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HOCtober Halloweekend Hikes


It was a busy Halloweekend for the Outing Club as the newest batch of leaders was eager to get out into the High Peaks and show what they learned. The leaves are not yet done changing and the characteristic early snow of the Adirondacks has not descended upon the High Peaks. Many students found that crisp, cool mountain air is the perfect remedy for a mid-semester lull and were able to enjoy the pristine beauty of fall in upstate New York.

Bright and early Saturday morning, an intrepid group of 12 embarked from the Glen House. Led by newly trained leaders Mike Moubarak ’21 and Marley Napier-Smith ’21, the group tackled Gothics and Pyramid Peak. Although both are above the 4,000 foot threshold for the High Peaks, only Gothics, which checks in at 4,734 feet, was marked in the original survey and not Pyramid, which stands at 4,550 feet. The weather was pristine and they moved faster than they originally expected.

 “The trip struck the perfect balance between fun and challenging, we had a great group that was hungry for the breathtaking views that were waiting at the top,” said Moubarak. Roger Danilek ’21, Honor Allen ’21, Claudia Morse ’19, Alexander Walen ’21, Julia DeMaio ’21, Gus Huiskamp ’21, Peter Case ’21, and Liesel Guenther ’21 joined Mike and Marley on the adventure and sang praise to their leadership skills.

As the HOC Gothics group climbed their peaks, Sean Conroy ’21 and Sadye Bobbette ’21 led a smaller group of adventurers to the Adirondack Loj just outside of Lake Placid. The Loj is owned and operated by the Adirondack Mountain Club and houses access to a large number of trailheads and peaks. Along with Amy Harff ’21 and Hannah Katz ’21, they conquered Phelps Mountain, the 32nd highest peak out of the 46 at 4,161 feet, and Mt. Colden at 4,714 feet.

Unfortunately, the early darkness caught up to them and they were unable to capture Tabletop Mountain (4,427 feet). Of the experience Conroy said, “Safety is always first priority on HOC trips and although it would have been nice to also summit Tabletop, we knew that it was important to follow our training and make the right decision.” 

HOCtober is over and the time to trade boots and fleeces for snowshoes and puffy jackets draws nearer. Winter hiking is a whole different animal, but HOC is ready. There will be winter hiking seminars available, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for more news.

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