Here are a list of the Backpacking trips we offer. Click the boxes to find out more about the specific trips available and the awesome Batesies who lead them! 

Sam's Summer Trail (Level 2)

Sam’s Summer Trail:

Picture this. The cool late-August breeze flowing through your hair. Leisurely hiking up the second tallest peak in New Hampshire with panoramic views of the awe-inspiring White Mountains. Hanging out, telling stories with two of the coolest people you may ever meet in your life. If that sounds sweet to your ears, your in luck!

Erick MacLean:

Hey, Erick here. Some stuff about me — I live in the most epic state in the union: Vermont. I am a rising senior with a plants and critters (biology) major and an interest in medicine and public health. I enjoy adventuring through the outdoors, skiing, playing hockey and frisbee, and just having fun. Olivia and I just got back from our 27th excursion up Mt. Everest, so do not fret, your in good hands (trust me, I’m almost a doctor). I am psyched for our trip and look forward to welcoming you to Bates!

Olivia Brown:

Hi! I’m Olivia, I’m a senior sociology major and a New Hampshire native. I like to hike, ski, make snow forts, and sit outside in the sun. At Bates, I’m part of the public health club, but mostly I just day dream about hanging out at the rollodrome in Lewiston (although I’ve never been). My favorite bar in commons is the vegan bar, and my favorite activity is 90s dance and anywhere that gives out free chai and cookies. Also I like late night breakfasts, long walks on the beach, and omelette days. I can’t wait to meet you all next summer and take on Sam’s Summer Trail!

The northern Presidentials are dominated by the 5,774-foot summit of Mt. Adams, which is the central destination of this trip. Hiking up one of the most popular routes to the summit of Adams—the second highest peak in New Hampshire—calls for some beautiful scenery both above and below the tree line. You will be able to soak up the expansive landscape from the ridgeline and become familiar with New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Averaging a little over two miles per day, your leaders will direct you at a steady and relaxing pace up Adams, making stops at the Log Cabin and Perch campsites along the way. The Sam’s Summer Trail is a great introduction to hiking and provides ample opportunity to meet your new classmates.

Mileage: 8.5 miles 

Exploring the Whites (Level 3)

Exploring the Whites:

HEY FIRST-YEAR! Yeah, you. You, with the taste for adventure, and the yearning to explore. You, who understands that camping food doesn’t mean bad food. You, who thought about chocolate milk every time you read “you, who”. Exploring the Whites is the perfect trip for the AESOPer who has caught the hiking bug and is looking for another fix. If camping isn’t for you, you clearly haven’t done it with Euan and Kendra, so give us a chance. We’ll have the best food, the most fun, and become best friends. So come learn the ropes from a couple of aged seniors and start orientation knowing more than all of your peers and having had the best 4 days and 3 nights of your life.

Euan Howard-Sorell:

Euan lived a modest life. Born and raised in the Nile river valley, he learned to eat and trap when he was six years old. From then on Euan was an unstoppable tribal machine, learning the roots through tribal leaders and the natural world around him. Euan is now known much more for his in depth knowledge of basket weaving. This is Euan. We hope you enjoy. We sure as hell have. But seriously, Euan’s a rising senior from Avon CT. At home he spent most of his days skiing and singing in the shower. He has finally made it to the big leagues here at Bates; becoming a member of an a cappella group as well as an avid member of the Outing Club. He’s an English major but his true love lies with Aesop as this is his second and unfortunately last year leading a trip.

Kendra Asklof:

From the age of 7, Kendra lived a life of fame and fortune. Not many girls her age sold out the Garden in a day and went on to ride her bike without training wheels the next day. Fame, however, was not without it’s price; Kendra battled a fierce addition with the TV show “Spongebob Squarepants”. She now resides addiction-free at Bates far from her roots as a child rap star from Canton, Connecticut. Kendra now channels her love for Sandy Cheeks (the squirrel from Spongebob) by studying Biochemistry (in order to become a vet) and dancing. When asked, one can still see a faint longing in her eye when she tells the story about how she beat Kendrick Lamar in a rap battle at the age of 10.

This NEW trip is meant to do exactly what its title indicates. By piecing together hikes from different areas in the White Mountain National Forest, you will get a taste of a wide variety of moderate hiking trails while still able to be in the midst of the famous and spectacular White Mountains. Camping along the famously scenic Kancamagus Highway, you will not be short of spectacular views and will get the chance to summit South Moat Mountain, Mt. Tripyramid, and Mt. Chocoura on individual day hikes. It’ll be a fun adventure!

