BAR HARBOR — “We're a determined bunch,” said Darron Collins, President of College of the Atlantic, vowing to ascend again some of the highest peaks in Acadia National Park, after climbing only 22 peaks in a period of 17-and-a-half hours on June 25 during his “28 peaks in 24 hours,” a fund-raiser for the college. Collins’ efforts were cut short due to an onslaught of inclement weather.
“Both hiking at night and hiking in the rain are fine, but put them both together and after the 30 miles we’d already climbed—I didn’t want to risk anyone getting hurt,” said Collins, who traversed the mountains with his team of COA students, Lisa Bjerke and Erickson Smith, COA alum Nick Jenei, and area restaurateur and author, Tom St. Germain.
“I tell you, though, I was pretty bummed,” Collins said of ending the hike early. “We’re getting out there again to do it. I'm not giving up, even after one smack-down by the mountains of Acadia.”
Excited, Collins and his team started their trek, at 4 a.m. “on the nose” on June 25, from Ocean Drive near Thunder Hole to Gorham Mountain. The group hiked from Gorham to Beehive, where the sun rose just over the horizon.
“It was really just gorgeous,” he said. “I was thinking, wow, ‘the birds are waking up, we’re with them, and are on top of the world.’”
From there, they traveled to Halfway Mountain, around the Bowl to Champlain and at 8 a.m., reached the summit of Cadillac Mountain. From there, the group moved west towards Day Mountain, hiked Pemetic, Conners Nubble, then North Bubble, South Bubble and back down to Jordan Pond. Reaching the peak of Penobscot around 1:30 p.m.
“When we got to the top, we saw the gorgeous view south, to the Cranberries, and an enormous bank of fog,” said Collins. “It became quickly obvious that weather was moving in.”
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