Preseason Camp @ Waterville Valley
Preseason camp, our 14th (or was it the 15th?), was held at our favorite site, Osceola Vista Campground near Waterville Valley. Four days of running, hiking, sunshine, rain, challenges, and best of all - team building! Our trusty chaperones Rob, Brian, and John were back for their 4th straight year, along with Coaches Sandu and Dave, and DeAna Irving. One last year for chaperone coffee from the RV and fresh wild mushrooms…
The week began with a run up beautiful Livermore Trail, more of a gravel road, with one single hill (three miles long). Everyone made it to the meeting point, and then we proceeded to discover a superb swimming area (Matt is a certified lifeguard, yay!). Then...Tristan and Noelle...where are they? Somehow, on the wide, straight road, they took a wrong turn on a next-to-invisible trail, gave up, and went back to camp. It’s always something!
The next day proved to be a very wet day, so plans were changed and the hike was put off a day. We discovered the Waterville Rec. Center and spent an hour playing dodgeball, where we discovered why it has been banned from many Phys. Ed. classes. Those balls hurt when they hit you in the face, right Maizie? After a quick snack, we ran through the last of the drizzle and ascended the Waterville Ski Area, with DRen setting a speed record of about 22:30 in the process. Back down the mountain, and on to the ice arena! What a comedy of errors. I’ve never seen so many walkers, aka ice skating aids, being pushed around a rink. Surprisingly, everyone survived unscathed and unconcussed. Probably the most dangerous thing we did all week! Everyone emerged with an increased respect for figure skaters.
The next day, Thursday, was a weather gem. Cool, breezy, and...SUNNY! On tap for the day was Mt. Tripyramid, one of the tougher hikes in the White Mountains. A long hike in along Livermore Trail brought us to the 1.2 mile climb, listed in one guide as a “Class 2 Friction Climb”. Before anyone gets too excited, know that the danger was minimal. Wikipedia defines that class as
“Class 2 - Simple scrambling, with the possibility of occasional use of the hands. Little potential danger is encountered. Hiking Boots highly recommended.”
However, for those with mild cases of acrophobia (look it up, kids), it felt like climbing the side of a skyscraper. In the end, everyone was successful, an accomplishment to be proud of. The trail brought us to North Tripyramid, the 32nd highest 4,000 footer in the state. A short mile of hiking brought us to Middle Tripyramid, the 35th highest. Another easy mile brought us to the down climb, not quite as steep but still an impressive trail. A few miles and a good mountain stream “ice bath” later, and the whole team was enjoying pizza while creating goals for the upcoming season.
In the end, it was a fantastic trip as usual, with superb students and chaperones. We coaches are lucky to have such a great bunch of athletes to work with - thanks for being awesome!