Baxter Bushwackers (Level 4)

Baxter Bushwackers I:

Calling all bobkitties! We know you’re super stoked to be coming to Bates this fall, and really the only thing in the world that you could possibly be more excited for is AESOP!! Is climbing the highest peak in Maine on your bucket list? How about getting to know lots of awesome new Batesies (and two well seasoned Batesies)? Making s’mores at night over a crackling fire while Alex tells you about the secret passageway under the Bates campus and Jess gives you hints about all the best Commons creations? Breaking in your pair of sexy hiking boots that have been itching to come out of their box? Playing games, laughing and telling stories while looking out at the breath taking views of Baxter State Park? Telling all of your new friends at Bates that you were daring enough to climb 5267 feet and cross the Knife’s Edge? If so, it’s time to pack up that backpack of yours and sign up for Baxter Bushwackers with Alex and Jess! This will be our THIRD YEAR leading together and it’s unbeatable fun that you don’t want to miss.

Alex Weissman:

One score and one year ago, Alex was brought into this wide and mysterious world. As the pack mother looked down at the new litter of pups, she pondered over this strange writhing, pink creature. It was certainly different from the other new born wolfs, and besides a small brown tuft atop its head, seemed completely hairless.
Just then, a screaming woman ran into the woods and scooped up her startled, missing child. She would always wonder how he got out of the maternity ward that day, or why for that matter she looked for him with a pack of wolfs.
Alex grew up to be a rising Bates senior from Madison, CT majoring in Anthropology with a Chemistry Minor. He loves to be outdoors whenever possible whether he’s hiking, skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, hammocking, or just sitting enjoying the view. You can find him on campus at outing club meetings, working with Bates EMS or taking care of the fish tank in Dana Chem Hall.

Jess Nichols:

Hey Batesies! I’m a senior from Lincoln, Massachusetts, a small town just outside of Boston (you’ll find that’s a common theme here at Bates). I grew up spending my summers in Maine and I love this state more and more the longer I’m here. This past semester I studied abroad in Copenhagen (a lil’ different from Lewiston) so if anyone wants a detailed description of the magnificent pastries abroad, I would be happy to provide one as we explore the great outdoors. I’m a Sociology major with an Education minor and concentrations in Public Health and African Studies. I’m also a member of the Bonner Leader Program, Environmental Coalition, the Yoga Kula and Outing Club! Can’t wait to meet you all! xo

Baxter Bushwackers II:

HEYOOOOOO PARTY PEOPLE!!! Do you like to rage to mash-ups while driving in a van? Do you like to explore waterfalls and find hidden treasure in caves? Do you want all of your WILDEST dreams to come true? What’s the big deal with this Katahdin thing anyway? Are you tired of reading cheesy aesop trip blurbs like this? Well, look no further, Baxter Bushwhackers II is the trip for you! Get pumped for an awesome start to your Bates career, and join Ashleen and Peter as we tear across mountains, (one of which is the highest peak in Maine.. #5270feet #tallmountain) enjoy gourmet dining in the wilderness, and watch picturesque sunsets. This will be an awesome trip and we’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other. We’re super excited for Aesop and hope you decide to kick off college with us in the fall!

Peter Krieg:

Born and raised in the rolling cornfields of Iowa, Peter spent much of his early life outside where he belongs. Then his family decided to move to civilization, to the famously coined JOB (just outside boston, where half of bates hails from). Peter has liked hiking since he was a little kid and has explored much of the White Mountains since then. Rumor has it that he was a Boy Scout in past lives. A senior at Bates, he is a physics major (total nerd), a captain of the ultimate frisbee team, and enjoys skiing, photography, and eating multiple dinners. Peter loved his aesop trip as a freshman and can’t wait to make yours an awesome start to the Bates experience!

Ashleen O’Brien:

Ashleen is a rising senior who is ready to WHACK SOME BUSHES with some with some WHACK aesoppers in Baxter this fall. A politics and environmental studies major, Ashleen enjoys voting and exploring the out of doors. After spending junior semester chilling in the Andes of Bolivia, she is excited to start off the year with a ROMP IN THE MOUNTAINS.

Baxter State Park has some of the wildest and most spectacular terrain in New England and includes Maine’s highest peak, Mt. Katahdin. Following a rigorous schedule and strenuous days of hiking, this trip is open to experienced hikers who want to challenge themselves and accomplish the feat of summiting Katahdin. Traversing the ridge between Pamola Peak and Baxter Peak, this trip takes you up Knife Edge, the most famous trail to the summit. You will be sure to catch a glimpse of everything from this 5267 foot peak and you won’t be let down by the views.

Mileage: 23 miles

Saddleback (Level 4)

Saddleback I:

Rising Sophomore AESOP leaders seek freshmen to take on a magical journey into the Maine woods: We’re two fun loving, quirky, and devilishly good-looking aspiring mountain guides who’ve been looking for AESOPer love in all the wrong places. It seems like we’ve got it all, roaring campfires to roast s’mores over, the beautiful mountaintop views from one of Maine’s most prominent ranges, and 23 miles of rocky trails for exploring. But its not enough. We need first years to snuggle up next to under the stars, partners for sharing our morning tea and bedtime snacks, someone to make hiking to the next campsite worthwhile. What we need is you. Please don’t break out hearts.
The courage to tackle a level 4 AESOP
Hopeless devotion to our undying love and passion as leaders
Lots o’ stoke
Some hiking boots (they’d probably be helpful)
Must be confident enough to own four days of sweat, dirt, and grime
SWAG (this is crucial)

Let’s go hiking!

