After incredible time spent in Moab, Utah, our group charged southbound for our home base of Escalante, Utah where we reunited with the dusty, expansive, and sleepy Escalante Heritage Center Campground. Our return allowed me to reminisce on just how far our tight little group of nine students has come in a holistic sense; We went from dragging our heels on three mile hikes of flat terrain to tackling twelve miles of consistent elevation on the Boulder Mail Trail. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a unique and special experience.
Now that I have been on Mountain Classroom for several weeks, I have picked up on a few tips and now know how navigate the obstacles the program throws at you. Mountain Classroom is about a mindset, and the way we go into trying all new things like climbing, hiking, academics, and living together. All these things can be stressful, however, being open to trying all these new things is what Mountain is all about.
Mountain Classroom was jam packed with adventure, grit, perseverance, and pretty views this week as we successfully hiked the 30 mile Boulder Mail Trail in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. There’s no doubt that this was a week of immense growth for not only our individual selves, but also our group as a whole.
After an exhilarating first week of exploration and acclimation, we found ourselves preparing for our first expedition in Utah at Coyote Gulch. The day leading up to this journey was filled with much excitement and organization. Before we were to head out, we had to pack up our backpacks with a variety of basic essentials, among them, group gear, clothing, a week’s worth of meals and WAG bags.
This Sunday, after one hour of sleep and a two hour drive to Boston, I boarded the early morning flight to Vegas with all but two of my Mountain Classroom mates. The flight was long, long enough to do some real thinking. I sat in my seat, contemplating my decision to go on this trip. Was I prepared?
Two months ago, a group of ten Proctor students and two instructors arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada to launch Proctor’s winter Mountain Classroom program during what would be the most challenging months of the Covid-19 global pandemic. The past eight weeks have been nothing short of life-changing for those ten students. Read about their final independent student group expedition through the eyes of Ayla below.