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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:

Are you looking for adventure? Ready to pack up your mom’s mini van and head north, throwing inhibitions to the wind, and explore unknown territory in the thick of the New Hampshire wilderness? If yes, then shoot dang, you’ve lucked out. As Max and Halle as your moderately backlandish seasoned Bobcats (the student type, not the feline type), you will experience the rugged outdoors at it’s best, in the beauty of the PREZZIES! You might enter the woods with wonder and maybe some confusion, but you will leave with a dozen new friends, a rad trail name, an impressive 4-day stench, and enthusiasm to take on your first year at Bates. We’re tellin’ ya, this will be the best experience of your life (okay maybe not, but it’s definitely top 10 material). That being said, there really is nothing quite like sitting atop the tallest peaks in the East and hanging amidst the alluring mountains surrounding you and the cotton candy clouds that exist so peacefully high in the sky. It’s a special place that will stick with you long after you’re gone. Take it in. Don’t let it go.

Homey campsites & sassy Whisperlights,

Maxie & Hal

Max Utter:

(written by Halle)

Maximus Decimus Meridius Utterus (“Max Utter” to the commonfolk), was born and raised in the picturesque New England town of Exeter, New Hampshire. Here at Bates, Maxie is a Nueroscience major with a Frisbee — I mean a French — minor. Some quick ‘n’ quirky facts about Maxamillion: he will often run away from you mid-sentence to climb a tree or toss a disc, he eats a disturbingly large amount of Goldfish and Cheese Itz (really anything cheese based), he could win any trivia contest about Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings, and in his free time he enjoys engaging in conversations about the enormity of the universe (deep dude, I know). Not only is Macs one heck of an adventurous spirit, but he is also somewhat of an expert on all things hiking and cannoeing, so you’re in good hands! Macs has been one of my best pals here at Bates since Week 1, so I can confidently say that he is definitely a person you’ll want to spend 4 days in the woods with.

Halle Johns:

(written by max)

Hallison currently hales from the hopping horse racing town of Saratoga Springs, New York. However, she used to live in Belgium where she ate chocolate with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These days her best friend is Max. She aspires to be as mountain-man-like as him at all times. In her spare time Halle enjoys hosting semi-annual Third-Eye-Blind cult meetings! She’s still looking for ways to get her through this semi-charmed kind of life. Halle is a rhetoric major, which means she can persuade you to do almost anything. Don’t test her. She is also a Spanish minor and is studying abroad in Chile, which is super exciting! She keeps busy at Bates by playing on the women’s club hockey team, eating copious amounts of chocolate (Her Belgian self lives!!), eating pb+j sandwiches with Max, and talking in entertaining, strange voices. Halle is super fun, easy going, and one of the coolest people I know. She’s kind of super awesome.

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:

/^/^/^/^/ ?!?!?! If you don’t speak the ancient language of our fathers father father’s father, do you love spending time in the mountains? Navigating over flowing streams? Running wild with wolves (aka your trusty trip leaders)? If you answered (or thought about answering) yes to any or all of those questions….. Exploring the Whites is for YOU! Your trip leaders extraordinaire, Tanner and Emma, have 4 days and 3 nights of wilderness adventure in our hearts and we want to share it with you. So, if you like camping, great food, stargazing, and spending quality time with your new best friends, take a chance on the wild side and join us!

Tanner Dirstine:

Hey there campers! My name is Tanner and I’m from The Big Potato or Boise, Idaho for those who aren’t familiar with our famous vegetable (or root??). I am a senior here at Bates and enjoy skiing (and am on the alpine ski team here), biking, hiking, and everything else outdoors! I love watching sports, but also watch my fair share of rom coms when I get some free time. I am studying biology with concentrations in physics and philosophy and psychology, and absolutely love my major. I have been fortunate to have explored the globe backpacking, skiing and sampling the worlds finest chocolates. I’m super stoked to be leading AESOP going into my final year and hope you’ll come explore with us!