Evan Nece:

Hey. I’m Evan. I wear a lot of corduroy and sweaters and dope socks. Do you like dope socks? Then come on my AESOP (A$AP) and we’ll wear them together on mountains! How neat is that?! I’m from South Jersey just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Even though I grew up miles away from mountains that weren’t landfills I’ve made my way out to lots of them to go climbing and backpacking. I’m still not totally sure about my major but its looking like some sort of Environmental Studies. I can’t wait to meet you guys and gals for a week of fun in the sun. (Fingers crossed for good weather.)

Angie O’Donnell:

Hey guys! I’m Angie and I’m a koala! Not really, thats just my spirit animal. Anyways! I’m a sophomore from the rolling hills of Connecticut, so that’s right, I’m not much older than you. I’m hoping to be a psychology major and education minor, but don’t worry, I won’t try to hypnotize you. I love to ski and when I’m not on the slopes you can find me singing in TakeNote, one of Bate’s five A Capella groups. I can’t wait to meet you guys!

Saddleback II:

This hiking trip makes its way along the beautiful Appalachian Trail in northwestern Maine in the Saddleback Mountain area. Along the trail we will summit three of Maine’s 4,000 foot peaks, each with incredible views of the surrounding New England countryside. The second night of our trip we will camp with our corresponding hikers of Saddleback 1 along the trail, giving you a chance to meet more of your fellow Bates classmates. We will hike a total of 23 miles on our 4 day, 3 night adventure together and soak in all the views and incredible moments this trail as to offer! Get ready to crush some serious mountains this year!

Jamo Karsten:

Hello I am Jamo (pronounced Jay-mo), and if you choose to come hiking in the Saddleback mountain area, I will be one of your leaders! I hail from the Land of the Hand, or in layman’s terms the wonderful state of Michigan. I am a Sophomore at Bates, and love to have a good time. I’ll watch sports with you anytime, anywhere. Seriously. An enjoyable day in my life includes getting out for a run, reading a good book, and having some great laughs. I love studying politics, philosophy, and economics. I am an aspiring vegetarian (we’ll see how that goes) and will soon introduce you to the greatest game you’ve never heard of: Spikeball. We’ll talk more in August.

Rosy DePau:

Hey there, bobkittens! My name is Rosy and I am a rising sophomore here at Bates. I come from the best city on earth, LaLa Land Los Angeles and I have braved the winter cold despite my California girl blood! I am super stoked to be leading AESOP this year with my buddy Jamo! Academics-wise, I am a film major with a Spanish minor, so basically I can talk about movies in Spanish. Maybe…we’ll see. I love playing, singing, and listening to music, being outdoors, playing sports, and working out. Oh yeah, and one of my major passions is food. Talking about it, eating it, cooking it, EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. Remind me to show you my favorite commons concoctions sometime, you won’t regret it. Sign up for Saddleback 2 and come hang out with the coolest bobcats you’ll ever meet, on a trail…with backpacks…and snacks…and excitement…and wilderness…for 4 whole days! See ya in the sunshine!

The traverse of Saddleback’s ridges is known to stand out as one of Maine’s premier mountain ranges. Saddleback Mountain, part of the New England 4,000 footer list also includes Saddleback Junior, and the Horn, which provide spectacular views in all directions. Saddleback I starts at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain, the third highest peak in the state of Maine, and ascends to the summit, which offers unmatched views of the area and surrounding mountain ranges. Saddleback II begins at Piazza Rock and on the second night, the two trips have the opportunity to share stories around a campfire. This trip offers students to hike nearly twenty-four miles on the Appalachian Trail and experience the beauty of the mountains and valleys of Maine.

Mileage: 23 miles

*Saddleback I & II share the same itinerary, but are run in opposite directions.

Grafton (Level 3)

Grafotn I:

Wazz aaapp fraaaands? Reasons you should come on Grafton Notch #1: Campfires, peanut butter, spirit quest, 19th hole trail mix-it’s Scrumptious- Flora and fauna, Baby loaf of chedda’, starsonstarsonstarsonstar gazing, Annie’s, story time, meat stick, and show & tell. But in all seriousness Grafton 1 will be stellar. Nate and Audrey want to get to know you real bad. We <3 making new friends. We’re plannin’ on gettin’ intimate with the wild and dynamic forces of the great outdoors. Goin’ into the wilderness we shall form an eternal family under our one Mother (Earth) and come back to campus tight as the bark on a conifer tree. See ya in August.

Nate Diplock:

What up!! The name’s Nate, and I’m from Amherst Mass, which is very far outside of Boston. In kindergarten, I missed 6 weeks of school because I was hiking. They tried to make me repeat that year…look at me now Ms. Cook. I digress. If you choose Graton 1 (Hint: you should choose Grafton 1), just know you will be in the company of the defending whisperlite iron chef world champion. Other than my whisperlite creations, I’m also known for my uncanny ability to attract bears of all size and color. I’m a sophomore, probable environmental major. I’ve had a wondrous first year at Bates and look forward to welcoming y’all to your new home via the most awesomest orientation program in the world (fact).

