All Clubs

Mountaineers Club

Backpacking Club founded in 1997

Mountaineers Club

  • Grade level:9-12
  • Meeting Times:Fridays at 8:00 am
  • Location:Room 14
  • Seasons:NO REGULAR MEETINGS. Meets once or twice before a hike.
  • Notice:Open to any students interested in hiking; no prior experience necessary.
  • Advisors:Stefan Syski
    Eric Heil

Club Mission

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 usually sponsors several hikes per year, with a typical schedule as follows:

  • November: weekend hike in the Massanuttens
  • December: Pilgrimage to the Shrine in honor of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
  • January: weekend hike in the Shenandoahs
  • February: weekend hike up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire
  • March: Crescite Week hiking or bike-packing trip

Speak with Mr. Syski, Mr. Heil, Mr. Naegele, or Mr. Regan for more details.

Skills & Benefits

Backpacking helps students learn many skills, including:

  • Preparing and living life outdoors, where there may be 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.