Emma Marchetti:

This is an interview I gave to myself.

Name: Emma Marchetti
Hometown: Whitefish, Montana
Favorite band: The Wood Brothers
Favorite movie: Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back
Favorite book: Wild
Favorite color: Medium Sky Blue
Spirit animal: Sloth bear
Name of my pet plant: Little Jaba
Major, Minor: Environmental Studies, Spanish
Hobbies/activities: Sailing, nordic skiing, figure skating, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, knitting, playing guitar, gardening, and grizzly bear tracking
If you were trapped on an island and could bring only one thing what would it be?: My dog, Leo.
Favorite Bates activities?: AESOP, outing club trips, and drinking chai tea at le ronj (student run coffee house).
What did you eat for breakfast?: Cracklin’ Oat Bran, a pancake with cream cheese and cinnamon sugar topping, and pineapple wedges.

This 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:

Are you trying to venture all the way up to T2R9 to hike the highest mountain in all of Maine? Does the idea of a grueling yet incredible traverse along Katahdin’s Knife Edge on your way to the summit excite you? Then this is the AESOP trip for you. Your fearless leaders Franny and George are ready to take you on the trip of your life through remote northern forests, mountain streams, and prime moose territory, all in the midst of prime wild blueberry season. We’ll camp under the stars in the best tent sites Baxter State Park has to offer, spend whole days walking through some of the most beautiful terrain you’ve ever seen, and at night we’ll cook up exquisite 5-star meals over our whisper-lites. Yes, there will be broccoli. At the end of the trip we’ll top things off with a gluttonous meal at Dysart’s Truck Stop, a Baxter State Park trip tradition.

George Merrill:

My name is George, but most people know me as my many other alter egos. These include, but are not limited to, ‘George the Den Delivery boy extraordinaire’, ‘that kid who skis a lot and always wears snowpants in Commons,’ and ‘just another Environmental Studies Major’ to name a few. When I’m not leading AESOP trips, I can usually be found playing with bike parts in the Outing Club’s equipment room, “studying” at Sunday River or Sugarloaf, or spending more than a meal’s worth of time in Commons.

Franny Yanover:

One time last year I stole a picture of a squirrel off of George’s door. We’ve been great friends ever since. I’m currently studying abroad in Tanzania where I’m busy prancing with zebras and gazelles and taming ferocious lions. At Bates I am a psychology major and the best of all the baristas at The Ronj. When I’m not sipping chai at The Ronj, you can find me adventuring in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or grossing George out with weird chia seed concoctions. My spirit animal is a housecat.

Baxter Bushwackers 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

Baxter Bushwackers is not just a level IV backpacking AESOP, it is a spiritual journey that will render your life complete. If you had the balls to consider a level IV 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, Baxter is not the stuck-up high school girl who thinks she’s out of your league. Baxter isn’t even a girl. BAXTER IS A LIFE CHANGING, SOUL PURIFYING, HEART STOPPING, GUT WRENCHING, BEAUTIFUL AND MAGICAL EXPERIENCE. Worship it. Love it. Want it.

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.

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 excel 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.

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:

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 along Maine’s Appalachian Trail 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. We can’t wait to meet you and kick off your Bates experience in the best way imaginable…Three cheers for SADDLEBACK! (Huzzah huzzah huzzah!)

Kelsey Schober:

HOLA AMIGOS. I’m Kelsey Schober 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 senior, major x3 (psychology, dance, and politics), president of the Circus Club (YES it exists and YES it’s phenomenal and YES you should join) and love Bates almost as much as I love Alaskan trails, the Andes, and my cat (that’s a lot, trust me).

The following is a completely arbitrary yet quite important list of things that float my boat: rooibos tea, español, insulting capitalism, teaching aesopers handstands (WHAT), imposing mountains, my absurd co-leader Teddy who I met on my freshman AESOP—we’re basically professionals now–birkenstocks, the winding trails of Saddleback I, alpaca sweaters, adventures and MY FUTURE TERRIFIC/AWE-INSPIRING/SPECTACULAR SADDLEBACK I AESOPERS OF 2019!

