Hiking the Presidential Traverse
As a prelude to next year’s Experience Weeks, eleven Harborlight students and two staff members took to the White Mountains last week and hiked a large portion of the Presidential Traverse. After leaving campus on Monday they drove to New Hampshire and arrived at the Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch to meet up with their Appalachian Mountain Club guide, Tim. They went for a short hike in search of a moose seen by another hiker, played some team building games, enjoyed a meal, sorted their gear, and learned to pack their packs in the most efficient manner.
After a good night’s rest and a nice breakfast, they were off for even bigger adventures Tuesday morning. The next four days took the group up and down Mount Madison, Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson, Mount Clay, and Mount Washington (twice).
With some extreme weather conditions thrown into the mix and some unavoidable changes in itinerary the children learned to be flexible and resilient as well as intrepid and adventurous.
They pushed themselves, motivated each other, and celebrated their accomplishments as a group. They enjoyed amazing scenery, learned about the flora of the White Mountain National Forest, lived off the grid, and made memories to last a lifetime.
After their initial night at Pinkham Notch, the group spent a night at Madison Spring Hut and then two nights at Lakes of the Clouds . Thursday’s plans were altered half way to Mizpah Spring Hut due to less than ideal hiking and weather conditions. Which, in the end, only added to the lessons this group learned along the way. On Friday they rendezvoused with a few additional AMC guides at Lakes of the Clouds, made the trek back to the summit of Mount Washington, and then descended down the auto road via AMC vans.
A huge “Thank you” to Tracy Wood and Brian Fackrell for taking this group on this amazing adventure! As we all know, the learning and bonding that takes place while “going out” from campus is invaluable. We are so proud of this group and are thrilled that they were able to have this experience.