Here are a list and descriptions of the Backpacking trips we offer. Click the drop-down boxes to find out more about the specific trips available and the awesome Batesies who will lead them!
Carter Ridge (Level 3)
Carter Ridge I Leaders: Anna Franceschetti and Josh Klein
Hia! My name is Anna, I’m a Vermont native- 19 years born and raised in the Green Mountain State, baby! This upbringing instilled my love for the outdoors, hiking, skiing, running, and most of all Ben and Jerry’s! Here are some fun facts about me and what I do at the most fabulous place in the world (i.e. Bates College):
– I am on the club nordic team and part of the public health initiative
– My favorite Commons food is grapefruit – nothing like a lil’ citrus to get your day going ;) (speaking of awkward winky faces – I can’t actually wink)
– Josh and I went to the same high school- talk about history am i right?!
– Turtles can breathe through their butt
– I am majoring in Sociology with concentrations in education and public health
– One time I met Jerry from Ben and Jerry’s
– My name rhymes with banana (how neat is that)
CAN’T WAIT do some awesome adventurin’! See ya’ in August
What’s cookin’ newborn bobkitties with perfect vision (2020)!! My name is Josh, and I come from the crunchy, Green Mountain State; aka Ben and Jerry’s land (Ben is actually my neighbor.) Here at Bates College, I enjoy baggin’ peaks, climbing rocks, and studying environmental studies with a side of global health. Some of my talents include blowing air out of my eyes and preparing the world’s best S’more you have ever feasted upon. *Legend has it that I am a camping culinary wizard. I enjoy long walks on and off the beach, serenading friends with absurd poetry, and hitting the qua(d)n with my hammock. I have an affinity for flannel culture, peeing in the shower, and aesthetically pleasing Instagrams. If you enjoy rad van expeditions accompanied with transformative musical journeys (three queens+fetty) as well spontaneous vertical wanderings above the tree line, this trip is for you!
Catch ya on the flip side!!
Carter Ridge II Leaders: Trevor Fry and Becca Havian
What’s up little bobkittens! My name is Trevor and I reside (when I’m not straight chilling in Lewiston) in Groton, MA. The only town in Massachusetts to have a castle, two prep schools, and four Dunkin Donuts all for 9,000 people. I love the outdoors and I’ve spent almost every summer since I was born hiking, biking, and swimming through the wonderful mountains of Vermont, and I’m excited to share my love for the outdoors with y’all. My favorite activities are rowing in my single skull and road biking through the rolling glacial landscape of north central Mass. I’m super pumped to be an AESOP leader and I know we’re gonna have a grand ‘ole time hiking and exploring New England’s beautiful landscapes. On a more personal note, I enjoy singing show tunes, reading Harry Potter, spending time relaxing on the banks of the Androscoggin, hanging out at the French table in Commons, and spending time reading Le Monde in Roger Williams (the best building at this wonderful school). On campus, I’m a member of Bates’ number one all-male acapella group: the ManOps, the mens rowing team, and I’m on the executive board of the French Club. I can usually be seen around the Puddle waiting for acapella practice to start, at the boathouse, or at one of the circular tables in Commons (they’re the best). I’m a French and Politics double major with concentrations in the Middle East, North Africa, and translation theory. I know that all sounds serious, but I promise sometimes I stop studying and enjoy my time with friends. Becca and I can’t wait to start off 2016 in style on this wonderful trip, and we look forward to showing you all how great Bates is.
Yo yo yooooo hello new Batesies!!! My name’s Becca (Bec, Becs — you choose) and I come from the overwhelmingly renowned town of Piedmont, California (note: Piedmont is not well known). I am so excited to be leading this dope AESOP trip through the great outdoors. In my opinion, one of the best aspects of backpacking is the justification it provides for constant snacking, so if you’re looking for a leader who will indulge your snacking desires, choose us!! Disclaimer: I am not one of those camp counselor types that limits each person to one s’more. That is ridiculous. You may have as many dang s’mores as you want. (You can assume that I will be bringing up the rear on the trail…) All joking aside (note: snacks are not a joke), I really do love being outside and enjoying the fresh air. My pastimes include singing in an a cappella group (The Merimanders), alpine skiing (if you’ve ever skied in Lake Tahoe we will for SURE bond over that), acting and spending quality time with friends at The Den. Fun/little known fact about me: I was on The Late Show with David Letterman twice for bird calling (you can look it up, I promise it’s legit). And no, bird calling isn’t really a passion of mine – it’s a long story that I am more than willing to share with you on the trail. As for my more academic side, I am a Rhetoric major (Screen Studies track) with a French minor and likely a Psychology/Philosophy concentration (yada yada sorry for boring you). Trevor and I (just your average pair of best friends that enjoy spooning) applied to be AESOP leaders because we really want to make your transition to Bates as enjoyable as possible and we promise to make our trip a total blast. We’re both very relaxed yet engaged and enjoy meeting new people and having fun!!