Audrey Wheatcroft:

Hi friends! My name is Audrey and my surname is Wheatcroft (meaning wheat farmer so nature runs in my veins). I hail from the green, luscious state of Oregon but think that Maine is pretty swell too. I took my first hike at age four and carried a whopping load of two granola bars and a stuffed monkey named Otto. I’m proud to say I’ve since cultivated my skills and enjoy long treks with the fam and friends also new friends like you. At Bates I’m a sophomore engaged in the outing club as adventurer and treasurer. Also, I like to spend time scrambling up the rock wall and hitting the snow as a flat skier. I plan to major in environment studies and minor in Spanish, so I’ll be able to save the environment speaking a different language. My favorite creature is the mallard duck. I’m beyond enthused to meet you all and get in touch with the wilderness.

Grafotn II:

Grafton Notch II is not just a Level 3 backpacking trip, but the chance to eat the best s’mores of your life, see views that look like they belong on a calendar cover, search for moose, make some ridiculous memories to brag about once you return to civilization, and get super excited for your first year at Bates. Also, your super cool AESOP leaders are a YouTube phenomenon and a super taster… idea what we’re talking about? That’s okay, you will. Join us for an amazing few days exploring Maine, and return to Bates ready for the best four years of your life.

Sophie Pellegrini:

Hey hey! My name is Sophie and I’m a senyah at Bates. Some stuff about me that you may or may not care about: I’m from JOWDC (like Just Outside of Boston, but Washington, DC), a Psych and Studio Art major, co-pres/founder of ‘Cats Against Cancer, pres of Photo Club…and I do other stuff, like working for the Admissions Office, perfecting homemade quesadillas in Commons, taking naps, online shopping (sorry Mom), and cleaning Bobby’s room (goin’ strong since freshman year, week 3). Bobby and I had an amazing time leading Baxter Bushwackers II last year, so we’re really excited to lead AESOP for round 2 (it’s always more fun the second time, right?)! Also, apparently, I really like parentheses (see?) and run-on sentences. Get ready for an amazing few days of yummy trail mix, hiking, and sleeping bag snuggling; we can’t wait to meet you!

Bobby Lankin:

Sup you guys! I’m Bobby, I’m a rising senior, I’m from West Hartford, Connecticut, I’m majoring in economics, and minoring in Music. On campus, I play piano in multiple bands, and I work part time as a piano accompanist for people taking voice lessons. I’m also the president of “The Crosstones,” which is an awesome a cappella group on campus. Additionally, I’m known around campus for free style rapping, also being able to rap really REALLY fast.
As you can tell, I’m very involved with music, but I also play intramural basketball, softball, and my team won the intramural soccer championship my sophomore year! Oh yeah, and did I mention I’m Youtube famous?! Well, kinda… Check out me accidently dropping a tree on my house!

And to watch me rap really fast go here: 

What better way is there to explore your new home than to see Maine’s expansive wilderness from the top of a mountain? On the western half of the Grafton Loop Trail, you will summit Stowe Mountain, Sunday River Whitecap, and the 4170-foot Old Spec Mountain and experience the beautiful landscape that Maine has to offer. This casual trip that takes you up a steady incline for three out of the four days also offers some challenging sections of trail that will be well rewarded once you are standing at the top of Old Spec looking at the beautiful views. Grades are mostly easy to moderate with a few short steep pitches. Sharing the trail with AT through hikers and sitting around the campfire at night calls for some new and exciting friendships to be made.
Mileage: 12.7 miles

Franconia (Level 3)

Franconia I:

Bobcats! Friends! Heathens! Rodents of Unusual Sizes!
Are you prepared for the most sublime experience of your life? Then look no further! You’re not? Then still look no further! This Odyssey through the Great White Mountains of New Hampshire won’t take ten years (or even ten days), but it’s guaranteed to float your boat. Led by your insightful spirit guides Kelsey “I’mfromAlaska” Schober and Teddy “Senator Rube” Rube, this trip will more than peak (pun intended) your interest! If you like gorgeous vistas, summiting mountains as high (basically) as Everest, dancing through the forest with woodland creatures, and expertly crafted puns, there’s no other place to go! We can offer you gourmet meals of five-star-restaurant quality, a tent floor that feels like the ultimate feather bed, and the warmest/best campfire for s’mores that you could ever imagine (well…at least the last one is true).

Along the way, we’ll conquer the wilderness, learn to love roughin’ it, and compete in competitions of strength, agility, and wit with our sister AESOP group, led by the lovely Redbeard the Pirate and Goldilocks. We can’t guarantee that you’ll find total spiritual fulfillment, but we CAN promise you that you’ll bond with some wicked cool people, and be singing this song by the end:
We can’t wait to meet you and kick off your Bates experience in the best way imaginable…Three cheers for FRANCONIA NOTCH! (Huzzah huzzah huzzah!)