Teddy Rube:

Helloooo denizens, estudiantes, and freshly weaned Bobcats of the class of 2019! I’m Teddy Rube, an eternally enthusiastic (as you will learn) senior 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, 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 conquer Maine’s beautiful wilderness with y’all!

Saddleback II:

Saddleback II:


Welcome to Saddleback Mountain run by Cowgirl Evan and Cowboy Ashley (down with the gender binary, am I right? We’re really all just cowpokes). If you like climbing mountains, breathtaking views, getting lost in the Maine wilderness, running from bears and moose – mooses? meese? moosi? No wait, an Alaskan told us it is moose – skydiving, fantasia (not the movie), tiger racing, cheese, synchronized swimming, ghost town duels, invisible bowling, or moonwalking – we’ll leave it to the brilliant minds of the Class of 2019 to figure out which of those are lies – you should join us! We will provide five-star (continental) cuisine, Arabic swear lessons, three-legged races, techno-blues jams, legends of college-related tomfoolery [Oxford comma, of course], and the best trucker’s hitch knots around–oh fear not, you will learn.

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 torch when times are dark. Our love for melodic tunes, the great outdoors, and adventure fuels our passion to be leaders for future Bobkittens. We are bros ‘til the end, partners in crime, and have impeccable taste in shoes.

Our good friends Auntie Kelsey (the Alaskan) and Uncle Teddy (not Alaskan, nor a cowboy) will be leading our sister group, Saddleback I. We will meet them on the trail for renditions of “Wagon Wheel” along with some tales of abroad, friendship, love, courage, and Parker Hall.

Evan Molinari:

Hey ‘Cats! My name is Evan and I am from the small town of Milwaukie, Oregon (which is J.O.P.—why is Boston special?) where I spend my summers playing guitar, counting hipsters, and exploring the happy environs of the Willamette River Valley. This past semester I studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh. In Scotland, I crawled over castles, hiked in the highlands, perused the pubs, accepted the accent, and intermingled, nay, hobnobbed with my new neighbors over half-pints of hobgoblin and haggis (I proclaim that plenty of the planet’s literary lapses can be cured with the careful allocation of alliteration. You see I cheated though ‘cause I used “H” and “C” twice). At Bates, when I’m not driving my friends nuts with stupid wordplay, I study American history, perform in campus jazz and rock bands, co-host a show on WRBC Bates College Radio, work in the Peer Writing Center, and schmooze it up in Commons. Anyway, Saddleback is going to be a blast! Ashley and I led an AESOP trip last year and we are “so stoked” to be back at it again. We lived on the same floor in Parker Hall our freshman year, oh so long ago, and have been great friends and partners in crime ever since. Sign up for Saddleback! Can’t wait to meet you guys!

Ashely Bryant:

Hello Bobkittens! I’m Ashley, a senior Anthropology major and Educational Studies minor, from the extremely un-ubiquitous state of Massachusetts – J.O.B. to be even more unique. This winter semester, I studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco where I pranced through the Sahara, consumed large quantities of mint tea and bread, gushed over Atlantic sunsets, and fell in love with leather purses. At Bates, I’m a singer in the College Choir, dabble in musical theater, and volunteer in Lewiston classrooms. When I’m not chilling out on the first floor of Ladd pretending to do homework or eating ALL the almond butter 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 “so stoked” to meet y’all and saddle up to conquer this Maine beaut of a hike!

