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Catching Up With the HOC


Maine Coast, White Mountains, Adirondacks …. The Hamilton Outing Club has been out and about conquering mountains and seas around the Northeast this month. Dedicated leaders, members, and directors of the Outing Club have been savoring the autumn weather.

Over the brief October break, Andrew Jillings, director of Outdoor Leadership, took a crew of six out to the Maine coast to battle foamy waters and bitter rain. The hardy crew consisted of Caitlin Purdy ‘20, Erin Bryant ’21, Vicky Anibarro ’19, Dylan Morse ’22, and Jake Ryan ’22. The weather improved each day, progressing from miserable to beautiful by Sunday afternoon. The participants unanimously agreed that the trip did live up to its reputation.

Purdy remarked, “We got to see a ton of old military forts and beautiful islands, plus going on a trip with Andrew anywhere is a learning experience because he knows everything about everything! I also read Into Thin Air by John Krakauer every night so it was also like a trip to Everest in my head.”

Also during fall break, an army of two, Peggy Horne ’19 and Drew Anderson ’21, set their eyes on the Pemigewasset Loop along Franconia Ridge in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The ridge is renowned for its spectacular views and the fall foliage was sure to be breathtaking. Departing from Hamilton on Thursday morning, they returned not long after, being repelled by seriously unfavorable weather conditions. “Albeit some rain and muddy trails, we were happy to take the time away from campus to be in nature and see some peak foliage,” said Horne.

This past weekend, Marley Napier-Smith ’21 and Matt Knowlton ’21 led a trip to Sawteeth, 4100 feet, in the Adirondacks. With access through the Ausable Club, the trio ascended through snow and ice to reach the summit where they were rewarded with spectacular views. Napier-Smith said, “It was so cold that my phone stopped working and we couldn’t take pictures at the summit, but it was absolutely worth it.”

Liam Prum ’20 and Andrea Shipton ’21 also led a trip on Sunday, to Tabletop Mountain, 4427 feet. Similarly, they powered through adverse weather to reach the summit. They had three participants --   Joy Zhang ‘22, Jake Ryan ‘22, and Clare Barbato ‘22. The group crossed Marcy Dam after parking at the Adirondack Loj and trekked through flurrying snow to the peak, but only spoke highly of their experience.

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