The Carter Ridge is located on the border of the Wild River Wilderness in the White Mountain National Forest. The ridge is know for its incredible 360 degree views of the White Mountains. For the majority of the trip, groups will follow the Appalachian trail as it goes over several mountains including Carter Dome, Mount Moriah, and Mount Height. Uphill hiking for the first day will put groups near the ridge. The second day will be spend hiking along the ridge and enjoying the beauty. After the ridge, it’s all downhill. Carter 1 and 2 share the same itinerary but head in opposite directions on the trail. A trip of moderate difficulty with views that are well worth it!
Mileage: 18.3 miles
Grafton (Level 3)
Grafton I Leaders: Zach Guion and Katie Kelley
If you want adventure, knowledge of the best food deals at Wal-Mart, or guidance on how to dress to the nines for any themed event, Zach Guion (pronounced Gee-yone) is your go-to guy. He’ll be a sophomore next year and plans to double-major in Rhetoric and Politics. Hailing from Arlington, MA (known only because it is the supposed birthplace of Uncle Sam), he spent many days of his young life hiking, camping, and doing other shenanigans in the J.O.B. vicinity. When not out in ye great outdoors, he enjoys long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, heated political debates, and crushing tubes of Ritz crackers. Join him (us) for a rockin’ four days full of summits, sick views, oatmeal, and at least one memorable encounter with an AT through hiker!!
Described by the late, great Johnny From Brooklyn as “Oscar Pistorius’ left leg” (a remarkably apt comparison, come on Grafton 1 to find out why) the one and only Katherine “Katie” “The Lady” “Phyllis” “R.” Kelley is straight out of Marin County (apparently not all of California is the valley, who knew) and brings the funkiest, freshest dance moves known to man. Katie is studying environmental science (classic SanFran) and has been known to run long distances (aka the purest form of misery) and hopes to one day flee the cold, hard Lew for the warmth of the motherland. Trained by the one and only Sarge in LNT (“leave no trace” for you city slickers), Katie is an outdoors master clad in her sunhat and Hawaiian shirts. If you want to spend four days rambling through the Maine wilderness, watching dope sunsets, and consuming just enough meat stick, come check out Grafton Notch with the coolest ‘Cats alive.
Grafton II Leaders: Jake Atwood and Erin Hazlett-Norman
Hi AESOPers, my name is Jake Atwood and I look forward to leading one the greatest AESOP trips the program has ever known. I’m from Natick, Massachusetts, where I first cultivated my love of hiking by bushwhacking through the dense brush of the Boston suburbs. In my spare time in the “front-country,” I enjoy tossing discs, shredding the Sunday River gnar, occasionally hugging a tree or two, and pondering the deep questions of the universe. You can recognize me by my low-hanging Nalgene and the doves that are released each time I enter a room. I look forward to meeting you all, and I cannot wait for the most fun AESOP/adventure/Indian-Jones-style-montage any of us have experienced–coming this September to a trail near you.
Ayy y’all, my name is Erin Hazlett-Norman and I hope you’re as stoked as I am for some top-notch Grafton style shenanigans. I call the red clay and rolling hills of Durham, North Carolina home — I grew up spending as much time as possible in the woods, tromping around the most beautiful mountains in the Appalachian range (sorry Maine, you’re a close second). I love climbing and whitewater canoeing, folk music, overlarge wool socks, and serendipitous dance parties, especially on the trail.
Here at Bates you’ll find me tossing a disc on the frisbee field with the soon to be world-renowned Bates College Cold Front, messing around at the bouldering wall, eating waaaaay too much peanut butter, and letting off the occasional wolf howl from the top of Mt. David. I’m psyched to be living in the Eco Justice theme house next year where I hear some kid named Jake might be kickin’ it as well.
I look forward to meeting you all, and I hope you’re ready for what will undoubtably be the raddest AESOP yet to grace the program’s name… see ya in September!
