SUNY Potsdam Students to Report on 20-Day Hiking Expedition

10.13.11

Wilderness-Ed-Bob-trip
Participants in the SUNY Potsdam Wilderness Education Program expedition through the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area trek through the mountains in Montana with their packs.

Fresh from a Rocky Mountain expedition, SUNY Potsdam wilderness education students will present a slideshow and discussion about their experiences in an upcoming campus event.

As part of the Leadership Two course through the College’s Wilderness Education Program, six students and two guides completed a 20-day expedition through the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana this summer.

The presentation will be held at 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24 in Flagg Hall Room 233 on the SUNY Potsdam campus.

The students’ slides will include photos of the snow-capped peaks, pristine river valleys, grizzly bears and elk that they encountered on their journey. The group embarked on the long-anticipated expedition.

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Area in Montana is one of the largest and most remote wilderness areas in the United States. “The Bob,” as it is known, is home to wolves and elk, as well as the iconic grizzly bear. In addition to wildlife, the wilderness area also contains astounding geological features, including a vast 22-mile escarpment that rises a thousand feet from the earth.

The 20-day trip required 225 pounds of food. A pack train of horses met the group halfway through the journey with half the rations, to decrease the weight they carried on their backpacks. The backpacks’ weight ranged between 45 and 57 pounds per person.

For these students, this trip as the capstone experience for their minor, the culmination of hours of tireless planning—and the experience of a lifetime.

Each student brought their personal strengths and expertise to prepare for the trip. Ian Mauhs was responsible for expedition oversight, Thomas Macula planned every calorie for the entire trip, Simon Thompson raised money for the expedition with multiple public relations and fund raising events, Brendan Brady was responsible for risk management and the travel plan for the 40-hour drive to Montana, and Michael Yuhnke planned the 115-mile trek through the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

The group encountered grizzly bears, elk and wolves during their trek. SUNY Potsdam Wilderness Education Program Coordinator Mark Simon led the group and was assisted by Julian Vadas, a Potsdam alumnus and veteran of many extended wilderness expeditions.

To learn about the Wilderness Education minor offered at SUNY Potsdam’s School of Education and Professional Studies, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/SOEPS/CommunityHealth/minorwildernesseducation.cfm.

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts.