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Trials and Tribulations: The Class of 2023 Senior Hike
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In early September the Class of 2023 embarked on the first overnight trip for HIS in nearly three years, conquering the tallest mountain on the island: Asahidake. It was a journey of joy and rediscovery in the wilds of Hokkaido.


Trials and Tribulations:

The Class of 2023 Senior Hike

Words: Will Downer & Kate James

Photos: Kate James

Mt. Asahi: the rooftop of Hokkaido

The rooftop of Hokkaido awaits

Embarking on the first group hike the school has seen in three long years, the Class of 2023s Senior Trip took the students to the astounding heights of the peak of Mt. Asahi, the highest mountain on the island of Hokkaido. There, they overcame great natural obstacles, deepened connections, and witnessed the most beautiful sights that Hokkaido has to offer. Asahi-dake, reaching a height of 2,290 meters, is just a few mountain peaks away from the largest crater caused by volcanic activity in Japan. Located in Daisetsuzan Park, this massive mass of stone rises up from the surroundings and marks one of the most desirable hiking locations on the island.

Starting the incredible hike, the seniors marveled at the impressive sight before them. While days were spent preparing for the main event, nothing could have prepared them for the grueling trek that was to come.

Starting the slow climb up their first major obstacle, many seniors were taken aback by how difficult the climb really was—and how long it would be.

Mr. Piazza takes in the super crater

Mr. Piazza savors the super crater

After several hours of hard work, the resilient pupils reached the first marked landmark of the hike—a thin wooden pole that proudly read “2,096M”. Following the advice of the most adept hiker among them: Mr. Piazza, the seniors hiked up Asahi-dake slowly with few breaks. Along the trail were various “resting rocks”, places to catch your breath and take in the stunning view.

In a show of comradery, students waited for the groups behind them to join them at the summit. Celebrating their class solidarity, the seniors ate a hard-earned lunch at 2,290.9 meters atop the roof of Hokkaido. Together, they got ready for the breathtaking (literally) remainder of the hike to come, with so much more to discover about Hokkaido, their classmates, and themselves.


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Join us for a Heartfulness Workshop December 4th with Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu. Mr. Murphy-Shigematsu is a psychologist and author in mental health, wellbeing, and diversity. He has been teaching and researching at Stanford University for 20 years as a faculty of the School of Medicine. You can learn more about Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu through his TED talks.



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