Kelsey Schober:

I’m Kelsey and I hail from the almost-international hinterlands of Alaska (I’ll save you the question later: yes, I watched the Sochi Olympics from my back porch). I am a sophomore, major x3 (psychology, dance, and politics waddupppppp), president of the Circus Club (yes it exist and yes it rocks and yes you should join) and love Bates almost as much as I love Alaskan mountains and my cat (that’s a lot, trust me). A completely arbitrary list of things that float my boat: rooibos tea, road trips to New Hampshire, insulting capitalism, teaching aesopers handstands (WHAT), mountains, my absurd co-leader Teddy (who I met on my freshman AESOP—we’re basically professionals now), birkenstocks, the winding trails of Franconia I, sweaters, adventures and MY FUTURE TERRIFIC/AWE-INSPIRING/SPECTACULAR FRANCONIA I AESOPERS OF 2018!

Teddy Rube:

Helloooo denizens, estudiantes, and freshly weaned Bobcats of the class of 2018! I’m Teddy Rube, an eternally enthusiastic (as you will learn) sophomore and Classical & Medieval Studies major! WOOHOO! Yay! Yeah. I was born to a mortal mother and Bigfoot, and was raised in the perma-frozen wilds of Syracuse, New York, where I ski down anything covered in snow, explore deciduous forests, and voraciously consume large amounts of literature. At Bates, I play piano and organ in a rock band, spin records and utter the occasional profundity on Bates’s WRBC radio station, and can often be seen protesting something. I love speechmaking, crafting dessert creations in commons, campfires, people, a good yarn, yakking it up (with anything that talks, walks, or barks), mountain peaks, and my phenomenal (it’s also her favorite word) co-leader Kelsey’s crafty and punning sense of humor! I’m super psyched to meet all of you new Batesies and to explore the superb White Mountains with y’all!

Franconia II:

Franconia [frang-koh-nee-uh]
A medieval duchy in Germany, largely in the valley of the Main(e) River.

Welcome to Franconia Kingdom ruled by Duke Evan and Duchess Ashley. If you like hiking, climbing mountains, breathtaking views, getting lost in the New Hampshire woods, running from bears and moose – mooses? meese? moosi? No wait, an Alaskan just told us it is moose – skydiving, tiger racing, cheese, swimming, laser tag, or spacewalking – we’ll leave it to the brilliant minds of the Class of 2018 to figure out which of those are lies – you should join us!

The Team:
Evan’s ginger beard and lumberjack charm can take down trees without an axe, while Ashley’s golden locks will be our own personal beacon when times are dark. Our love for melodic tunes, the great outdoors, and adventure fuels our passion to be leaders for future Bobkittens.

Our good friends, Auntie Kelsey (the Alaskan) and Uncle Teddy (not Alaskan), will be leading our sister group, Franconia I. We will meet them on the trail for renditions of “Wagon Wheel” with attempts at four part harmonies along with some tales of friendship, love, courage, and Smith Hall.

Evan Molinari:

Hey ‘Cats! My name is Evan and I am from the thriving metropolis (well, thriving small town—well, okay, small town) of Milwaukie, Oregon, (which is J.O.P. – why is Boston special?) where I spend my summers playing guitar and ukulele, recording music, exploring the Willamette River Valley, and participating in an eclectic mix of good natured shenanigans. During the rest of the year I’m on campus studying American history, playing in multiple campus bands, co-hosting a show on WRBC Bates College Radio, and schmoozing in Commons. My favorite color is green, my beard is red, I enjoy classy cheeses (and football teams related to said food – Go Packers!), and slimming V-necks. Anyway, Franconia is going to be a blast! Ashley and I lived on the same floor in Parker Hall our freshman year and have been great friends and partners in crime ever since. Sign up for Franconia – we can’t wait to meet you guys!

Ashley Bryant:

Hello Bobkittens! I’m Ashley, a Junior Anthropology major and Educational Studies minor, from the extremely rare state of Massachusetts – J.O.B. to be even more unique. On campus, I’m the Arts and Leisure Editor for The Bates Student newspaper, a member of student government, a singer in the College Choir, and I spend time volunteering in Lewiston classrooms. When I’m not chilling out on the first floor of Ladd or eating all the Rice Puffs in Commons, I enjoy brushing my golden locks and making comparative, snap-judgments on the various temperatures of porridge. I like hanging out with my best friend, Beyoncé (we go wayyy back), and also my best bro Evan, who wishes I was best friends with Beyoncé. I’m beyond excited to meet y’all and lament over the loss of the Old Man of the Mountain – NH: live free, die hard. 

This backpacking trip takes you through the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire summiting peaks and dipping into the valley to get a wide range of exposure to the wilderness. Located in the heart of the popular White Mountain National Forest, Franconia Notch is a spectacular mountain pass that offers a trip full of adventure and excitement. Merging with a section of the Appalachian Trail calls for some steep inclines and experienced hikers. You will summit Little Haystack, Mt. Lincoln, Lafayette, and Garfield and will walk the ridgeline to witness breathtaking views. Franconia Notch offers a beautiful hiking experience that is sure to be challenging yet rewarding.

