Hikers complete 50-mile 'Fall Weekend' trek

by Erica Geller | 10/10/00 5:00am

This past weekend, 23 hikers set off on the Appalachian Trail for a non-stop 53 mile hike to Mt. Moosilauke. Trailworking, a hike called "The Moose" and 46 miles of road biking rounded out this year's Fall Weekend for the Dartmouth Outing Club.

Though the 50 miler was not a competition, Jennifer Mygatt '04 finished first. She said that she will probably do it again, but Jennifer believes that the 50 miler is "something you can't take your time with. After a certain point you're exhausted no matter what." Twenty-one hikers actually finished the 50 miler, and over 140 people had dinner at the lodge.

"[There was] an unprecedented amount of interest in going on trips," said Rachel Goldwasser '01, vice president of the DOC. "[There were] more trailworkers, and we added a climbing trip in order to allow as many people as possible to participate in the act."

Approximately 12 trailworkers worked on "the Moose" trails and 22 on Moosilauke. They relocated several trails, moved stumps, rebuilt water bars and repainted blazes, according to Cabin and Trail member Morgan Heater '01.

Orchestrated by Josh Lozman '01, Leah Samberg '03 and Mike Kelly '01, the weekend went as planned, the weather held up and many hikers finished early. It snowed Saturday night on Moosilauke, but the overall effect was more picturesque than menacing.

DOC President Flora Krivak-Tetley '02 said she was glad to see that one difference from last year was the amount of enthusiasm in trailwork, with a lot of '04s happy to help out.

Unlike past years, such as 1997 when at least 30 people were without support on the 50 mile hike, this year the number of "renegades" -- those hiking unofficially in the group without support -- were definitely down.

Krivak-Tetley said that the reason it's bad to have too many renegades is because it puts too much use on the trail at one time and violates guidelines. However, she added that this year's hikes "went fabulously."

With all the possibilities of what could happen to hikers on an all-night 50 mile trip, or those going up and down Moosilauke three or four times -- "the Moose" -- there was only one minor injury. People finished around noon and slept for only a couple of hours. There was square dancing for all at the lodge and a few 50 milers even joined in on the fun. Fall Weekend is a good opportunity because the lodge is much quieter than during Freshman Trips and, in Krivak-Tetley's opinion, "anyone who does not take the time to get out and see the colors changing is really missing something."

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