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)

Grafton I:

Hey y’all, if you’re looking for some great times, potentially dope rhymes and an abundance of zesty limes, look no further than Grafton Notch I! Peaceful moonrises, critter surprises, and killer times without compromises lay ahead if on this journey you embark ($1 to whoever brings a live aardvark, $2 for who ever brings Barrack Obama). Join us on the journey in the wild lands of Maine to discover and embrace your spirit animal and your love of the only food man/womankind should ever eat: the meat stick. Things you are guaranteed to encounter on this trip: mountains, 2 bomb AESOP leaders who are stoked to meet ya, a group of friends you’ll know for the best 4 yours of your life, too much patagonia, the sweet sweet scent of mother nature embracing your body, and Taylor Swift. So stop scrolling through other trips because you just landed upon your destiny.
;-* <3 Mom and Dad

Paul Phillips:

Sup yooooo, the name’s Paul Phillips. I hail from New Gloucester, Maine, a land full of wild coyotes and giraffes. There’s nothing that really touches my soul other than the feeling of a nice rock (potential Geology major here). I spend my time shredding the gnar, whether on the waves (sailing) or hitting the slopes (skiing). When I’m not doing these great hobbies of mine, I am probably dancing. On my way to class, during class, after class my dance moves ebb and flow like the essence of water (or so Adair thinks…). My superpower is that of instant sleep; any time, any place. Come join us in the beautiful wilderness of THE Grafton Notch if you’re tryna have a killer AESOP! We guarantee you have a killer time or your money back (not really though).

Adair Andre:

Hey kids, Adair here! I hope you’re all as stoked for AESOP as I am! A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, I enjoy listening to the aggressive beats of Prof and Atmosphere and occasionally I find myself getting trampled by turtles. I’m an avid lady of the wild and recently spent a month trekking through the Alaskan arctic. Here at Bates, I spend my days learning the lore of the environment and ultimately whipping discs at my friends. I’m an active member of the Outing Club, specifically as an Eroom worker and would love to challenge y’all to a game of stump (an exclusive rule reciting will occur on trail). I’m excited to lead you through the Maine woods on what is sure to be an epic adventure full of meat stick (my fav).

Grafton II:

Grafton II will be one of those trips you tell your grandkids about…or maybe just your friends at Bates, but you get the idea. Be ready for four days filled with fun, endless snacking, the glamorous tarp-sites of the Appalachian Trail, sleeping bag story time (where embarrassing stories are encouraged), learning to craft the perfect s’more, and of course taking in the sweeping views of the beautiful Maine landscape surrounding you. If we haven’t sold you yet, just know that by the end of this mountainous journey you will have found your true spirit animal, domesticated a moose, and put Gordon Ramsay to shame with your Whisper-Lite cooking skills. Looking forward to meeting you all!

Rosy Depaul:

Why hello there, future AESOPers! My name is Rosy and I’m a rising junior from the sunny beaches of Los Angeles, California. When I’m not soakin’ up rays back home, I spend my time on campus playing cello, teaching spin classes, running, playing club water polo, baking delicious treats, laughing, frolicking outside (no matter what the season), and snacking. I am a Spanish and Rhetoric double major with a film concentration, so I get to watch lots of movies and speak lots of Spanish. Last year I took a groovy group of kiddos (like yourselves) on the Saddleback II trip and had a total blast. On that trip, I was given the trail name “Shaka MC” for reasons that will become very clear if you sign up for Grafton II (which you should!) Mah boi Danny and I cannot wait to meet you and see your sunshiney faces in person. Bottom line: I am SUPER STOKED to crush peaks and eat s’mores with you! Catch ya in August!!

Danny Stames:

Greetings ‘Cats!!! I’m Danny, a rising junior 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 around, 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. 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. Thanks!

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:

Hey future AESOPers! Trying to decide which trip to go on to kick off your time here at Bates? If a few memorable days of backpacking through some of the most beautiful terrain New England has to offer sounds up your ally then look no further. Angie and Evan (your fearless leaders) are super excited to be returning to lead their second AESOP trip! Each of us have spent a good chunk of time exploring the outdoors in Maine and New Hampshire and we can agree that Franconia is one of our favorite spots. For our summit day we’ll be greeted with some of the best views and ridgeline hiking that both of us have experienced during our time here at Bates. Also Evan always brings a big bag of Haribo gummy bears whenever he goes backpacking, so that alone should make you want to come along. We can’t wait to go adventuring in the Whites with all of you!