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 Speck Mountain and experience the beautiful landscape that Maine has to offer. This 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 Speck looking at the beautiful views. Grades are mostly easy to moderate with a few short steep pitches. Sharing the trail with AT thru-hikers and sitting around the campfire at night calls for some new and exciting friendships to be made. On the eastern half of the Grafton Loop Trail, you will summit both West and East Balpate and Puzzle Mountain. Grafton II is slightly longer than Grafton I but are similar in challenge and beauty.
Mileage: 20.1 miles/21.5 miles
Pemigewasset (Level 4)
Pemigewasset I Leaders: Lexi Kemp and Sophie Jensen
Hey I’m Lexi & I’m a rising sophomore here at Bates College. I go by Lex, Big Lexi, yung based Kemp, or by my “real” name Reginald. When I’m not outside crushing mountains or anything else that stands in my way, I’m usually found playing Nintendo and eating exotic ramen (crushing that too).
Favorite Movie: Osmosis Jones
Future Job: Space Station Septic Tank Cleaner
Favorite Flavor of Frozen Yogurt: uh I don’t eat frozen yogurt sorry
Our Pemi 2016 trip has reportedly already made it into the 2017 Ripleys Believe It or Not Record book….
Soph and I are super stoked to lead this trip and cant wait to meet the pemi 2016 squad.
Hey I’m Sophie and I too am a rising sophomore here at Bates College. Lexi and I both hail from the Garden State AKA NJ, and love pork roll, board walks, and the Sopranos. At Bates I really enjoy long walks on the far quad, casual swims in the puddle and playing with puppies. I am a Zumba connoisseur and plan on teaching everyone some moves as well. I am super super excited to be leading this trip with my BFFL (Best Friend For Life) Lexi and I can back up the rumor that Pemi is going to be the best trip that AESOP has ever seen.
Pemigewasset II Leaders: Zoe Seaman-Grant and Bennett Saltzman
If I could give one piece of advice to my first year self, it’d be the wise words of Tracy Jordan: Live every week like it’s Shark Week. Not sure how to do that? Bennett and I will show you how as we battle for our lives in the great outdoors. My name’s Zoe and I’m a women’s and gender studies major from Charleston, SC. My greatest love is bad mid 2000s music, so if you believe Nelly Furtado and Fergie are the voices of a generation, come on our trip. By the end of the trip, you too can know all the words to Fergalicious and impress your new friends.
When someone comes up and says something like, ‘I am a God,’ everybody says ‘Who does he think he is?’ – So let me introduce myself… My name is Bennett and I hail from the (un)wilds of Dobbs Ferry, NY. I wish I was a god, but sadly am just a rising Junior studying Economics and Politics. I play for the golf team and spend most all of my (remaining) time traveling with Zoe debating for the BQDC! Zoe’s passion for Fergie has reaffirmed my distaste. We contrast nicely in this regard. You can be sure that our trips mixtape will be quite unique… I can’t wait to meet all of you and I hope you come ready to enjoy the best that Aesop has to offer: PEMI 2!
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.
Baxter Bushwackers (Level 4)
Baxter Bushwackers I Leaders: Maddy McKay and Ezra Oliff-Lieberman
Hey all, this is Maddi! If you’re looking to find me in a crowd, I have long curly hair and 2 piercings on my face. Sometimes I’m afraid they make me look intimidating, but people tell me they don’t. I am a double major in studio art and women & gender studies, I have a rabbit named Lars, and I dance like everyone is watching. One time at summer camp I got shot in the leg with an arrow during archery class. I only cried for a couple of minutes, and then I took a ten minute water treading test! (“Go Maddi” – Ezra) I love to eat dates. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing my favorite movie might be “She’s the Man.” When I was in elementary school I became so obsessed with the Beatles that I read a day-by-day diary of their entire existence from cover to cover – never say I give up easy. At Bates, I work as a coordinator for social justice programming, and one time I knit a scarf. I would describe myself as a rule bender rather than a rule breaker. I’m from Bala Cynwyd, PA – yes that is the real name of my town. It touches West Philly, incase you’re wondering. I like to give goofy names to things, and might even give you all funky trail names! C U out there, leave it all on the field- love, your future mom.
