Mountain Day celebration brings 400 to Stoney Ledge

Last Sunday 300 members of the Williams community gathered on Mount Greylock’s Stoney Ledge in order to keep the Mountain Day tradition alive.

Ethan Plunckett ’00, the student head of the Williams Outing Club and one of the primary organizers of the event, summed up the day this way: “Mountain Day is a celebration of the beauty of the Berkshires in the peak of fall foliage.”

Eight hikes departed from Williams throughout the morning and afternoon, but students who didn’t feel up to hiking were able to take buses or drive up to Stoney Ledge. At 2:30 p.m., the main event began.

Eight Williams a cappella groups performed as students enjoyed the scenery and the cider.

Plunckett, who was in charge of the event for the first time, said the turnout made all the planning worth the effort.

“It was a lot of work,” he said. “All the hikes needed to be assigned paths and departure times; vans and buses had to be found, as well as a cappella groups needed to be approached. Though at times frustrating, I think it was worth it.”

However, he noted that next year he hopes to pass on the task to a new organizer.

“I learned a lot, but it is also a lot of responsibility,” he said.

Scott Lewis, the director of the Outing Club, said he was pleased “so many people enjoyed the wonderful tradition.”

While opinions about the celebration vary, most agreed that it was a wonderful day.

Students said listening to the a capella groups perform was a highlight.

Daniel Schwab ’02 said he liked the singing because he “got to hear (the groups) sing with the new freshmen for the first time.”

Prospective Annelise Heinz added: “It was great. I loved seeing the a cappella groups perform in front of the mountains.”

“I had a marvelous time singing,” said Hilary Ley ’01 of the a cappella group Good Question. “The group was really excited about it and I think we loved it.”

However some students say they were disappointed that the donuts and cider were gone before they had arrived to the top.

Peter Eyre ’00, who shared responsibility for the food supplies, explained: “No matter how much you serve, people will eat it without a doubt.”

Eye noted that 46 dozen donuts and 30 gallons of cider were ordered and brought to the top at about 1 p.m.

But by 2:30 p.m. all the food had disappeared.

Students chose to attend the Mountain Day festivities for a variety of reasons.

“This is one of the few good things that happen on a Sunday afternoon,” said Rebecca Atkinson ’00.

“You get to see a lot of people and I though it was great,” noted Ian Eisenman ’99.

Andre Mura ’00 was short and to the point: “I came for the donuts, stayed for the a cappella, and left because I had to pee really badly.”