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Return to trip leading

A decade ago, I spent two summers as a camp counsellor. I took groups of teenage girls on four-day camping and hiking trips.

I became very good at planning meals for 10, packing tents into tiny bags and scaring away rabid squirrels. (That’s another story…)

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Please … no more coolers.

And leading trips! I also got pretty good a leading trips.

Mt. Katahdin
Because it is not kosher to put photos of kids on the internet without permission, here is a photo of me on the tallest mountain in Maine.

Since getting involved with the Alpine Club last, I wanted to get back into leading trips. But felt a bit intimidated by how much more experienced everyone else seemed to be.

On my last ACC trip on 5040, I was encouraged by our trip leader, Colin, to just give it a go. He explained to me the logistics of how it worked. It seemed pretty easy, so I put a trip to Empress Mt. in the Sooke Hills on the calendar.

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We had a full trip — 11 people and 2 dogs.  I asked my friend Dave to co-lead with me, as I knew it would be hard to keep a group that big together.  Dave stayed at the front and I stayed at the back to make sure we didn’t lose anyone.

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Empress is the tallest mountain in the Sooke Hills. It’s not a particularly nice hike, as it’s a long slog up rocky trails and through creeks. So it was great to be rewarded with a nice view!

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The experience of leading a trip is different from just going for a hike.

I was always very aware of where everyone was, how they were doing, what time it was, where we were on the map…

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Some of the benefits of hiking for me are getting a chance to think deeply about something or stop thinking at all.  This was not the case at all on this particular hike, though I don’t mind at all. It’s nice to take people out to places I love.

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I love being outdoors, especially in the mountains. I live on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada.

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