Opt Outside with the Mountain Club!

Opt Outside with the Mountain Club!
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Mount Lafayette, Franconia Ridge. Nov 2016

As veterinary students, we spend most of our time pouring over syllabi, listening to lecture recordings on twice the speed, and flipping between Facebook and Snapchat for study breaks. Mountain air, rock scrambling, and cell phones on airplane mode provide a pretty awesome reprieve.

Mountain Club’s objective is to get students active and outside, whether they grew up doing the whole “wild child” thing or they’ve never owned a pair of hiking boots. Since it launched last fall, Mountain Club has seen veterinary students and faculty rock climbing indoors & outdoors, camping, and hiking throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

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Mount Greylock. November 2015

All skill levels welcome

Members of the club have a wide range of experience in the outdoors; those who are more experienced help those with less experience.  Personally, I have been leading trips since my freshman year at University of Vermont, where I was elected as a leader of the Outing Club. I went through a year’s worth of training in leadership, back country skills, and outdoor education, and became a certified Wilderness First Responder.

My favorite part of these trips is the unique opportunity to connect with peers outside of the classroom and hospital setting – spending a few hours getting to know each other without discussing exams. Sometimes on the trail, wrong turns are taken, or the weather decides to take a precipitous turn, but navigating these bumps can be fun and memorable!

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Mount Mansfield. October 2016.

Adventure on Mount Mansfield

One particularly memorable trip was our 2016 fall foliage hike up Mount Mansfield. In early October, we headed to the highest point in Vermont. We awoke at the campsite to a drizzly morning.  We began our hike up the mountain, and stopped for lunch on a rocky outcropping with beautiful, sweeping views of the Vermont landscape. It was a good thing that we had stopped for lunch when we did, because the rest of the hike was above the tree line and completely exposed to the hailstorm that started right after we resumed our hike. Determined to make it to the peak, we made our way into the clouds, stomped our boots on the summit marker, and trudged down the mountain laughing.

What’s up next 

This semester, we have a ski/snowboard trip, pond hockey, a backpacking trip to the Adirondacks, a sunrise hike, and a Stand-Up Paddleboarding/rafting trip in the works, along with the usual day hikes and Wednesday nights at the Central Rock gym in Worcester. Trips are open to non-Tufts friends, as well, and if the trails allow dogs, they’re welcome to come, too!

We hope to hit the trails with many more members of the Cummings community this year. To stay in the loop about upcoming trips, email theresa.rooney@tufts.edu to be added to the list-serve. You can also join our Facebook group. Happy Trails!

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