An update from trip leader Joe:
I am so proud of these students. We backpacked almost 40 miles round-trip with heavy mountaineering equipment on our Mt. Olympus journey, and the students led the entire way (except for summit day). They crushed it! We climbed a technical mountain and summited in flair; I heard from many that this was one of the coolest things they’ve experienced in their years at Adventure Treks. We encountered gorgeous views of two or three glaciers, walked over exposed ice, peered into crevasses, and even saw an icefall (from a safe distance!).
On day one, the instructors gave the students a head start and let them navigate the backpack portion; we stayed a bit behind the groups as their safety net, but they were super efficient. On the last morning (which we planned as a team), the instructors got up before the students and hiked out first. We were incredibly impressed when the groups arrived shortly after us, a half-hour ahead of their planned arrival time! After arriving back from Olympus, the students had the energy to organize and execute a talent show—we had so much fun.
This team has come a long way since day one. In fact, one of the most remarkable things I saw from this group was conflict they encountered during the backpack. There were outspoken differences of opinion, but they hashed it out, solved their problems, and moved on—they were a stronger team because of it. As an outdoor leader, I’m not sure what more you could ask for. These young adults have formed an amazing community, and this is, hands-down, one of the best groups of students I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know.