This series will feature 3 day / 2 night trips, which will begin Friday afternoons with a short hike to reach our first camp. The next 2 days will be spent traversing some of the most spectacular, and legendary routes in the Catskill region, and beyond. We will focus on building the skills of our participants through hands on participation in every aspect of the adventure. We will teach route planning, emergency management, trip logistics, and a host of other skills that will help prepare you for a life full of adventure.
The Excelsior Adventure Club is geared towards helping teens build the skills required to tackle backpacking, and other types of long distance trips. The participants will gradually tackle larger, and more intense trips as this series progresses. As participants develop both the endurance, and knowledge required to coordinate these trips, we will take on more of an observational role. Teaching, and then assisting only if the situation requires. The series will culminate with a trip planned entirely by the members of the club.
This an amazing trip to jumpstart this adventure series. With multiple choices for a possible route, each with a unique set of challenges. This trip will be sure to start the debate about how route planning should be done. Participants will have to estimate pace, use a map to identify locations, calculate distance, and create a plan based on resources they can identify on the map.
This traverse draws us towards the heart of the Catskills. We will continue to develop our route planning skills, and continue lessons on proper packing. We will also practice emergencies in the backcountry, meal planning & prep, and camp chores. The group will discuss our role as stewards of the resources, and how that impacts our plans, and actions in the field.
This hike literally has us following the footsteps of legends. Not to mention the jaw dropping scenery that will reward some of the toughest terrain we will encounter up to this point. We will begin to test the skills we learned on the previous journey by have the participants play and active role with camp responsibilities, and daily planning. We will have the added challenge of managing camp in colder conditions. The Guides will teach the teens tricks to manage their layers, and adjust their diets to help stay warm, and cozy
The views along this trek inspired the art that lead to the tourism boom, which made the Catskills a household name. At this point in the series we will encourage our members to take an active role in planning all phases of the trip. The guides will begin taking a more observational approach, as we allow each participant to find the role that they are best suited for. The logistics involved with selecting an appropriate campsite, and how to mange food, water, and warmth will be among some of the challenges our members will have to contend with, as they set out for their next adventure
Having a few winter treks under their belts this trip will put the teen’s winter skills to the test. The route is typically difficult to complete in warmer weather because of the lack of available water, but winter blankets the land with frozen water of many kinds, allowing us to use the tools and knowledge gained on previous outings to work, to keep us going.
This trip will continue to test the cold weather, and planning skills of the group, as we have many resources available, and several optional attractions we could enjoy. The group will have to observe current conditions, as well as group conditions to determine their course from A to B while juggling their needs along the way.
This trip provides a great distance, and the perfect refresher of the basics before moving onto some longer distance hikes in the long bright days of summer.
By this time Spring will be hinting to us to extend our journeys with warmer temps and a little more day light. The group will have several options to reach their end point, and will have to measure their pace, and ability to determine their course. The Guides will discuss each route, and provide the ultimate approval before moving the group towards their first potential off trail excursion.
One of our favorite routes, and a true Catskills challenge. The Devil’s Path traverses 6 peaks. 5 of which are Catskill high peaks. The route also affords us the ability to pick up 2 additional peaks including a bushwhack of Leavitt Mt. (SW Hunter). The group will have to call on their skill of tracking their pace, and planning their route each day to determine what the group can accomplish based on resources, and conditions
The perfect summer escape! This route travels to a remote corner of the Catskills that affords many optional side routes, with little known attractions that are well worth discovering. We will continue with tracking, and navigational skills, but will also consider how to plan for the inevitable, and always changing weather. The conditions southeast of the Pepacton Reservoir lend themselves to the occasional afternoon shower, and dense morning fog. While we hope that fortune shines on us, we will form plans that contend with the possibility of poor conditions. From shelter to bail out logistics, we will help the teens navigate the complexities of managing a long distance trip.
Trade the boots for water shoes! This trip will combine hiking and canoe camping. Utilizing ultralight kevlar canoes we will establish a base camp, to run day trips, on the water, and trails in the Adirondacks. This trip will offer a host of options to the group that will range from grueling to soothing, and they will be tasked with presenting the Guides their route prior to embarking. We will work with them to bring their vision to life on the water, and trails.
The participants will work together to present a route plan to the Guides. We will check the route, emergency plans, supplies list, logistics, back-ups, and bails outs before letting the participants lead the way. This outing will be the culmination of a year of learn, and could feature adventures on trail, off trail, and on the water.