By Alex Woodcock
When thinking of how to effectively describe my HOC winter training trip experience, I believe that one word encompasses the entirety of the trip—this word is CLASSY! Our group of five trainees, two valiant leaders, and the amazing Jan began our training trip in the posh-est way possible, with a FLEET of black SUV Mercedes Benz’s. At around 9:45 am, after having loaded all of our gear into our FBI squad vehicles, we were on our way. Maintaining our chic status, we all stopped at a McDonalds before arriving at the trail in order to use the lavatories and allow some to get an UPMARKET hamburger.
Upon arriving at the parking lot, we unloaded the cars in a somewhat timely fashion and finally we were on our way. We would be hiking this first day up the Beaver Brook trail in order to sleep in the Beaver Brook shelter overnight. From the beginning, the going was hard. Snow-shoes were required for the entire way up. The snow was extremely deep for Shaggy (who is a little shorter than most), however, trainees took turns breaking the trail. For me, Alec, and Christian this was a chance for us to feel like explorers, trudging into the unknown.
Getting on into the early evening it started to get dark, so we snow-shoed the last 45 minutes to the shelter with the aid of head lamps. When we finally reached the shelter, there was a sigh of relief for it was time for din dins! While a bunch of us set up the tents in the lean-to shelter, talented chefs Alec and Victor got to work on our EXTREMELY refined dinner– Extra cheesy, MAC N CHEESE! Eight boxes of this and we were all beginning to feel warm again after a long day of hiking. In addition to this, some dancing of the Macarena and YMCA, lead by yours truly, helped to warm up cold hands and feet. After discussing the day overall, we all piled into our tents. Some trainees were fortunate enough to have their sleeping bags pre-heated for them by warm water bottles.
The next day, Sunday, began early with a breakfast of cheesy flavored oatmeal. It took quite a while to get out of camp, but when we finally did leave, we found that the going was much easier than the day before. Fortunately, some fellow explorers had paved the trail ahead of us and the terrain was not as difficult to manage. Without any mishaps (except for me getting stuck in a tree well…..DAHHH!) our group made our way to the summit. Above tree-line was SUPER calm. There was very little difference in temperature and wind speed. In keeping with the classy theme of the trip, we found it necessary to strip off our shirts and take a shirtless summit picture!!!!!! Michael Hersher sported some very fashionable overall snow-pants with no shirt…priceless!
After the struggle of putting our layers back on, our group made its way back below treeline and stopped for a delicious lunch. We ate sophisticated foods, like whole blocks of cheese and spoonfuls of Nutella and had a grand old time enjoying the carbs these foods gave us.
AND THEN…CAME..THE DESCENT!!!! Whether it was sliding on boots, snowshoes or BUTTS, we zoomed our way down the mountain. With hilarious head over heels falls by Michael Traver, strange/futile/confusing hill climbs by Michael Hersher, or just the simple pleasure of sliding on ones tush, it seemed the whole grouped enjoyed the way down what had been a difficult path the day before.
We ended this day as classily as the day before. After loading up into our luxury cars, we made our way to the Hersher house where we had Chinese food (SO CLASSY) and were given the great privilege of eating the famous HOT FUDGE SAUCE! The training trip ended in chocolaty heaven for all present.
General Region: New Hampshire (White Mountain NF) New Hampshire (other) Maine Massachusetts Out West Other
Trip Leaders: Alex Woodcock, Stephanie Garlock, Christian Anderson