Hikin’ like Harry

The members of the WLHS Hiking Club hike dangerous paths to experience raw nature


From arid, dry deserts to mountainous high cliffs, the West Linn High School Hiking Club has tracked through all sorts of environments and weathers. Some people have joined to follow their love of hiking, while others joined to reconnect with the natural world and to escape the manufactured, man-made world.

“It’s a very physical endeavor for many people. We go on hikes that are ten miles long and after our whole body hurts,” Rebecca Cruze, member of the Hiking Club and senior, said. Once or twice a month, the members select the path they’d like to hike, and plan a time and place to meet. Usually, the selected hikes are about a half hour to two hours long and require an excessive amount of stamina and endurance. However, the prize of finishing a demanding trail is worth the pain. The scenery at the end of a hike is particularly breath-taking and reminds hikers why they do what they do according to Michael Glane, advisor and science teacher.

Unlike most clubs at West Linn, the Hiking Club is specifically limited to only juniors and seniors. This is because anything can happen during a hike, a high level of maturity is required. Teams in the past have gotten lost or injured during the trail.

“Maturity is crucial because we go to dangerous places,” Glane said. Not only that, but hikes may include cliffs and other high-risk destinations that require parental consent.

Though hiking may seem like an independent activity, it is not. The club members form a sense of unity after going through particularly fatiguing routes by pushing each other on and finishing together according to Cruze. But first, to have an enjoyable hiking experience, certain essential equipment and appropriate attire is needed. Some of the recommended equipment is a water bottle, a windbreaker jacket, and good pair of hiking boots or tennis shoes with thick soles. Wearing layers of clothing is highly recommended as well.

The Hiking Club is open to all upperclassmen, even those who don’t usually take part in sports and may join at any time in the year. The meetings to discuss upcoming hikes take place online either on their Facebook page and group, “WLHS Hiking Club” or at lunch

“The Hiking Club is really unique at this school because there’s nothing that offers the same experience,” Cruze said. Whether you enjoy the hike or not, you’re going to have some sort of adventure.