A most spectacular weekend! Following the motto, we were prepared for poor weather conditions, but were rewarded with a beautiful day – Sun, warmth and unbelievably – almost no wind on the summits of Mt. Flume and Mt. Liberty. We had a plan for the hike, followed the plan, and everyone seemed to have a great time. We took perhaps the largest group of scouts ever on a mountain hike and all 18 of them made the full roundtrip. They climbed 3100 feet from the valley to the summit of Mt. Flume, then descended 450 feet, then climbed another 550 feet, finally descending 3200 feet. Altogether, 7300 feet of vertical in one day.
We had special contributions from Zach Dyer and Connor Palatucci who hiked an extra mile and a quarter, including 1200 vertical feet to obtain more water to share with everyone who needed it.
The boys worked together well and had a great attitude. They gave each other ideas about the best ways to get up the steep rock slide trail and in many places had to use hands as well as feet to climb safely. Once on top we had views all the way to Mt. Washington to the east and the Green Mountains of Vermont to the west. We left the mountain as we found it with no litter from the snacks and lunches we had on top. The trip down is always tough because everyone’s tired but there is still much hiking to do and sometimes people have to hike faster than their sore feet would like so that it’s finished in daylight. It’s hard to believe that it’s only 3 miles back down to the valley, but because of the difficult trail, it can take 3 hours.
The scouts planned and cooked their own meals. They pitched their own tents and made their own campfire. They stayed up too late chit-chatting, but still got up at 5:30 am to get going for the hike.
We had many capable leaders who hopefully enjoyed this hike, but also spent their weekend looking after the well-being of these scouts. The adults encouraged the scouts when they were tired, applied first aid when they were hurt, and made sure they had food and water for this 12 hour hike. We’re lucky to have Joel Hidenfelter, Mark Pearlstein, Bill Kilmer, Teresa Ryan, Mike Palmer, Khoa Kennedy, Ellen Harrity and Zach Dyer.
What we hope is that the boys got the bug for mountain treks and will want to do more of them. This weekend was a good step in that direction (pun intended!)