Hello friends, my name is Ezra Oliff-Lieberman, and I am here to recruit you. Sign up here for the trip of your life- a time to make friends, think about cuddling, and sing the happy songs of freshly minted collegiates. You want to know about me, you say? I am a born and raised New Jerseyan, Bergen County to be precise, but I live for the open Maine skies. I am obsessed with seltzer, and if you join our trip, I’ll show you the best place to get it in commons. One time, I had a crush on someone because we ran into each other at the seltzer machine. But I digress. I love peace and hate conflict, and that’s why I designed my very own Peace and Conflict studies major! I am a blazer of trails, swimmer of lakes, and trailer of swims, and I can’t wait to conquer Katahdin with all of you, the Mount on which I first oriented myself to Bates (this was my AESOP)! As a result, I will be racked with bitter bouts of nostalgia for my first-year self throughout our trip, but never fear- I will persevere. I also play the oud, so get ready for me to croon you to sleep under the abundant twinkling stars of Baxter State park. Let’s do it! p.s. One time, Maddi pierced my ear, and she has both my parents’ numbers in her phone.
Baxter Bushwackers II Leaders: Chris Crum and Ali Rabideau
Hi everyone, my name is Chris and I’m from – objectively speaking – the best state in the United States. For those of you who guessed Colorado, congratulations, you win a smartie (you know, for being smart). Maine, however, is my current home, and in the words of Shakespeare (loosely quoted), “[Maine,] though she be but small [elevation wise], she is mighty.” I love Maine as one loves their favorite book, with a deep and unabashed passion, but I’ll spare you the erstwhile, ersatz sentimentality and get down to the details. I’m a History Major at Bates, I love to climb, and hike, and ski, and read, and debate for the BQDC. I am currently abroad in Tasmania, and was abroad last semester in Portugal, and will be writing my thesis on the intellectual climate of the Early-modern Iberian Peninsula next semester. It sounds like a mouthful but really just means I’ll be pretending to be an egghead for fun. Anyways, I’m looking forward to meeting you all and introducing you to an amazing place, and more especially, an amazing community here at Bates.
Hey now, Ali here. Though I’m coming to you born and raised in a little Boston suburb, nowhere has ever been more home to me than Lewiston. Spending the last four months abroad in Nepal, Jordan and Chile might have a little something to do with my overwhelming love for being back in this little city. Other than traveling, I’ve spent my last three years at Bates taking Sociology and Women and Gender Studies classes, talking about spirituality and activism in my job with the Multifaith Chaplaincy, and exploring the great state of Maine (don’t listen to the lies, folks, it’s better than Colorado…). My indulgences include obstacle-loaded mud runs, talking about feminism, beefing up my recipe book, and any type of farm work you can throw at me. Chris and I will be seniors this year, and having made our share of stupid mistakes the first AESOP trip we led (flat tires, capsized kayaks…nothing a little extra good-natured humor can’t fix!) we’re so ready to perfect it this year. Katahdin better ready itself.
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 Leaders: Meghan Henderson and Miles Lamberson
Hey y’all. My name is Meghan Henderson, and I come from the wild, exotic, and super stimulating town of West Hartford, Connecticut. I like swimming, biking, hiking, running, waterless surfing, competitive eating, and chasing squirrels around my local reservoirs. One of the most memorable moments in my life thus far was meeting an Amish family at a gas station on a family road trip then proceeding to live with them for a week. Who knew churning butter was such a good upper arm workout. I’ve actually got a lot of weird life experiences under my belt, perhaps due to the fact that I was homeschooled for 14 years. If you like strange true stories, I’m your gal. I love gluten, but gluten doesn’t love me. Neither does dairy. So if your favorite food is grass, have we got a trip for you.
Greetings loved ones-
Hailing from the country of Vermont, Miles navigates the binary between homeless man clad in flannel, and academic of Bates College on a daily basis. Rumor has it he was born in a pair of double front Carhartts, only removing them when hiking or skiing out of respect of the common adage, cotton kills.
On Campus, Miles’s awkward and lanky figure is often times accompanied by a Bates EMS radio, filling his not so spare time as an on call EMT. Often at the same time, he can be found dangling from the climbing wall, sometimes shirtless, covered in chalk, pretending to know how to climb.
And for what it’s worth, Miles would like to note that while he may have raised some rockstar sheep and goats, he knows nothing about horses. (To make this blatantly clear, Saddleback is not a horse back riding trip, yes, this has been an issue in the past).
