Claws: Presidential Range

5 day, 4-overnight expedition: June 29-July 3 & July 5-9

—a field environmental philosophy adventure that takes students above treeline for 4 days of elemental wilderness hiking and “thinking outside.”

> COVID: AMC has confirmed the huts will be open this summer, following COVID protocol. We know anything can change. Understanding this, Biocitizen MA is taking reservations for 2 expeditions: 6/29-7/3 & 7/5-9. Updates will be made whenever necessary. For now, AMC says we’ll have partially occupied huts, with our students housed together spaced apart in the same airy rooms.

The goal of Claws programs is positive character transformation and it is achieved by pushing boundaries. Students assume and surmount challenges, gaining confidence and valuable self-awareness. New ideas and abilities are experienced, and new spaces—physical, conceptual and existential—are opened for the kind of personal growth that contributes to long term happiness.

Claws learn the biocultural history of the Presidential Range as they hike with a friendly, supportive and humorous group. They learn enough mountaineering skills so they can return to traverse the Presidentials again without guides.

This year we’re walking all the way—from Madison to Eisenhower—4 days of above-treeline alpine exploration!

It’s said that if you can hike the Presidentials you can hike anywhere else in the world. It’s true! Known for their ruggedness and drastic weather, these mountains present conditions perfect for training mountaineers.


1) Participants must be physically fit. This is a demanding marathon hike. We trek through challenging terrain exposed to the weather. It can hail on us, or be raining the entire time. Participants must want to exercise and push themselves.

2) Our group has 2 teachers, 1 ass’t teacher, 2 guides in training (all first responder certified) and 13-14 students. We form a team in the field. Everybody helps each other.

3) Meals Provided: Day 1: D | Day 2: B/D | Day 3: B/D | Day 4: B/D | Day 5: B
On the trail, participants provide their own food. It’s part of the fun.

4) Due to COVID, we will not be able to use the vans. Parents will punctually drop off at Barnes Field and pick up at Crawford Notch. 

Claws Student Supply List:

– sturdy hiking shoes – must be broken-in prior to trip

– 4 pairs non-cotton socks (we love Darn Tough + Smartwool)

– lightweight fleece jacket

– hat for sun protection

– 2 thermal, non-cotton shirts (one short-sleeve, one long-sleeve)

– 1 pair quick-dry shorts

– 1 pair thermal leggings

– medium size internal frame pack or daypack

– walking poles or sturdy & light walking stick

– good gore-tex raincoat + rain pants

– 2 one-liter water bottles 

– high-quality, high-energy trail food (dried fruit, nuts, clif bars, jerky, electrolytes)

– toiletries (medications, sunscreen, bug spray) 

– sleeping pad + 30ºF sleeping bag 


Tuition: $825

Reservation Deposit: $300.00

Balance due April 30: $525.00 

Claws Deep: Presidential Range is a 5 day, 4 overnight session.

Tuition includes everything except students’ transportation, personal gear and trail food.


Day 1: Students will be dropped off at 4 pm at the Barnes Field Campground. Then we’ll tubeless-tube a bit of the Peabody River, get a big fire going, enjoy a bbq (carne and vegan) and by 9 fall asleep.

Day 2: At dawn we’ll wake up and walk the Peabody River watershed up into the windy heights on the saddle between the mountains of Adams and Madison. There, we’ll rest, feast and sleep at the AMC Madison Hut

Day 3: After a big breakfast we’ll walk the exposed alpine ridges from the top of Mount Adams to the top of Mount Washington, and spend the night at AMC’s Lake in the Clouds.

Day 4: After another big breakfast, we’ll stay above the trees for most of the day, hiking over Mt Eisenhower on our way to the AMC Mizpah Spring Hut, where we’ll dine and sleep.

Day 5: We’ll wake, breakfast, descend the heights, and at noon meet parents for pickup at Crawford Notch.

If you would like to learn more, please call 413.320.0522 and speak with Our Place director Kurt Heidinger, or send a note