Climb every mountain, swim every fjord: COA prez to hike Acadia National Park’s 28 peaks in 24 hours

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Call me impressed: On Monday, June 25, 2012,  College of the Atlantic President Darron Collins plans to climb every mountain in Acadia National Park and swim across Somes Sound, a natural fjord, as a fund raiser for the environmentally oriented liberal arts college in Bar Harbor, on Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Collins, along with students Lisa Bjerke ’13 and Erickson Smith ’15, will walk—and swim—between mountains in their effort to scale each of Acadia’s 28 peaks in 24 hours. The combined height of the peaks is an estimated 22,000 feet. The distance is about 45 miles.

The trio plans to begin at 4 a.m. to take advantage of the nearly 16 hours of daylight during the summer solstice. They’ll hike peak to peak on the island’s eastern portion for about 12 hours before venturing down Norumbega Peak to swim across Somes Sound Narrows to begin their assault on the western half of Mount Desert Island. They plan to finish along the southwestern slopes of Bernard Mountain and Seal Cove.

For many students, hiking every mountain on the island is a rite of passage. But to the college’s knowledge, no one has yet attempted it in one day. Others are welcome to join—if they can keep up the pace. Twenty-eight peaks in 24 hours means that the ascents will take about half an hour. Descents less.