Mileage: 25 miles

*Franconia I & II share the same itinerary, but are run in opposite directions.

Pemigewasset (Level 3)

Pemigewasset I:

Do you like getting sweaty with new friends while hiking the ruggedly sexy peaks of the Whites? Does your mouth water at the thought of sun cooked hummus-apple-granola-meatstick-honey-peanut butter-pita pockets seasoned to perfection with trail spice? Do you exude fun and outdoorsy vibes from every square inch of your body? Can you embody the personality of a bashful rutabaga? If you answered YES to any or all of these questions then dust off your hikin’ boots, kiss the luxury of showers goodbye, and join these two fearless leaders on an unforgettable, life-altering escapade through the stunning, pristine wilderness known as the Pemi-Gee. Your odyssey will be lightly salted with a gourmet taste of Bates, provided by your grade-A, USDA certified leaders and smothered in hardcore bonding with people that just might become your best pals for life. We’ll have sleeping-bag-worm-wars amongst the trees, tell our deepest secrets by the campfire, consume disgusting amounts of oatmeal, and get you stoked to start your life as a resident of the educational funland of the Bates.

Cailene Gunn:

Cailene’s a small town lass from northern Connecticut who likes to paint mason jars, wear ducky footsie pajamas and clean her room in overalls while blasting Al Green on repeat. Like her co-leader, she’s a proud rock nerd who gets dangerously excited over analyzing thin sections. Her spirit mineral is olivine and her spirit animal comprises 50% unicorn, 50% beaver with a sprinkle of arctic fox and a touch of platypus. Above all, she is a granola bar. When on campus, she can often be found in commons consuming embarrassing amounts of fruit pizza, sipping chai at le Ronj or tossin’ a frisbee around in the quad. She enjoys frolicking and singing happy music even though she knowingly has the the worst voice known to man. Though her banana voodoo practice is a bit worrisome, she is sure to keep you safe and smiley all day errday.

Dana Cohen-Kaplan:

Dana is a bearded man of many hats, his favorite being his pink, leopard summiting hat that led him up the formidable Mt. Adams last AESOP. His roots lie in the wildlands of J.O.B. (a term you will come to know well) where he farmed, grooved to the funk of the Dead, and did his absolute best to resemble a dog, so much that he gained night-vision in one eye from growing his hippie hair too long. This fella enjoys borrowing eggs from his housemates without asking and rocking blaze orange accessories. He is the least mysterious, mysterious person at Bates. His dubbed animal is a mountain goat…or a guinea pig, depending on the hour. Like any respectable plate of nachos, you never know what you’re gonna get with Dana, which makes him an unpredictable leader who will ensure this AESOP trip will be piled high with adventure and oozing all kinds of fun.

Pemigewasset II:

[to the tune of “Royals”]

I’d love to see a sunset on a peak

I’d cut my toes in hiking boots, just to see one

And I’m not proud of my old socks

On a torn-up trail, no civilization

And every day’s like meat sticks, trail mix, peein’ on a tree trunk

Bug spray, backpacks, makin’ friends with chipmunks

We don’t care, we’re sporting flannel shirts on the trail

And everybody’s like Guyot, Garfield, singin’ on the mountain

Campfires, Hershey’s, waterfalls not water-fountain

We don’t care, we’re all caught up in this Pemi affair.

And we’ll always be Batesies (Batesies)

It don’t leave our blood,

This kind of spunk just fits for us

We crave a rustic kind of buzz

Let us be your leaders (leaders)

You can call us Matt and Emily

And baby we’ll leeeeead (we’ll lead we’ll lead we’ll lead)

For your awesome AESOP week

Emily Roseman:

Hiiiii guys! My name is Emily and I will be in my senior year (whew, time flies) when I meet all of you amazing new bobcats. I hail from the GLORIOUS town of Rochester, MA (yes, there is one in MA too!), which is, if you’re interested, the cranberry bog capital of the country. I’m majoring in Politics and also dabble in environmental studies and education classes. When not in some top secret study nook on campus, you can find me attempting to go on runs around Lewiston, at the dessert station in Commons, falling off a slackline, attending a Bates Democrats meeting, workin’ as an Eco Rep, scrounging the land for Indian food, in the racquetball court, or losing at a game of Bananagrams to Matt. This’ll be my second year leading an AESOP trip, and I am SO excited to hike, explore, and get to know all of you amazing people!

Matt Summers:

Heyo! I’m Matt and I’m going to be a senior next year. I’m from Millburn in the auspicious state of Jersey (the new one). I’m majoring in Economics but have taken a bunch of politics, English, and rhetoric courses. I’m the president of the debate team, the most successful team on campus (30th in the world), a regular patron of the cereal wall in commons, and a formerly mediocre pogo-sticker. My favorite books when I was in middle school were A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Artemis Fowl books, and Ender’s Game. I’ve travelled to Mexico, Israel, Bonnaroo, England, China, India, and Dubai in the last year, so if you want advice on how to miss your train to the Great Wall, make a fool out of yourself in the House of Commons, or give all your money to a Dubai cab driver, I’m your man! 

