When we started this week, I did not expect to be writing this post while watching our group of hardened students play Scrabble in front of the fireplace in Alumni Hall. We started the trip as planned. We were dropped off at the trailhead to Jeffer's Brook Shelter and hiked a difficult mile into our campsite. We prepared dinner, boiled water for hot water bottles, and set up the shelter. After a hearty meal of mac and cheese, we quickly went to our sleeping bags as the temperature dropped. Few members of our group slept more than an hour or two due to the frigid weather. Temperatures were around -20 degrees Fahrenheit, a few degrees lower than our 0 degree sleeping bags!
We woke up, ate an excellent breakfast of oatmeal, and headed for a hike up Blueberry Mountain. The hike was amazing with views of Mt. Moosilauke along most of the route. After the hike, we decided to come back to campus due to reports of continued frigid temperatures forecasted through the week.
Since Tuesday, we have been "camping" in Alumni Hall (thank you, Menkes) and embarking on day hikes during the day. On Wednesday, the group hiked to Burleigh Mountain to learn how to set up a winter camping site. We pitched tents, dug a fire pit, and had a good day of sledding. Today we hiked Cardigan Mountain. The group did a great job hiking and snowshoeing on a very nice mountain on a perfect day. Ice kept us off the summit, but we were rewarded with amazing views on several occasions during our hike. I am impressed with the flexibility and perseverance of our group. It has been a great week, although not what we anticipated!