Saddleback II Leaders: Pat Sheils and Emily Ausman
Whats up class of 2020! My name is Pat and I call Portland, Maine home when I’m not kicking it on campus. I’m probably going to be a politics major with an affinity for Frank Underwood, but at the moment I’m still majoring in ambiguity. I’ve been explorin’ the backwoods and coastline of Maine for 19 years, and I’m psyched to lead you guys as we romp around Saddleback! I enjoy skiing, hiking, climbing and playing around with my camera. If you’re lucky maybe ill snap a few pics for the ‘gram on our trip! I grew up skiing at Saddleback and wandering the Rangeley woods so you know we won’t get lost (probably). Y’all should know I’m the self proclaimed pepper flip champion of Bates college – if you don’t know what a pepper flip is you will learn quickly. I’m looking forward to jam sessions on van rides and bagging peaks on the trail with all of you. Some say the team of Emily and I resemble the 96-97 Chicago Bulls, the 91-92 Duke Bluedevils, or the ’04 Red Sox – so get ready for the best AESOP ever.
Yeehaw! My name is Emily I was birthed on the isle of Oregon! All though I’m from the PNW I’m stoke to call the LEW my home now. I love me some good old time in the outdoors and being raised by woodland creatures, I am well versed in burrowing. I spend much of my free time camping, hiking and skiing. I am a huge lover of Kelly Clarkson fan videos and have never seen the moon. My major is unclear, so I look forward to graduating with you in 2020! Get stoked for sunburns, scratches and the time of your lives! Can’t wait to see you little maggots blossom into beautiful flies and soar threw your first year at Bates!
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.
Presidential Range Traverse (Level 4)
Prezies I Leaders: Madeline Bruno and Matthew Moss-Hawkins
Hey y’all! My name is Madeline Stella Brüno and I am beyond amped to be leading AESOP with my lovely friend Matt. I am a rising senior from Denver, CO. I am a Geology major but I dabble in things all over the board: I skihikebikecanoeclimb, like goats a lot, work in the theatre costume shop sewing things, play with volcanic melts, play IM broomball, and am an EMT on Bates EMS. I have a sixth sense that enables me to find dogs to pet the second they walk onto campus. The maine thing I like to do is sail. I am the Commodore of the Bates Sailing Team, whatever that means. Matt and I are a bomb.com dynamic duo who can often be found racing somewhere mid-fleet and most likely inappropriately making faces at the other boats. My proudest achievement is when the doctor told me I had the most flexible toes he had ever seen. Yay Aesop!
My name is Matthew Moss-Hawkins III. I am from Newton, Mass (boring) and am an economics major (boring). I am currently abroad in New Zealand, where I am studying hiking and how to be really bad at responding to Maddy’s texts. When I am not ‘spiking balls’ on Garcelon field, I am found sailing boats or pondering the meaning of lyfe. My greatest accomplishment at Bates is probably setting up a tolf course that stretches across the campus. The most important thing I do is play IM broomball. If I could be one vegetable, I would be a brussel sprout because I think they are delicious. I enjoy hiking medium sized mountains, being a triplet, eating Asian food, and sports-ing. I am the captain of the Bates Sailing team for the second year, and I enjoy “sailing boats” and “plundering the shores” and “burying treasure” with Maddy because we are actually pirates. I am so excited to be doing AESOP again and I hope you are as ready as I am to explore some presidents.
Prezies II Leaders: Danny Stames and Rosy DePaul
Greetings ‘Cats!!! I’m Danny, a rising senior who hails from the frosty mountain peaks and mythical maple syrup-covered hills of Vermont! You can frequently find me skiing, snowboarding, sleep-walking, kicking a soccer ball, hiking, inhaling Ben and Jerry’s Americone Dream, sleep-talking, and geeking out with friends about all types of TV shows (House of Cards, Game of Thrones, HBO’s Girls etc). At Bates I’m a geology major and philosophy minor with a concentration in backcountry culinary creativity. I’m currently training for our Prezi trip by tramping around in Dunedin, New Zealand; stay tuned for an overabundance of Facebook photos. Rosy and I are so excited too meet you all and gallivant around the beautiful Maine wilderness this August!!
P.S. If I wander from the campsite at night please return me to my tent. Cheers!
