The Mountaineers Club is one of the oldest clubs at the School, dating back to 1997, when Mr. Moynihan and Mr. Cardenas led a group of backpackers up Mt. Colden in the Adirondacks. Since then the Club has hiked all over the East Coast, including many portions of the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and New Hampshire.
The Club was also the inspiration behind the first Heights pilgrimage to Santiago along the Way of St. James in Spain. The Club goes on 2 or 3 hikes each year, usually spending 1 to 3 nights out on the trail. Fathers have often accompanied their sons on these trips and are especially welcome. Through the Club, generations of Heights students have enjoyed the beauty of the outdoors, learned perseverance and courage, and built lasting friendships on the trail.
Events & Topics
The Club has several hikes planned for 2021 – 2022:
- November: Massanutten Mountains or Shenandoahs
- December: Pilgrimage to the Shine in honor of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
- January: 3-day hike along the Tuscarora Trail or AT in Maryland, Virginia or Pennsylvania
- January or February: 4-day hike up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire (if interested, must meet with Mr. Heil in October to prepare)
- March: Crescite Week bike-packing trip
Speak with Mr. Syski or Mr. Heil for more details.
Skills & Benefits
Backpacking helps students learn many skills, including:
- Preparing and living life outdoors, where there is no immediate recourse to food, water, or shelter;
- Packing properly for different kinds of weather, including rain, snow, and cold;
- Building fires;
- Cooking for oneself;
- Navigating with only a map and trail markers.
The hundreds of students who have taken part in Mountaineers trips can confirm by their experience that Mountaineers backpacking trips are an exciting way to experience the beauty of the outdoors, grow in physical and moral strength, and meet new friends and spend time with old ones.