdoor Leadership, and Madison Atterbury ’17 led a group of students to the waters of Casco Bay in Maine. Over the course of four wonderful days they paddled from Portland to Freeport stopping along the way to camp on breathtaking remote islands, develop outdoor living skills, visit the remains of abandoned fortifications dating back to the Civil War, and hone their abilities as sea kayakers. “Watching the full moon rise from the middle of a meadow on what was essentially our own private island was one of the most memorable moments from a very special trip” said Atterbury.
Adirondack Hiking and Rock Climbing
Gaby Pilson ’17 took a group of students to the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks to hike and rock climb. Destinations included the top of Roaring Brook Falls, the Washbowl on Giant Mountain, and the summit cliffs of Owl’s Head Mountain—a scenic location for some rock climbing. On the final day of the trip the group summited Giant, one of the Adirondacks’ 46 peaks that rise above 4,000 feet. “At the top of Giant we were treated to panoramic views of the High Peaks in prime fall colors and the sky was so clear you could see the mountainous spine of Vermont,” Pilson exclaimed.
Several of the Outing Club’s leaders also took advantage of the break to pursue individual challenge trips. Sam Bernstein ’17 took to the rapids and waterfalls of the Moose River outside of Old Forge for Moosefest, one of the Adirondacks’ premier whitewater kayaking festivals. Meanwhile Anna Mowat ’18 and Anne McGarvey ’17 ventured into the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence Seaway to camp on islands, explore and eat good food. “My favorite part was cooking,” said McGarvey. “Every campsite we stayed at had an established firepit and abundant wood so we ended up cooking every single meal over an open fire which was a really fun challenge.”
Now that fall break is over and classes are back in session all that remains is to put away gear and think back fondly to time well spent. “These trips are an awesome chance to experience amazing places near campus with students in all different years,” commented Maggie Horne ’19, a participant on the hiking and climbing trip. “They definitely help shape my time at Hamilton.”