Angie Odonnell:

Hi guys! I’m Angie and I come from a small town in northwestern Connecticut, where the rolling hills are definitely pretty but totally pale (I sunburn easily) in comparison to the beautiful 360 views on the ridge! At Bates I study Psychology, Education, and Geology, so I am a walking epitome of a liberal arts education, wooo! I love to sing and am a member of one of the five a cappella groups on campus. I also play club field hockey and am a member of various clubs on campus. I’ve gone on tons of backpacking trips and actually went on this Franconia trip my first year so I’m really excited to be back as a leader. I can’t wait to be back at it again and meet you guys!!

Evan Nece:

Evan was identified at birth by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama as a highly-realized reincarnated tulku. He spent his formative years studying scriptures at monastic institutions throughout northern India, Nepal, and Bhutan. When Evan came of age he left the monastery for a meditation cave buried deep in the preserved Tibetan kingdom of Upper Mustang. There he sat and waited. Then one day he rose from his meditation, came to Maine, and decided to lead the best AESOP trip there ever was.

Actually I grew up in New Jersey. I’m studying microbiology and Chinese here at Bates and although I try to be a pretty compassionate guy I’m not actually a bodhisattva. I do love backpacking and climbing. I’ve been on lots of trips in a bunch of different cool places and I can’t wait to lead another great group of kids on an AESOP trip!

Franconia II:

Do you like riding bears up mountains? Pick another trip. How about lugging around a backpack everyday that weighs as much as a (small) bear? Do you like not showering for 4 days and pooping in the woods? How about exploring some of the most scenic parts of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and summiting not one, not two, not three, but FOUR 4,000 footers?!?!? (Fun Fact, the tallest peak we’ll be summiting, Mt. Lafayette is actually taller than Mt. Everest, all the geologists until now made a serious mistake. WE WILL LITERALLY BE ON TOP OF THE WORLD). How about Crossing paths with real life mountain-men and women thru hiking the AT who will likely be even smellier than you will be by the time this trip is done? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you won’t regret joining Franconia II, aka 2015’s coolest AESOP trip! We guarantee delicious s’mores, awesome friendships, and buckets of adventure stories to bring back to Bates to impress all your cool new college friends. What are you waiting for, if you know what’s good for you, sign up for Franconia II !!!!!!

Adam Auerbach:

Hey y’al I’m Adam, from the desolate wilderness that is Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of DC. My only friend at Bates is my silo sized Nalgene water bottle, and I’m a rising senior majoring in aggressive hydration, you won’t go thirsty on our AESOP trip. But actually I’m double-majoring in History and Environmental studies. My outdoor experiences include felling trees in Nevada, summiting the highest peak in the lower 48, and trekking in Nepal (actually). I transferred to Bates as a junior and couldn’t be happier, y’al are headed to a great place. When I associate with people who aren’t my water bottle, I’m the Cabins & Trails Director of the Outing Club and an intramural and club soccer player. I’ve also been known to dabble in frisbee and go on weekend hiking trips, including a beautiful snowy trip to our very own Franconia Ridge last semester. I can’t wait to hike it over the summer with you guys!

