Hiking Mount Nittany

Yesterday was a beautiful day: warm and breezy with temperatures in the 70s. Hundreds of fellow students were out on the lawns tanning, playing games, etc. We were outside the Creamery enjoying some Bittersweet Mint ice cream, trying to plan what we would do tonight. I imagine part of the motivation for what happened was the fact that we were hosting another Haverford alum, Steve Ahn, and wanted to do something fun for him. In the course of our discussion I mentioned that my roommate Rob was out for the day on some outdoorsy activity, hiking or something.

“We’re hiking Mount Nittany!” Chris suddenly exclaimed.

I agreed it would be something to do someday before we graduate. But Chris meant today and right now. He called up Greg with the same rallying cry and pretty soon we had formed our fellowship. We looked up the directions, which were kind of vague (“Go to Lemont, PA”), but eventually found a set that was pretty clear. I grabbed some jeans to protect my legs, but left my boots (bad choice). Within an hour of offering this idea up, we were standing at the base of Mount Nittany.  

Mount Nittany is only about 500ft high, but it is only about a half a mile to the top – which makes for a very steep trek. I already had jogging class earlier today, so my legs were pretty beat going into the trek. There was a clear path to the top, but it is littered with jagged rocks and logs, which are supposed to help but can be painful. It was a tough climb for the others, but it was an all out struggle for me. I am always out of shape, but I felt extra tired yesterday for some reason. We had to stop about 5 times on the way up just so I could catch my breath and rest my legs. We still made it up in the estimated time of 20 minutes though, which was good.

When we got to the top, it was pretty much what I expected – a bunch of trees. The whole mountain is a big forest, so the peak was no different. Apparently if we walked around up there a bit we should have found a clearing with a good view. We were really doing this for the sense of accomplishment though, so we didn’t waste much time. Going down was less wearing, but it was difficult in itself because it was hard to slow oneself down on the mountain. I was told that I had to go down in front of everyone else, because they were afraid of a domino effect if I fell. There were no spills and we quickly got down without incident.

All in all it was a very difficult, but rewarding experience. Another check off the “Things to Do Before I Graduate” list.

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