Once every year or two Troop 71 puts together a High Adventure Trip. This trip is much more arduous then the usual scout trip. It requires stamina, perseverance and grit. Anyone undertaking the trip must be in top physical shape. Participants are advised to prepare weeks ahead of time with a regular regimen of walking and exercise. You must be at least 14 years of age to even be considered for this trip.
Edward Wachowicz, one of the adult leaders of Troop 71, participated in the High Adventure Trip in 2001 and chronicled his experiences in this article.
by Edward Wachowicz
  The White Mountains of New Hampshire are known for their picturesque views. In particular, the Presidential Range, which is part of the Appalachian Trail, offers some of the most challenging hiking in the United States. The pinnacle of this area is Mount Washington, where, over 70 years ago, the highest recorded wind was measured at a speed of 231 miles per hour.  
  During the summer, this trail can offer some of the most beautiful views of up to 90 miles of New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Canada. However, even in the summer, there have been times when cold rain, sleet and even snow have enveloped the mountains and have made it treacherous for those hiking and camping.  
  The second week of August this past year was scheduled for Plandome's Boy Scout Troop 71 'High Adventure Experience'. Troop 71 has been built on the premise that the outdoors is for enjoying, and camping and hiking trips are part of the yearly schedule of events. Troop 71 has attempted to schedule a trip yearly that would be able to test the skills of some of the senior Boy Scouts within the troop. This past summer's trip to New Hampshire would serve for this sojourn.  
  Assistant Scout Master Robert Corti organized the trip. Bob, also a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, worked the scheduling and co-ordination of this event. In all, three adults (one an Eagle Scout), four alumni scouts from Troop #71 (all Eagle Scouts) and three current scouts (one an Eagle and two soon-to-be Eagle Scouts) took part in the trip.  
  The troop arrived on Sunday afternoon, August 12 in New Hampshire at the Zealand Falls trailhead. The purpose of this was to stretch our legs, after six hours of driving, and to 'shake out' the boots and equipment in the event that their might be any problems. That hike, which took the group up to the Zealand Falls AMC Hut, was a moderate six-mile round trip with fully loaded packs. The size of the packs varied, but the average weight carried per individual was around 30 to 35 pounds each. Our first night was at the Crawford Hostel in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. After a good dinner prepared by the scouts, and after the adults positioned the cars for when we descended at the end of the week, we turned in for a good night sleep at 'sea level.  
  Day two would take the group up to the Mizpah Hut, which is at an elevation of 3800-feet. We arrived at the hut around mid-day, left our full packs, took our day packs, and headed over to Mount Jackson, which is the first of the Presidential Peaks at over 4000 foot elevation. It took about an hour to get over there, we had our lunch, found the official National Geological Survey marker, took some pictures and headed back to the hut. We spent the afternoon in the warm sun, with John-Paul Leonardi borrowing the hut guitar and playing some tunes.  
  After a good night's sleep, the goal was to get to the 'Lakes of the Clouds' hut, which would be our Tuesday night stop. As part of this day trip along the Crawford Path, we were to reach the hut by lunchtime, drop our bags and day hike to the top of Mount Washington, the highest peak in New England. The day hike took us above the tree line, which is about 4300 feet in elevation and over Mt. Pierce (also known as Mt. Clinton), Mt. Eisenhower, Mt. Franklin (the first 5000-foot peak) and Mt. Monroe.  
  The trip to the top of Mount Washington, which has an elevation of 6,288 feet, requires good stamina and a lot of water. The trail up, which is not a long one at only four-tenths of a mile, but is a steep one. You hike over large boulders, as once you are at the base of Mt. Washington, there are no longer any 'dirt paths' available for hiking. The entire group made the top by 3:20 PM and we stayed up top for about forty minutes to do the 'Kodak moment thing'. We hiked back down to the 'Lakes of the Clouds' hut and a couple of us took a quick dip in the lake, which was mountain cold, but very refreshing. That evening, we had a spectacular sunset with the sun 'going to sleep' into the Green Mountains of Vermont.  
  The next day, Wednesday, turned out to be the warmest day of the week, and the longest hike of any of the days. We left the hut after breakfast, and headed North towards the Madison Hut. This day trip took us around the West and North side of Mount Washington, along the Westside Trail to the Gulfside Trail, with great views of Vermont and Lower Canada. It also turned out to be the warmest day on the trip, with the temperature reaching close to 80 degrees.  
  On this trail, we had to pass under the Cog railway, and we had to wait until the trains passed by due to the amount of soot that they spew out. From this point we headed over Mt. Clay to Mt. Jefferson, where we stopped for lunch. Because of the heat, we took a longer break, then head on to Mt. Adams, which is the second highest peak in the Presidential Range. We were able to drop our backs at the trail junction and take only our water bottles to the top of Mt. Adams. After this 0.6 mile round trip, we returned to the junction, picked up our packs, and headed down the trail towards the Madison Hut. Madison Hut is the hut we visited with the highest elevation, which is 4800 feet. Once we reached the hut, we had the option to 'run up' Mt. Madison which was right behind us. We opted for re-hydration and a good night sleep, again after a second spectacular sunset.  
  The next morning, we packed for the trip down. But we grabbed our water bottles and headed up to the top of Mt. Madison, which allowed us a great view to the South and East of the rest of the White Mountains.  
  The hike down Mt. Madison was initially steep and rocky, but eventually it leveled off and we actually were hiking on dirt and ground cover about half day down the mountain. We reached the first car location around 1:00 PM and spent the afternoon shuffling cars to this rendezvous site so that we could get to our final evening destination, which was Pinkham Notch, headquarters of the Appalachian Mountain Club. We went into North Conway to see the town after dinner.  
  On Friday, we began our drive home. We changed paths and decided to show the group the famous 'Old Man in the Mountain', the symbol of the State of New Hampshire. This was a first for all except this author. Opposite the 'Man', is Mt. Lafayette, which has a trailhead that leads over to some of the 4000 footers of the White Mountains and eventually leads to the Zealand Falls hut. This hike has the potential to be a future High Adventure trip.  
  The participants for this past years hike included Scott Christensen, the former scoutmaster of Troop 71 and current District Council leader for the Shelter Rock District, Bob Corti and Ed Wachowicz, who is currently assisting with the Troop. Robert Corti the Younger, Michael Corti, Brian West and Peter Christensen were the alumni on the trip. The current scouts included John-Paul Leonardi, Kirk Stephens and Christopher Lee.  
  We had some of the best weather for this trip. Sunny and warm each day was the weather, which we counted our blessings for. And what we found is that duct tape is the solution to most problems on the trip. And we were also thankful for that.