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Bonding through hiking

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2017 - Autumn


On the first weekend in August, 30 incoming members of the Class of 2021 spent three days in the High Peaks Wilderness Area of the Adirondacks in New York as part of the annual Medical Outdoor Orientation Trip. In groups of six accompanied by two second-year team leaders, the students hiked along trails that ranged from easy—up to four miles a day—to more challenging routes of seven to 10 miles. During the hike, they carried their own sleeping bags and pads, cooking gear, bear canisters, and food—tortillas, cous cous, and cheese. The excursion often becomes a bonding experience that leads to lasting friendships. “When you’re in the woods,” said second-year student Libby Fairless, one of the organizers, “you have to drop any pretense. You’re dirty, you stink, and you’re tired.”

At the trailhead, group leaders Lindsay Eysenbach (left) and Andrew White (right) and incoming students Sangwon Yun, Alexandra Junn, Michael Shang, Kristin Yu, Osama Ahmed, and Prerak Juthani took a leap in the air before their hike.

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