Sup bobkittens?! My name is Rosy and, although I may seem like a totally well-adjusted Mainer, I come from the sunny beaches of Los Angeles, California. Like Danny, I am a rising senior (which is CRAZY), and I am beyond stoked to be leading AESOP for the third year in a row! When I’m not crushing miles on the trail, you can find me teaching spin classes, running marathons, frolicking in lakes and oceans, watching tons movies and tv shows, jamming out to any/all kinds of music, and eating peanut butter straight out of the jar. I am currently studying Film in Buenos Aires, Argentina which is appropriate considering I am a Film Studies and Spanish double major at Bates. If you want to have a super epic adventure on the famous Presidential Traverse with the coolest ‘cats around, come hang with Danny Boy and me for AESOP 2016!! You won’t regret it. I swear. We’re really fun/cool/quirky/outdoorsy. Be prepared to snack like you’ve never snacked, hike like you’ve never hiked, and laugh like you’ve never laughed before. Can’t wait to meet you and show you all the beauty Maine has to offer!!!
Btw, if you want to eat super tasty backcountry food, come on our trip because mountain gourmet grub is my specialty ;)
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!
*Presidential Range Traverse I & II share the same itinerary, but are run in opposite directions.
Mahoosuc (Level 5)
Mahoosuc I Leaders: Maddy Ekey and Koby Yudkin
first met Maddy at a Himalayan monk ashram, she appeared during the 40th hour of a two-day hand-stand induced meditation. I knew I must have been approaching Nirvana because slung over her right shoulder was a pair of powder skis and clutched in her left hand were climbing shoes and chalk. She rocked the most righteous of goggle tans and said to hail from Montana. Her hazel eyes and wide grin immediately gave me a sense of trust that was reinforced when she reached down from the clouds and exclaimed: “follow me to the land of endless first ascents!” Her aura emitted so much stoke that when I awoke I knew exactly what I had to do with my life: lead an AESOP with Maddy Ekey. Turns out she is even gnarlier in real life, Maddy is a superbly stellar lady! As my vision foretold she is indeed from Montana, she climbs hard, skis harder, and always lands on her feet. Some other impressive ingredients in the make-up of Maddy are: she majors in neuroscience, she is a recent gold medalist in blindfolded one-leg highland dancing, she is a blackbelt in the praying mantis school of martial arts (the character of Mr. Miyagi is loosely based off Maddy), she can run so far that in 2007 scientists agreed to increase the size of the Earth to ensure she never had to run the same trail twice. She has so much experience in the outdoors that she now teaches moose how to prepare for the winter. Maddy is a giggly, peaceful, and open-minded lady that will without a doubt go down in AESOP history as the best there ever was. Some Montucky locals even go as far as to claim to have witnessed her beat a grizzly bear in a staring contest but you’ll have to ask her about that one.
Let me present to you the recent champion of who wore it better, New Zealand: overalls edition. You would think that looking damn good in overalls was sufficient in terms of special talents, but that is really just the beginning of a long list. For the past several months Koby has been on an epic journey of the globe, spreading endless good vibes and educating people about up and coming climbing phrases wherever he goes. The only things he brought on his journey were the climbing essentials, a trucker hat and his favorite overalls and a large suitcase of craft beer. It was rumored that last month he achieved the most difficult of meditation states: a successful two days in handstand before he passed out. After this he was recruited to be an intelligence operative in the mountains of Nepal. Luckily I was able to reach him via carrier pigeon a few weeks ago, and he has kindly agreed to return from his spirit quest in August just in time to fulfill the most important of Bates traditions, leading AESOP.
Mahoosuc II Leaders: Bruno Zicarelli and Amy Katz
In a galaxy far away, I, Theodore Bruno Zicarelli was born out of the surf and positive vibrations of a lost planet known as Santa Cruz, California. One day, while swimming with my dolphin and otter friends of the Monterey Bay, I was encountered by a Sperm whale. This magnificent creature looked me in the eye and spoke to me, calling out in native whale, “WEAAUUUUAAEEEAAUUAWEE” (which translated to English means: “Maine is dope, check it out”). I knew it was destiny. I jumped on a plane and here I am, a rising senior Biology major at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine! Aside from all things oceanic, I love hiking, rock climbing, fly-fishing, and saying the word “candelabra.” You may ask yourself, “Is he really qualified to lead me in the outdoors?” Well you should also ask yourself, is the sky blue? Duh. Not, only did I win the Bates WhisperLite Iron Chef challenge, I am a Wilderness EMT, so you can assure your granny and high school sweetheart you’ll make it out alive.
