Exploring Dartmouth 2,000 feet up
As someone who never really (read: never) hiked before stepping foot on Dartmouth's campus, the idea of going to a school so well-known for its beautiful surrounding mountains and outdoors activities both excited and terrified me. I've always loved the outdoors and enjoyed being outside, but it was still intimidating when I got here and it seemed like everyone around me had left the womb in hiking boots and Patagonia gear.
It's easy to push things off at Dartmouth, where midterms show no mercy when they start up week 3, and every day there are 101 unread blitzes (Dartmouth speak for emails) about clubs, lectures, and events sitting in your inbox that you swear to yourself you'll check out one day. It took me until sophomore fall to finally tell myself that enough was enough and impulsively sign my friends and me up for a DOC sunrise hike to Holt's Ledge. While waking up at 4 AM was anything but enjoyable, meeting up with my friends behind Robo and driving up to Holt's Ledge in a van and bonding with eight other students was exciting and fun. We got to the base of the mountain and unloaded, put on our headlamps, and headed up the hike. Two hours later, we reached the top and watched the sunrise together at the top of Holt's Ledge. It was beautiful and refreshing—as was the diner breakfast food we all got together afterwards! I hiked Mount Cardigan two weeks later through another trip with the DOC and was again astounded by how beautiful the place I now called 'home' was.