Becca Ferguson:

Hey guys I’m Becca and I’m a JOB or Jebel Obsessed Batsie!!!!! (Jebel meaning “mountain or hill,” look it up I swear). In all seriousness, JOB means I’m from Just Outside of Boston, and I am a first year here at Bates. I’m a devoted member of the Bates Sailing Team, I’m a bit of a ski bum (and I teach lessons at Bretton Woods, NH!) and I love to sing and play the guitar. I also love ceramics and teach classes to kids in the summer. I have a slight cat addiction and I have have more cats than the number of years most people spend at Bates. I’m a council member of the Outing Club and my outdoor experiences include section hiking over 100 miles of the AT (Including the section we’ll be hiking yay!), summiting most of the 4,000 footers in the East, and trekking through the beautiful peaks of Alaska. I love late night tent cuddling and making new friends. I can’t wait to share an adventure in the woods with you all :)

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:

Looking to get connected to MN (mother nature)? Does the thought of listening to Green Day’s Wake Me up when september ends in a large white van make you smile? Pemigawasset 1 will be everything you loved about middle school. and more. Here on the P-wasset wilderness trail we will do it all: spoon black bear cubs under the new hampshire stars, bag some nude peaks, eat copious amounts of trail mix and nature valley bars, and dabble in experimental jokes “Hey do you like mushrooms? Cuz you look like a fun guy.” Cue laughter. But for realz, come derp around in the woods with us, it will be in-tents!

Thorn Merrill:

Thorn “the king” merrill is a shred machine but don’t put paper in him! lol. He can be found kidding around outdoors at his goat soap farm in Vermont, just down the road from Stowe. He can also be found skiing, snowblading, biking, hiking, breathing, or attending outing club meetings. Nothing makes Thorn happier than eating as many bananas as he can in commons because bananas are his favorite fruit. Thorn likes to hang out in George & Helen Ladd Family Library where he reads books about geology or physics or the twilight trilogy.
p.s. thorn takes no days off. zero. not a single day.

Anna Roy:

Sixth grade class president and prom king Anna Roy is a Vermont Native and outdoor enthusiast. When not reminiscing about her middle school glory days, she can be found in the playing with her many catzzz. When not winding up balls of yarn she can be found deep in the beat lab spitting hot fire with her phat cat Ricky Rosé. She enjoys long hikes and runs and is very excited to lead you through the Pemigewasset Wilderness. When not outside Anna likes to curl up in her bed and knit bathing suits, join her trip and you just might get one! She also likes PB&J’s (triangles, no crust), fine scented candles and a bushy handlebar mustache. Although she peaked in middle school, she’s still pretty fun now so you should go hiking with her.

Pemigewasset II:

Some Haikus for you new stus! (students):

The pemi wild, yo!
A jungle gym of mountains:
Bobkitten dreamland.

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! I’m a frisbee throwin, hockey puck slappin, adventure seeker that likes to boogie. I also sing and fiddle and make art out of trash (like a coffee table out of bottle caps or bowls out of old scratched up records).

Max Silverman:

Hey friends! I’m Max, a soon-to-be senior from the almighty New York State. I love music, backpacking, people, social change, 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 community work in Lewiston, play lots of guitar at Bates and grew up doing oodles of outdoorsy stuff back home in New York and out in Colorado. I’ve been in abroad in Nepal for the past few months, and absolutely can’t wait to get back to Maine and kick off the year with you all!

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:

Dear Sir/Madams,

We write to inform you that you have reached a crucial, climactic, integral and cataclysmic point in your young existence. This choice will surely determine the trajectory of your college experience. Please choose wisely.

With that being said, you have the opportunity to saunter, explore, reimagine, reconstruct and reinvigorate your understanding of the wilderness, friendship, and outdoor defecation.

Join us. Come along for the ride. Step out of your comfort zone. Drink in the beauty that lies within the beating heart of the Mahoosuc Range. Awake to the melodious snores of your future classmates as we lie shoulder to shoulder under a wet tarp. Develop blisters and friendships that will last a lifetime. Sing. Dance. Explore. Create (not babies). Smile. Laugh. And also we will be hiking a lot cause it’s a hiking trip where we hike and sleep and don’t take showers and eat granola bars.

Van playlist will bump.

