Though classes are out for the academic year, the Hamilton Outing Club (HOC) is alive and well, thriving in the summer weather. Having already hosted one day hike and one overnight hike over the past couple weeks, HOC is planning to continue organizing outdoor excursions for the community.
Sean Conroy ’21, a certified HOC leader, has been arranging and leading these trips. He said that he wants to lead trips most weekends and thinks that, with the absence of schoolwork, people will be interested in joining him. In planning his hikes, he likewise tries to make the difficulty level “inclusive,” allowing for people without significant hiking experience to participate.
Conroy starts organizing the trips at the beginning of the week by researching the local mountain trails that he thinks might be manageable for a Hamilton group. He also considers which of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks he has yet to climb since he is attempting to become a “46er” by the time he graduates. Conroy then looks into the weather for the weekend and determines which day the group should go. Finally, he sends out an email to the campus and starts assembling the people who express interest.
While last week’s overnight hike received subdued interest, the first hike to Bald Mountain included about 11 people and was ultimately successful. Once the group reached the top, they settled in for lunch and enjoyed the clear view of the neighboring mountains. Not necessarily familiar with one another before the hike, the participants spent about an hour chatting before heading back down the mountain. The hike and travel altogether took most of the day, leaving the hikers the night to rest and an entire Sunday to feel sore.
For future excursions, Conroy and HOC will primarily be organizing more easy or medium level day hikes, though Conroy wants to do another overnight hike later in the summer. Upcoming hikes will likely include the Cascade and Porter Mountains and Street Mountain, and Conroy hopes that a water-related trip will happen before the end of the season. HOC overall wants to make the summer full of outdoor adventures that anyone in the Hamilton community can join.