2nd Year Highlight – Pre-Orientation Hiking Trek


To begin…there’s a tradition at MIT Sloan, usually the week before Orientation begins, a few of the second years decide to organize an outdoor trek for the first years, usually a hiking trek and a white-water rafting trek. This is an excellent way to begin two years of business school. While everything is new, while you have no comfort zone yet (at Sloan), and while you are probably the most open you’ll ever be in business school – you embark on an adventure, sharing a common experience before business school even begins. A great way to build non-academic bonds (because you’ll build enough of those in school).

This year, it turned out to be quite the adventure.

Being an avid hiker myself I thought it would be a lot of fun to organize this for the first years. I recruited a few good 2nd year friends – Tyler Spaulding, Gerry Hough, and Allen Breed, to help me figure everything out.


Mt. Moosilaukie, in the White Mountain range, also the home to the Dartmouth Ravine lodge, where it’s a tradition for every freshman to go through during their orientation. We planned a leisurely 3 day, 2 night trip to just hang out, play games, do Tyler’s 80’s power hour, have a 60 person flip-cup tournament, and the “usual networking.”

Our hike was supposed to be a nice stroll in the park. A good 2,722 ft elevation gain over 3.7 miles, going up the southeast side of Mt. Moosilauke (peak at 4,802 ft). Our whole group made it to the top, took some nice pictures and ate some lunch. As our group of 60 started going down, a few us took it a little slower, took some more pictures, when all of a sudden we see a helicopter landing at the top…apparently a hiker had some missing the previous day (note it rained all night the night before). With the help of some other hikers, our Sloan group was put to work as part of a rescue team.

We climbed down about 1 mile on the northeast side of the mountain to find a 83 year old man.  Fortunately for him, a group of 3 female hikers (or “angels” as recalled  by the man), found him in the morning, shivering with an open wound on the leg. One went down to call for help. This is where we came in. With the collective effort of 20 people, we carried him up 1.5 miles (verses going down 2 miles), over the narrow slippery slope. Each person took turns, and we passed hand-to-hand over the most dangerous portions.  At the very top, the Dartmouth helicopter took the man away, and days later we received word via local newspaper that the man was safe (and lucky).

Perhaps it was appropriate that on our MIT Sloan Pre-Orientation Annual Hiking Trek we would embark on an unexpected rescue. At Sloan there’s an unofficial saying “Sloanies help Sloanies” it’s a mantra that goes throughout the two years at B-school (classes, job search, etc…) and beyond graduation. Often, it can’t be expected when someone, or yourself, might become helpless and need help…at that point it is when it’s most important to assemble together, pick each other up, and finish climbing to the top of the mountain together. And I would like to think, that attitude is one that epitomizes Sloanies.



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