Britta Clark:

Britta Alison Clark is one tough cookie. She is conservative with her shampoo use, often showering only three times a week. Not only that, but she was a high performing member of the United States Pony Club, and arrived to her high school prom on a hay wagon. You can catch her on the Nordic ski team, pondering deep philosophical texts via Sparknotes, and if you’re lucky she’ll let you plunge deep into her costume box come Halloween Dance. Her greatest accomplishment is her Spotify playlist entitled “Middle School Grind,” which has 4 followers from 3 countries.

William Cleaves:

William Robert Cleaves is a nationally renowned birder with a passion for fashion. He hails from vacationland, otherwise known as the great state of Maine, and his dog’s name is Tom Brady. He loves his mom and hiking in that order. He is continually growing an unsuccessful man-bun and matching mustache in an attempt to conform to an outdoorsy image, but mostly spends his time alternating between eating, distracting people on the first floor of the library and checking the weather on snapchat. He identifies most with dead poets and draws inspiration from an empty Quad on a winter’s eve.

Mahoosuc II:

Do you like getting sweaty with new friends while hiking some of New England’s most ruggedly sexy peaks ? 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? Can you handle the wrath of barking spiders? Can you embody the personality of a bashful rutabaga? Do you want to conquer THE HARDEST STRETCH OF THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL KNOWN TO MAN?! 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 Mahoosucs. 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 Annie’s, and get you stoked to start your life as a member of the educational funland that is Bates. WOO.

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 with a sprinkle of arctic fox and bit of ginkgo tree. Above all she is a granola bar. This gal has been consuming embarrassing amounts of fruit pizza and cinnamon chai at le ronj for three (going on four) years now. She enjoys frolicking across frisbee fields and dancing eccentrically to happy-hippie music. She even almost seems like she could have a good voice too, but it’s actually terrible. She is a full of sunshine and is sure to keep you safe and smiley all day errday.

Bobby Haran:

Bobby’s a country boy at heart, despite being from the Boston area. He has a fetish for Carhartt and sad country music, and enjoys walking across slacklines in peculiar places. His spirit mineral is Dravite and his spirit animal is some combination of a wolverine and a house cat – we’re not quite sure which is more dominant yet. More than anything else Bobby can be classified as a Lara Bar, preferably of the Pecan Pie variety. He can often be found late at night in commons getting his cinnamon-sugar-toast fix. He is also known for his horrendous dance moves and enjoying the occasional naked ski run. Bobby enjoys spending every possibly waking moment outside, and has even lived alone in a tent, somewhere in NH, for seven of the past twenty-four months. He is full of awkward jokes and embarrassing stories, and is fully prepared to entertain you with both while crushin’ the Mahoosuc traverse this summer.

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 you want to dress up like presidents and hang out in some New Hampshire mountains for 4 days? We don’t really either but we’ll definitely entertain the idea if that’s what you’re into . Join us on a journey of epic proportions if you enjoy: 1) eating as many chicken nuggets as possible in one sitting, 2) bringing enough food to make sure we don’t go full Donner Party 3) being awoken before sunrise by Nate’s sweet nothings to crush miles upon miles of the Appalachian Trail. We are in the midst of practicing our defense strategies against bears, menacing squirrels, pythons, and the like, so if you’re worried about protection from New Hampshire’s common predators…. we’ve got you covered. We’ll be balling in the Prezies for a few days and we want you oh so badly to come along. Remember: if you’re down to carry it, we’re down to eat it. Let’s see what happens.

Ruthie Baker:

Greetings! My name is Ruthie but I often go by Rupeee (like the currency). I’ve spent my last 2 summers hanging out with 13-year-olds in the woods, so I am PUMPED to romp with a crew that can hold their bladders for more than 10 minutes!!! Minneapolis, MN is home, and I will take down anyone who tries to knock the midwest: land of 10,000 lakes and best bike paths in the country? Everyone secretly wants the glory of a 612 area code. I study the environment here at Bates and am a proud member of COLD FRONT: the happiest/loudest club sports team on campus (aka women’s ultimate). When I’m not spending 8 hours/week in lab I enjoy moving furniture, eating copious amounts of thai food, and watching dance moms (preferably at the same time). Mountains bring out my better side, I produce grease on my head like it’s my job and I can patch up a blister like you wouldn’t believe (trust me, I’m a professional). Wanna hang out yet?

