Boy Scouts take on extreme hiking

March 10, 2014 

The Boy Scouts of Carrboro’s Troop 845 have a history of taking epic summer trips, and this summer is no exception. In past summers, they’ve shattered boy scouting records by hiking the John Muir Trail in California and the El Camino de Santiago Trail in Spain.

They’ve also spent three summers riding their bikes across the country to raise nearly $90,000 for UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center. This summer two groups from Troop 845 will be headed out into the wilderness, one to the deep woods of Maine and the other to Everest base camp.

In late July, a group of 12 scouts and five leaders will head to Nepal. They plan to spend 23 days hiking from tea house to tea house on a loop trail that begins and ends in Jiri and passes through Gorak Shep (at 16,942 feet), the original base camp for Mt. Everest.

The scouts will be hiking about four to six miles a day. They will cover less milage per day than their previous hikes, to acclimatize their bodies to the altitude changes as they climb the foothills of the Himalayas.

Altitude sickness is only one of the challenges they will face on their hike. They start hiking in late-July, which is also the tail end of monsoon season.

But Brian Burnham, the Assistant Scout Master leading the Nepal trek isn’t worried about a little rain. “I did a similar hike in Nepal in 2009, and we were able to avoid the rain most days by hiking early in the morning and reaching our destination around lunch” he said.

All of the scouts going on the Nepal trek are working hard to earn money to pay for their travel and equipment expenses. They are taking part in a Youth For Hire program organized by the troop. Scouts can be hired to do yard work, pet sit, baby sit and help with minor household projects by contacting Laura Malinchock at 919-240-4776 or via email at laura.malinchock@gmail.com.

Another group of scouts from Troop 845 will be hiking the last one hundred miles of the Appalachian Trail in Maine in early July. A group of 7 scouts and three leaders will be hiking through the Hundred Mile Wilderness, a very remote and rugged section of the AT.

They plan to average about ten miles of hiking a day through dense forest, icy streams and deep bogs carrying all of their supplies and gear in their backpacks. On the final day of their hike, they will summit Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine at 5269 feet.

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