View Full Version : A new role...South Baldface hike...

10-28-2007, 07:34 PM
I'll post a full Trip Report tomorrow, but I just got back from assisting the outing club at my high school hike South Baldface this weekend. Well, attempt South Baldface...as ice on the trails kept us from summiting this weekend. But it was a WONDERFUL experience, with one of the highlights being this sunrise from the shoulder of the mountain looking up into (k)Evan's Notch...

More to come...



10-28-2007, 08:05 PM
Very cool picture. Tell us a bit about the outing club also.

10-28-2007, 08:42 PM

This is a very cool photo - how old are the kids that are in your outing club?

I'm interested to hear about the kids' evolving interest in the outdoors, especially where you can offer so much in terms of knowledge and experience. It's also great to get kids from the seacoast area to appreciate the outdoors of the north - I grew up in Canaan and actually lived in Newmarket for a while during college...I always found myself traveling back to the hills....:rolleyes: ...most of the friends I met would have rathered a walk to the Stone Church instead of a walk up through the Presis...

Steve M
10-28-2007, 09:01 PM
...most of the friends I met would have rathered a walk to the Stone Church instead of a walk up through the Presis...
I could rarely get anyone to travel to the whites for a hike either. Most of my friends preferred the beach over the mountains.

Jim, looking forward to the trip report...and more pics!;)

10-29-2007, 01:37 PM
Thanks for your interest in the report, I was pretty wiped yesterday and fell asleep BEFORE the first pitch. I didn't find out about the sox until 6 this morning...Boooo me!

So here's the story...

The outing club at my new high school is run by two great teachers, both of whom are both not only well accomplished in the outdoors, but also adored by the students. On this trip I and another science teacher assisted in chapperoning the trip. 14 students origionally expressed interest in the overnight hike, but after gear restrictions and other obligations (cross country qualifying race), only 10 could make it. About half of these students had extensive backcountry experience, the other half had NONE!

Saturday morning we met at the school and again checked packs for the essential gear list, helped the students get their gear as waterproof as possible (extra pack covers and plastic bags inside) and headed up north.

It was pouring at the trailhead, and everyone looked slightly disheartened, but took off in good spirits after a group picture. This was the last time I heard a complaint, a whine, or saw anything but a smile on ANY of the kids faces.

What happened for the next four hours honestly reminded me a bit of the movie the "Breakfast Club". Everyone seemed to have made a silent pact to get everyone else through some of the worst weather imagionable to hike in. They knew they had the gear to do it. They knew there was the experience in the group to do it, and somehow they found the patience and the drive and motivation to help each other like I've never seen kids cooperate.

And challenges did come up. Something as simple as adding layers can become a problem if you've never packed a pack before. And if adding layers is a problem, imagion taking them off! Breaks were frequent as needs were assessed. Everyone always in agreement.

We got to the shelter in about 3.5 hours. The students were remarkably dry considering, but still pretty wet! But the shelter was dry and soon a tarp was up, the shelter set, and cooking accomplished. Everyone was in dry clothes, warm, in great spirits, and having a great time in the pouring rain.

It was at this point that the teachers began to as well...realizing that we've been on edge all day, and seeing how well it was working out, we all lost it, and everything became very funny. I think everyone laughed more between dinner and setting the bear bag than any of them could remember in a long time!

Then...the bear bag. We had a strict checklist, and everyone met it. But we didn't check quantity. Well a few too many parents were a bit too worried about their children lost in the wilderness and ensured that they wouldn't starve. So when we asked for any food to go into the bag...we were a bit shocked at the FIFTY pounds that showed up. It was a good lesson, and a big challenge to hang.

Once it was hung...the rain stopped, the moon came out, and we went to bed.

Everyone was up at 5AM, and they decided to hike up and see sunrise. No motivation from the teachers...it was what they wanted to do. With a few snow flurries in the air, we headed up from the shelter. Encountering impassible ice (very thin glaze on granite = bad)by the third slab, we ducked under a spruce to get out of the wind, and told ghost stories until first light.


The hike out was quick, easy and dry, and we reflected at Emerald pool. Four questions: Best experience, biggest challenge, Learned What, and personal reflection. I was very impressed by the personal reflections...the kids really did gain alot from overcoming this challenge!

As for me, it was a great reassurance of why I went into education after the mountain. I wanted to share my passions with the next generation in a positive and hopefully inspiring way. Science is one thing, but to pass along knowledge and love of the outdoors is icing on the cake.

Can't wait for the winter trip.

10-29-2007, 01:46 PM
Awesome trip report - and experience(s).

As a counselor at a boys summer camp for years I saw the same type of growing through experience. Some of the kids grew up being told they could not do things. Outdoor activities showed them they could - and could do more than they imagined. It sounds like you have a great group to be a part of.

Now to teach them how to use a watch as a compass and other neat Indian tricks.

10-29-2007, 02:02 PM
Some of the kids grew up being told they could not do things. Outdoor activities showed them they could - and could do more than they imagined.

That's the kind of stuff that came out during the personal reflections...things like...I guess I'm really not pushing myself as hard as I could with my college applications and the like...Impressive!

And it is great to be a part of it!

Steve M
10-29-2007, 10:12 PM
That was great, Jim. It actually brought me back to when I was 15 and hiked Mt Washington and then went to Alaska with my science teacher and 4 other students. We were there a month and 90 % of the trip was hiking and camping. We hiked half of the Resurrection Trail(40 miles) and out into the back country of Denali National Park. Those trips gave me confidence in my abilities as well as memories to last a lifetime. I'm still in contact with my science teacher and it's been 22 years since high school.