Pemigewassett explores the largest Wilderness in the White Mountain National Forest, spanning from Franconia Notch all the way to Crawford Notch. The section of trail you will be hiking runs over some of the highest and most scenic mountains in New Hampshire outside the Presidential Range. You can watch the sunset from the summit of Garfield, take a dip in Ethan Pond, and spend some quality time up in the alpine zone. Stopping at AMC’s Galehead and Zealand Huts for lunch, breaks up the challenging trail. The steep climb to the summit of South Twin Mountain is worth the struggle because the views from the top are gorgeous. Next, you will find your way through the maze of boulders to the summit of Mount Guyot, one of the more remote peaks of the White Mountains. Guyot offers a panoramic view of the entire Pemigewassett Wilderness and on a nice day, you can even see as far as the Presidential Range. You wont be disappointed if you choose Pemigewassett as your trip!

Mileage: 22.5 miles

*Pemigewasset Wilderness I & II share the same itinerary, but are run in opposite directions.

Mahoosuc (Level 5)

Mahoosuc I:

Are you a BAD A** backpacker extraordinaire? I think so. Now that we have your attention, get ready for the raddest, sickest, dopest, (insert 1970’s adjectives here), ballin’ AESOP evahhhhhh. While conquering one of the hardest sections of the Appalachian Trail, you will become one with Mother-earth, feeling the deep (it hurts so good) thigh burn with every step. You will push yourself to great heights (ha…..ha), all the while meeting fellow classmates, consuming the daily dose of Annie’s Mac and Cheese, and sharing great stories from your homeland. Let Sweet T and EM&M lead you on a trip you won’t soon forget. EM&M + Sweet T + the best group of First Years in the class of 2018 + no parents = a legendary first experience of Bates College.
#BatesCollegeNoPa(re)nts #JustTakeASelfie #BestFriendsForever #MeatStick

Tanner Dirstine:

Hey y’all, my name is Tanner Dirstine and I’m going into my Junior year here at Hogwarts. I am originally from Idaho, and love everything outdoors. My summers consist of hiking, biking, swimming and as a member of the Bates Alpine Ski Team, even the occasional ski trip. I’m exited to meet all the new first years and show them what it is like to be a Batesie!

Emma Marchetti:

My home’s in Montana
I wear a bandana
My spurs are of silver
My pony is gray

Well that escalated quickly. The name is Emma Marchetti and it is true that I hail from Montana in a small whittle town called Whitefish. I am an outdoor enthusiast shralping the gnar on bike trails, mountains, and everything in between. I have a dog, Leo, a parakeet, Kiwi, and 6 chickens.
At Bates you can find me Sailing the treacherous winds of the Puddle, carving some edges at the ice rink and on the icy slopes of Maine (I’m learning to get used to no POW).

Mahoosuc II:

Some Haikus for you new stus! (students):

Mahoosuc notch, yo!
A jungle gym of boulders:
Bobkitten dreamland.

Summit Mount Success,
Then the AT’s toughest mile –
What is more badass?

We’ll eat some Annie’s,
Scavenge for friends and berries,
Maybe fight some bears.

But no need to fear –
Your fun-sperienced leaders
Will force the path clear.

If you choose our trip,
Life will be awesome-sauce, and
We’ll stop these haikus.


We’ll leave you with one final thought:
Headlamp strobe light dance party

Julia Riback:

I’m Julia from Small-bany (Albany), NY and I’m often referred to as Ribs because of the abundance of Julias at Bates. I’m a huge math and physics nerd so if you ever want a friend to celebrate Pi Day with, I’m your gal! Between being in The Merimanders (the all female a cappella group) and being in a band with my one and only co-aesop leader, Maxwell, I spend quiet a bit of my time rockin’ out to music. I’m also an avid environmentalist and my current hobby is making art projects out of recycled materials (like a coffee table out of bottle caps or bowls out of old scratched up records).

Max Silverman:

Hey guys! I’m Max, a soon-to-be Junior from the almighty New York State. I love music, backpacking, people, paninis, and other generally awesome things, and I can’t wait to hang out with all you AESOPers next fall!! I’m studying education and other social sciency stuff – I also do lots of volunteering in Lewiston, play lots of guitar at Bates and grew up doing lots of outdoorsy stuff back home in New York and out in Colorado. Can’t wait to see you soon! 

This trip is crammed full of interesting highlights moving quickly from one to another including Old Speck Mountain, the precipitous descent of Mahoosuc Arm, Mahoosuc Notch, South Peak vista, and most of the Mahoosuc Range. After conquering one of the most difficult sections of the Appalachian Trail on the second day, known as Mahoosuc Notch, where you will scale a glacier-carved gash, you will feel accomplished for sure! Crossing paths with other Batesies, you will have the opportunity to meet more determined hikers like yourselves and get to know your new classmates. The Mahoosuc Range provides a challenge to experienced hikers who are willing to push themselves and enjoy Maine and New Hampshire’s beautiful peaks.

