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White Mountains New Hampshire USA 2003
On August 31, 2003 twenty-four cadets from across Canada traveled to Valcartier, Quebec to begin preparations for the 2003 International Expedition “Presidential Range”. Annually co-sponsored by the Army Cadet League of Canada and the Department of National Defence, this year’s Expedition was organized by the RCSU (Eastern). The Canadian Military Engineers (CME) in commemoration of their 100th Anniversary kindly sponsored the participation of two additional cadets.
Once in Valcartier the cadets busied themselves with preparations for the Expedition by reviewing map and compass, first aid and GPS skills. This was followed by the cadets participating in their first preparatory 12-kilometre hike; Cap Gribane in the Caps de Charlevoix trails gave them the opportunity to check equipment and ensure their physical readiness. On the next day, a test of their courage and confidence awaited the cadets at the Relais of Lac Beauport. The Expedition members covered two adventure courses, a rope challenge in endurance including a traverse, zip line and rope bridges.
On the 5th of September the Expedition team departed for the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This picturesque place holds the highest peaks in eastern North America, many higher than 5000 feet. The International Appalachian Trail crosses the White Mountains.
Divided into four teams the cadets completed 2 one-day hikes; 1 two-day hike; and a rock climbing exercise. The cadets successfully tackled several daunting summits including Mount Madison (5366 feet); Mount Webster (3910 feet); and Mount Washington (6288 feet), this being a two-day climb. The day of rock climbing was truly appreciated by the cadets. Instructors from the renowned Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School taught the teams multi-pitch climbing techniques allowing the cadets to take on new and interesting challenges.
Upon their return from New Hamphire the cadets were given a guided visit of the Quebec Citadelle and the R22eR museum. Following this visit, the Army Cadet League of Canada President, Gilles Déry, and the RCSU(E) CO, L/Col Marcel Chevarie, presided over the certificate ceremony. The League also presented each participant with a fleece jacket to commemorate the 2003 International Expedition.
The International Expedition 2003 has given twenty-four cadets from across Canada the opportunity to overcome physical challenges; to see an area privileged by climbers and avid hikers at a worldwide level; and to develop their leadership skills. These cadets have gained a tremendous amount of experience that can now be given back at every level of the cadet organization.
New Hampshire’s Presidential Range includes the highest peaks in the Northeast. Mount Washington, at 6,288 feet, is the highest in the range and is the only peak in the Northeastern United States that exceeds 6,000 feet in elevation. The Presidential Range forms a ridgeline about 12 miles in length. – Mount Washington Observatory, Visitor Information