There are seven trips that are purely hiking. Each trip follows roughly the same format: on the first day, you hike into a campsite or lean-to and set up a basecamp. The following days are spent doing day trips up nearby mountains carrying only what you need for the day. The exceptions are the two point to point trips which start at one place and end at another, meaning the group carries everything to a different campsite every night.
Difficulty & Mileage
A word about the difficulty and mileage of each trip: the daily mileage and itinerary of each day trip are quite flexible. Leaders and participants will decide together what they want to do each day, and then the whole group follows the same plan. (Rule number two of hiking: don't split the hike.)
So one day might be quite vigorous, and the next, the whole group decides to hike in the morning and go swimming in the afternoon.
While the Sewards and High Peak trips are usually more strenuous than the Range trips, do not get locked into the exact mileage. When all's said and done, it's the people who count, not the miles covered.
The point to point trips have less mileage than the basecamp trips because of the heavier load. Our goal is to have everyone in camp by 3 -4pm, so that people can relax, chat, drink hot cocoa and play games.
This AA trip operates in tandem with the fall semester Hamilton course, "Religion in the Wild" (Religious Studies 155). Only those students who take this AA trip will be allowed in the class, making for a unique learning experience. We will do readings in conjunction with our trip, walking through trees and leafing through pages of ancient philosophers, modern artists, poets, and mythmakers. Students will do brief readings over the summer, and discussion will begin during the trip. Our Adirondack Adventure will serve as a stepping stone for further in class discussions through the semester. And we will return to the "wild" at two times during the semester. Please be willing to make two Saturday trips during the fall.
Professor Plate grew up doing backpacking and rock climbing trips in Joshua Tree and the Sierra Nevadas in California. Since then he's walked through the Rockies, Cascades, White Mountains, the "Bens" of Scotland, and the Black Forest of Germany. His teachings and writings focus on the physical dimensions of religious life and experience. He claims that you cannot understand what religion is until you do it with your body. Its not so much a "set of beliefs" as a "set of sensual activities."
Indeed, Jesus, Moses, Siddharta, and Mohammed all had significant experiences in the wilderness. These experiences shaped their lives and the religious traditions that they helped found. We will read from and about philosophers, mystics, and spiritual seekers who have gone to untamed spaces for inspiration. We will then turn toward the modern world, and its ongoing spiritual/secular impact, reading works by H.D. Thoreau, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Gary Snyder, Sara Maitland, and Jonathan Franzen, and look at films including Into the Wild and The Straight Story.
The AA trip itself is based on the Northville Hiking Trail, offering a point to point trip on rolling terrain rather than a basecamp and daytrip style. More quiet and isolated than other trips, who tend to see people on the summits, this trip offers a great opportunity for a group to draw together and begin an academic exploration.
This trip uses part of the Northville-Placid trail, a 133 mile route through the highest and quietest areas of the Adirondacks. Mellow terrain, ancient forests, beautiful, quiet ponds and great views from a fire tower make this a perfect point to point trip for those new to hiking in the backcountry.
Quickly becoming a leader favorite, this trip will set up a basecamp in the beautiful Adirondack Mountain Preserve. From here, day trips to any of the surrounding peaks are possible, with a refreshing dip in Lower Ausable Lake awaiting the tired and footsore. Dial, Nippletop, Colvin, Sawteeth and Gothics are all within striking distance of your beautiful campsite.
Entering the High peaks region from Keene Valley, the group will hike four miles along the John's Brook trail to camp near John's Brook Lodge.
Day hikes from this basecamp include the challenge of the Sawtooth Range, including Lower Wolfjaw (4175 ft), Upper Wolfjaw (4185 ft), Armstrong (4710 ft) and Gothics (4736 ft).
Other options for the trip include Saddleback (4515 ft), Basin (4827 ft), Haystack (4960 ft) and Slide (4420 ft).
The trip's first day is spent setting up basecamp at Bushnell Falls, five miles up the John's Brook valley. The next two days are spent doing dayhikes to some of the following peaks: Marcy (5344 ft), Haystack (4960 ft), Basin (4827 ft) or Gothics (4736 ft).
Indian Pass (Medium)
This highly successful trip is back and raring to go! This is a point to point trip, starting at the Adirondack Loj and finishing at Upper Works. On the way you will visit the remote Scott Pond, Mt Marshall and possibly Wallface Pond. The highlights of the trip are the amazing views from Summit rock and passing through the 1,000 foot deep Indian Pass where snow can be found hidden even in summer!
Entering from the Tahawas iron works and following Calamity Brook for 5.5 miles to the Lake Colden Dam, the group sets up their basecamp. From this central location, there are opportunities to climb the highest three peaks in the High Peaks: Marcy (5344 ft), Algonquin (5140 ft) and Haystack (4960 ft), as well as several others.
A visit to Flowed Lands and Hanging Spear Falls is also possible.
This exciting point-to-point trip begins at pristine Round Pond (distinct chance of a swim) where the group settles in for the night. Moving on next morning there will be chances to 'bag' Dix Mtn. (4857 ft), Hough (4404 ft) or Nippletop (4505 ft), the last two being trail-less day hikes with daypacks. The trip finishes at remote Elk Lake.
This trip may interest those with a real taste for adventure. The first day is a flat, five-mile hike into basecamp at the foot of the Seward Range. The three peaks in the Seward Range are Emmons, (4040 ft), Donaldson (4140 ft) and Seward (4361 ft).
There are no maintained trails here, only herd paths and scrambling. This makes for long days and great adventures.
Options for the other days include Seymour (4120 ft) - the fourth 'Seward'; the Sawtooth Range (five peaks that range from 3700 to 3900 ft); or a visit to a great swimming place: Duck Hole (10 ft deep).