In a galaxy slightly closer than Bruno’s, I sprouted from a seed into a delicate flower in the beautiful lands of southwestern Colorado before moving to Maine and falling in love with Environmental Studies at Bates. Although I don’t speak the language of the sperm whale, I do have a strong knack for speaking Kiswahili (and by strong knack I mean I can say “sialewi” which means “I don’t understand”). My favorite activities include priming a whisper light, eating peanut butter and oreos like the Lohan twins from Parent Trap, and occasionally putting on rubber shoes and grabbing on to small rock flakes to pull myself up cliffs. While Bruno likes to pull the “I am the Iron Chef champion” card, my tuna mac game gives him a run for his money. When I am not cooking sub-par camping meals, you will finding me doing an absurd amount of pull ups or thinking deeply about the environment.
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.
Franconia (Level 5)
Franconia I Leaders: Josie Gillett and Fergus Scott
What’s up?! My name is Josie and I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. I spent my youth romping around the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, and I’ve always loved getting my feet dirty in the great outdoors. In addition to being outside, I love to cook good food, eat good food, play any sort of game, get to know new people, nap, and play sports. I’m on the women’s ultimate team here at Bates and I’m an expert IM sport participant. My other skills include being competitive, herding chickens, being pretty mediocre at solving crosswords, folding really small paper cranes, Bananagrams and eating chocolate. During the summer, I spend my days basking in the Seattle sunshine (it’s actually sunny sometimes!), playing Frisbee, teaching small children how to play Frisbee, backpacking with my family and friends, catching shrimp in the Puget Sound and baking blackberry pies. This summer, I aspire to build a clay oven in my backyard, but we’ll see how that goes. I’m an Environmental Science major and a French minor, and I love figuring out how things work. Ferg and I met on AESOP last year, and we are so excited to get to know you this fall! This trip is bound to be fun-filled, adventure-packed, and all-around unreal: in terms of location, scenery and awesomeness, Franconia is hard to beat. In the wise words of our AESOP leaders past, “if you’re down to bring it, we’re down to eat it. Let’s get weird.”
Kia Ora guys!! (That’s native New Zealand for hello). My name is Fergus and I’m from Wellington, New Zealand, which is more commonly known as hobbit land or Middle Earth. I grew up in New Zealand and spent many a year hiking some of the most beautiful trails in the world. I lived there until I was 18 when I moved to the big bad U.S of A. Here at Bates, I’m on the tennis team, and I’m in an acappella group known as the Man Ops (we’re low-key sick). I’ve been known to also dabble in the world of contemporary dance (albeit very badly) and I’ve been sighted playing shirtless spike ball on our football field in the middle of January (wouldn’t actually recommend it to be completely honest). I’m a double major in Music and Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. All of that sounds really fancy but it basically just means I have no idea what I want to do with my life. My more quirky skills involve making delectable cheesecakes, scrolling for hours on Buzzfeed, rapping the fast part of “Rap God” by Eminem faster than my boy Marshall Mathers himself, and saying cheers way more than the average American. Franconia is a trip that will take us through some of the most undeniably beautiful terrain in New England and you will get to do it with some of the most undeniably cool people in New England. On our last AESOP trip, we had half a bottle of hot sauce left with only two miles to go on the trip, so I put the team on my back and crushed that hot sauce like you can’t possibly imagine. If you want to see feats of similar awesomeness/stupidity, this trip is for you.
Franconia II Leaders: Evan Hansen-Bundy and Caroline Mitchell
Evan Hansen-Bundy, introspective English major by day, wayward sailor by night. This tall goldilocked man can be seen loping around campus book in hand, spike balling on Garcelon or frequenting the climbing wall. As a member of the sailing team and a peer writer, Evan HB is a multidimensional Bates student. Evan has seen the world, not just through the words of his favorite authors but from the top of Kilimanjaro, the valleys of the Rockies, and abroad in Chile last winter semester. Hailing from just outside of Boston, Evan is more than ready to share the wonders of his native New England with incoming Batesies on an undoubtedly incredible journey through the White Mountains. He is stoked to meet all of you this fall!
Caroline Mitchell: Tall, gorgeous, gregarious. Caroline isn’t the sort of person you want to have when you’re in trouble; she’s the person you need to have. The “most interesting man in the world” doesn’t have s*** on homegirl here. She also happens to captain water-polo and can dance until everyone else has gone home. She, being the most mature mom in the room most moments, will also take you home, if that’s what you need. The psych is high, do this trip with her.
This backpacking trip takes you through the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire summit-ing 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: 32 miles
*Franconia I & II share the same itinerary, but are run in opposite directions.