Mountaineering School 2014-2015 Outing 1
Dates: 11/8/2014 - 11/9/2014
Location: Quebec Run Wild Area, Pennsylvania
Maps & Other Documents:
On November 8th, the
Explorers Club of Pittsburgh’s 2014-2015 Mountaineering School traveled to
Quebec Run Wild Area in southwestern Pennsylvania for their first of eight
outings. The objective of this first outing was to experience a challenging
hike, experiment with layering systems, track food and water consumption and
practice eating and drinking while hiking.
The group of eighteen
departed the Mill Run Parking Lot before 10 a.m. under blue skies, hiking on
the Mill Run Trail towards the Miller Trail junction to begin the thirteen-mile
loop of the wild area. The group hiked the loop in the counterclockwise
direction, taking the Miller, Hess and Tebolt Trails until meeting back up with
the Mill Run Trail. Throughout the hike, students took turns leading the group.
At trail junctions and random points along the trail, instructors asked
students to identify their current location on the map and figure out what to
expect on the upcoming mile or two. The terrain on the hike varied but was not
overly challenging. Forgiving flat and downhill sections followed tougher
uphill sections. The group crossed many small springs, runs and creeks, all
slightly swollen by the previous few days of rain. Around 3 p.m., after hiking
just shy of eleven miles at a great pace, the group arrived at their
established campsite located off the Mill Run Trail adjacent to Quebec Run.
Once at camp, the students broke into their teams and practiced setting up
tents and boiling water in a timely matter. The students and instructors
chatted about gear and ate dinner before relaxing and socializing around the
campfire. The temperature stayed in the 30’s overnight, providing the students
a gentle transition into winter camping.
The next morning, students
broke camp, packed and departed camp by 8:30 a.m., hiking just over two miles
back towards the Mill Run Parking Lot via the Mill Run and Grist Mill Trails.
The group arrived back at the parking lot just before 9:30 a.m., allowing time
for instructors and students to go out for breakfast on the way back to the
Overall, the outing was a
success with mild temperatures and great spirits. Students will assess their
clothing and gear systems following the outing, noting what worked and how and
what they can modify or eliminate for the next outing.