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September 20, 1999

Middlebury College Community Celebrates Bicentennial by Climbing Mountains on Oct. 9 -- Students Lead Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Parents, and Friends in Climb of 50 Peaks in the Adirondacks and Green Mountains

On Saturday, Oct. 9, Middlebury College will initiate the celebration of its Bicentennial with one of many events planned for the coming year--the Bicentennial Summit Extravaganza. An estimated 400 students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and friends of the College will form small groups on that day and spread throughout upper New York State's Adirondack Mountains and Vermont's Green Mountains to climb the 50 peaks there that reach higher than 4,000 feet. While Middlebury's Bicentennial celebrators will tackle 46 of the high peaks in the Adirondacks, hikers in Vermont will be concentrated on the four in the Green Mountains that reach that elevation--Killington, Mansfield, Camel's Hump, and the Abraham/Ellen Ridge.

"This Bicentennial event was organized and initiated by students, so we are very happy about that," said Middlebury junior Emily Howe, outreach coordinator of the Middlebury College Mountain Club, which is sponsoring the event.

"Given the fact that Middlebury is in the Champlain Valley between two of the largest mountain chains in the Northeast, and that both contribute to the campus' character and its beautiful setting, it makes perfect sense that we celebrate the Bicentennial by climbing these surrounding mountains," added Howe.

Student guides, who will lead each group, will be trained in wilderness first aid and have knowledge of specific hiking areas. Organizers estimate that the size of each group will be four to six people, preventing the overcrowding of trails. The College will provide shuttles from the campus to the trailheads to ease traffic and parking congestion near the wilderness areas.

Middlebury College students who are currently studying abroad will also be climbing mountains on Oct. 9 in their host locales, spanning six continents to cover a total of 60 peaks in 24 different countries, from Mt. Fuji in Japan and Mount Omul in Romania to the United Kingdom's Ben Nevis, Mt. Montecatini Alto in Italy, and mountains in the Philippines, Morocco, and around the Great Wall of China.