Nate Levin:

Yo! I’m Nate and I’ve been working on this lip carpet aka caterpillar on my upper lip aka mustache for longer than I want to admit. The reason for the mustache is it keeps me warm when I’m outside – and I’m cool with being outside, man. When I’m not doing work for my Economics or Sociology majors, I’m a big skier (Loaf>Sunday River) and outdoorsman (I honed my skills on Northern Ontario’s icy rivers), and I play ultimate frisbee on Bates O-Whip (I consider myself somewhat of an enforcer but my high school wrestling record (0-12) suggests otherwise). I come from J.O.B. so I’m die-hahd for the Sox and Pats, but I’m also down with those Miami Hurricanes aka The []_[]. Come thruuu, we’ll do some lamping (What do lamps do? They chill.) in the Prezies, and dine like Kings & Queens in the Bush for a couple days. Also, if you want reach me, hit me up on my AIM, screen name: dibble2006.

Prezies II:

Have you ever dreamed of strapping on a moderately heavy backpack and walking until you can no longer walk? Does this dream of yours include going up over big rock formations named after old dudes that used to govern our country? Does it include the company of cool people, good times, and generally good vibes? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Prezis II is the trip for you. If you do not like walking, “hiking,” scrambling over/scooting down rocks, going up, sleeping in bags of bird feathers, potential for blisters, drinking water out of hollow plastic cylinders, then we would not recommend this trip to you. If you look at this list and say, “hell yes,” then join Helen and Jon on a trek through uncharted territories. We will bring you up nine thousand feet and over twenty-four miles, all the while seeing the highest, most beautiful parts of the Live Free or Die state.

Jon Gougelet:

Jon “Juan Coujale” Gougelet was born in the high, White Mountains of New Hampshire into a family of untamed bobcats. He spent the first years of his life hunting and gathering foodstuffs and roaming the countryside in the company of his feline brethren. One day, he was bathing in a crystal clear pool of a mountain stream, when he caught his reflection. His tufted ears had been replaced by cartilage with smooth, furless skin. His face, while containing some fur around his chin, bore no resemblance to any bobcat he had ever seen. He was confused. What was he? Later that night, while feasting on the delectable carrion of a raccoon, he decided to query his parents. They told him he was a human, they had found him as a young babe and decided to raise him, but he would always be a bobcat to them. He could either wallow away in this news or he could embrace both of his ancestries. The year was 2012 and he decided to come down off the mountain into the village of Lewiston, Maine. Here, he met other people in his situation at an institution called Bates. He decided he would take it upon himself to learn the aesthetics of the language that the humans in this area called English. It was settled, this is where he would spend the rest of his life, or at least the next four years of it. But he did not forget his bobcat roots, and every chance he got he would return back to the woods from whence he came, but this time with his new bobcat companions.

Helen Sudkamp-Walker:

Helen ‘Helkat’ Sudkamp-Walker has journeyed far and wide to unite with her fellow bobcats in the foothills of Maine. Her journey began three long years ago among the ice and snow of Fairbanks, Alaska. Since birth, she’d lived deep in Alaska’s untamed wilderness as a lynx, feasting on snowshoe hare and using her thick, hearty coat to endure freezing temperatures and assaults from predators. This lifestyle became lonely, though, and Helen decided it was time to find others of her kind. She searched long and hard, and finally made it to the other side of the country where she came upon a herd of bobcats in a small community called Bates College. The bobcats were friendly and welcoming and, in no time at all, she knew she’d found her family. Still, every now and then, Helen feels the irresistible urge to get back into the wild and this fall, the peaks of New Hampshire are calling. She cannot wait to explore this rugged terrain with her new herd of bobkittens as they become a part of the family.  

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