Mileage: 23 miles

*Mahoosuc I & II share the same itinerary, but are run in opposite directions.

Presidential Range Traverse (Level 5)

Prezies I:

Do enjoy getting super gnarly on some of New Hampshire’s biggest peaks? Do you think it’s fun to hike until your feet are numb? Does the idea of eating carbs on carbs covered in hot sauce with extra cheese on top entice you? Then this trip is the trip for you. Franny and George, your fearless leaders, are ready to guide you on the most intense and life changing journey of your young lives. Together we will ride moose, fight off bears, and feast on trout that we catch with our own bare hands. From the incredible views to the exceptional five-star camping accommodations, by the end of this trip you might not even want to come back.

Franny Yanover:

Frances “insert nickname here” Yanover enjoys sunsets and long moonlit walks on the beach. This is somewhat ironic as she hails from the cold and dark state of New York. She’s a seasoned backpacking professional from doing a NOLS course in Wyoming’s Wind River Range (almost as crazy as the Presidentials). When she’s on campus you can find her working at The Ronj coffeehouse where she’ll whip you up a mean cup of chai. Franny is a Psychology Major and after Bates, she plans on becoming a crazy cat lady.

George Merrill:

George “The Lorax” Merrill comes from the Vermont countryside where he spends most of his time skiing, mountain biking, and playing with goats. He is an Environmental Studies major, and with his Bates degree he plans on saving the planet. When George isn’t busy being a Den delivery boy or a Lost Valley ski instructor, he is most likely at Sunday River hitting the slopes. Don’t worry though, George is a backpacking expert, and after having completed a month long NOLS course in Alaska, he can even fight off bears.

Prezies II:

Hello first years. Welcome to your worst nightmare. Our AESOP is the monster who lives underneath your bed. Just kidding, our AESOP is:
“hands down the best AESOP, ever”
-Everyone, ever
Prezies is not just a level V backpacking AESOP, it is a spiritual journey that will render your life complete. If you had the balls to consider a level V AESOP, we want you. If you did not but your mother/father/guardian made you read all the trip bios anyways because they wish they could re-live their college experience, we want you. If you did not list our AESOP as one of your top choices, we still want you. That’s right, Prezies is not the stuck-up high school girl who thinks she’s out of your league. Prezies isn’t even a girl. PREZIES IS A LIFE CHANGING, SOUL PURIFYING, HEART STOPPING, GUT WRENCHING, BEAUTIFUL AND MAGICAL EXPERIENCE. Worship it. Love it. Want it.

Sarah Koe:

My name is Sarah, I am from Portland, Oregon, my favorite color is orange, I hate raw tomatoes, when I was in third grade I rocked a pair of neon green corduroy overalls, sometimes I sing to myself, sometimes I talk to myself, sometimes I pick my nose in public, yesterday I put a pink nerd up my friend’s nose. I am a geology major at Bates College, ie. I go on a lot of field trips and I excell in procrastination. My motto? If you leave it to the last minute, it only takes a minute to do. My favorite activities include: falling down on ice and spraining my ankles. My spirit animal is a sea otter or a marshmallow.

Billy Curly:

Lets be honest, you want me as your AESOP leader just based on my legal name: William H. Curley IV. My other benefits? I am an important “medic” on campus (EMT certified, EMS boss, pre-med, talented neuroscientist (major), band-aid applicator). I even have a job lined up after Bates:
“Billy is going to be my brain doctor” -Sarah
Worried I may spend too much time in the library to have any any outdoor experience? Nonsense. My favorite activity is taking long walks on the beach. (Long walks = exercise, the beach = outside.) I am a self-proclaimed, “talented knitter and weaver” and my favorite hairstyle is my bedhead-look. I shave my facial hair every 1-2 days even though it is invisible. My co-leader Sarah is the best. She will cook great food on our AESOP and I will cheer her on the entire time. Then I will do all the dishes and sing everyone to sleep. 

What better way to start a fresh beginning before college and meeting your classmates by working together to scale New Hampshire’s highest peaks? The Presidential Range includes the highest peaks in the Northeast and by taking this trip you will trek up Tuckerman’s Ravine, and summit Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Clay, Mt. Madison, and maybe even Mt. Adams. This hike calls for experienced hikers who are able to keep up with the strenuous trek over the Presidential Range of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. This string of summits offer spectacular panoramic views and you will never get bored of the trail, seeing that nearly half of this traverse occurs above tree line. Joining forces with the opposing Presies trip on the second night out strengthens friendships and allows for the opportunity to meet more Batesies. You won’t be disappointed with your decision to embark on this journey!

Mileage: 19.5

*Presidential Range Traverse I & II share the same itinerary, but are run in opposite directions.

Questions?  Contact us at or at 207-330-0610