GLP – MITOC Hiking and Climbing Trip

2 Jul

By Anissa Tan

What do SUTD students do during the weekends?

How about… Randomly join a hiking and climbing trip to Groton, New Hampshire, organized by the MIT Outing Club!

And sure enough, that’s what 22 of us did!

We left on Friday night and took different cars to reach Camelot, a cabin in the forests of New Hampshire which was owned by MITOC. Upon reaching, the more experienced hikers and climbers in the group came together to plan “trips” for the next day. Thereafter, commoners like us would choose the trips that we would like to join – these ranged from moderate to strenuous hikes, to full-day climbing trips.

Next up, let’s allow the pictures to do the talking! =)

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This is the cabin where around 40 odd of us stayed in. It was a cosy and authentic experience indeed!
Word is that this cabin was built in the 1930s by some MITOC MIT undergraduates. The land which MITOC owns was also sold to them for really really cheap (USD1 if I remember correctly!)

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The even more adventurous ones pitched a tent outside and slept by the campfire!

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This was the interior of the cabin. Some slept in the attic, some on the couches. Definitely squeezy, but more comfortable than I thought!

Come Saturday morning, all of us were up early and raring to go for our respective hiking and climbing trips!

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Seen here is one of the groups who endeavored the Franconian ridge trail. It was an exhausting and challenging hike where they conquered 4 peaks, and which took them up to 10 hours to complete! They got back really late as well, which really worried the rest of us because we thought that something may have happened, and up in the mountains, there was no way we were able to contact them. For the full story of their epic adventure, contact anyone of those people you see in the picture! Haha!

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This was a spectacular panoramic view from atop the peak of the group that conquered Mount Moosilauke. Kudos to some of our friends on this trip who sprained an ankle, and another who experienced cramps halfway through the hike. They carried on and completed the hike, a true display of determination. =)

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Another great above-treeline view here  =)

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As for myself, I and two other friends, joined one of the climbing trips! We went to some cliffs (I can’t remember what the place is called) where we got to try out natural rock and crack climbing for the first time! =D

Although I used to be a climber back in Junior College, this was my first time climbing natural rocks. What was exciting was that the footholds and handholds were entirely up to you to find and choose. While climbing, don’t be surprised to encounter ants, spiders and mosses as you reach into the rocks. Also, as it was crack climbing, we had to use lots more hand, fist feet and toe jamming moves. Basically this means that you jam these body parts into the cracks, to use as leverage to get closer to our goal of getting to the top!

Next up, for the hiking and climbing trips that ended earlier in the day, some of us then decided to go out exploring some more. One of the MIT students who was familiar with the area, brought us to a really scenic part of the river where there were cascades, and where we could go for a swim!

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Here’s some of the boys posing for the camera. The water might look clean and warm but that’s only half-correct. It was actually clean and really cold! (Even though it is summer)
Some of us actually brought soap and shampoo and intended to take a bath in the river, but we eventually decided against it, as that would pollute the river. What’s more, going two days without a bath, ain’t so bad.

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As for me, I didn’t want to get totally soaked, so best I could do was climb over to the middle of the cascades and pose for a picture! Nature is awesome!

Come Day 2, some of us were really tired and decided to head back to Boston. However a few of us decided to stay on in New Hampshire and try out more stuff. As for myself and another friend, we decided to follow one of the groups to go for a hike!

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This was a group shot taken at the peak of Mt (Somethingsomething) (Sorry I am not good at remembering names!) We didn’t actually plan to stand this way but coincidentally the two shorter people stood in the middle, giving rise to some nice symmetry. It was a really satisfying climb to the top, especially for myself as I’d never climbed anything as high as 4,000 feet. (My previous record was only Bukit Timah Hill haha)

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One last random thing you would notice is that while on hikes, we often run into people who bring their dogs! These dogs are definitely more fit and much cuter than us.

All in all, this short weekend getaway was definitely a worthwhile experience. Being able to ‘rough it out’, makes me appreciate the many conveniences in modern life that we often take for granted. Through climbing and hiking, it has reminded me of several life lessons.

For the other 21 SUTDents, their experience and takeaways from this trip would most definitely differ largely from my own. However, I think I can speak for all of us, in that the time spent with good friends and being able to meet and get to know random people from all walks of life; that’s what made this trip even more memorable!

I am really thankful for the opportunity to come for this trip, and I look forward to the other experiences in GLP that await us in the weeks ahead! Till then, take care invisible readers!

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