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We are welcoming adult, LGBTQ+ backpackers of all skill levels to join us for a weekend trip this May!

Led by Jess and Luca, two queer Living Earth instructors, this will be a chance to connect with ourselves, the woods, and each other in a three-day mix of hiking, sleeping in the fresh air, and chatting around the central fire (bring your bow drill kits if you’ve got ‘em!)

We will be doing the Cole Mountain Loop with a day hike out to Mount Pleasant. Highlights include great views from the two peaks, a beautiful meadow campsite, and a stunning tall Pine forest section. This route is beginner-friendly with a few scramble sections. All days carrying our packs will be broken up into 2-4 mile chunks and we emphasize everyone moving at the pace that works for them.

If you are looking for a friendly space to be your whole self on the trail and talk about what queerness and nature mean to you, this trip is for you!

We will leave from the Living Earth School office at 9 am on Friday and be back there by 4 pm on Sunday.

Gear will be available to borrow and food will be provided. For any questions, contact us at connect@livingearthva.org

Meet Your Guides!

Luca Rogoff, WFR

Luca (he/they) has been with the Living Earth School since 2008, first as a camper and later an instructor and trip guide. His education and love of adventure have taken him all over the country from farming in New Mexico to cold dipping in Washington’s Pacific Coast but the Blue Ridge remains his one true home. You can find them creek exploring, river swimming, friction fire tending, animal tracking, and expanding their experience with wild foods, medicinals, and natural pottery. Luca earned a degree in Environmental Studies and American Studies, and works as a client advocate at a family shelter in Philadelphia where he lives. Coming up as a queer and trans teen in Virginia, he learned the value of finding friends who can share the difficult and amazing parts of finding who you are. Since 2022, he and Jess have been holding a place for teens to connect, have fun, and challenge themselves to climb mountains.

 

Jess (they/them)

Despite working in software Jess has spent a lot of their life outside. They have been volunteering with Search and Rescue since 2008, most recently with their dog Mac. They’ve hiked ~1,400 miles of the Appalachian trail, 400 miles of it with gear they made themself. They spent a summer building and then using a Stone Age backpacking kit out west before settling in Virginia for the long haul. As someone who figured out their queer and genderqueer identities later in life, Jess deeply understands the value of spaces to connect with other queer community. Since 2022 Jess has had the absolute delight of co-leading trips for queer teens with Luca.

 

Details & Registration – Adult LGBTQ+ Backpacking Weekend

  • May 24th – 26th, 2024

  • Friday 9 am – Sunday ~4 pm

  • Ages 18+

  • Departure location: LES Office (1724 Allied St Suite 2 B, Charlottesville)

    Route: Cole Mountain Loop with a day hike out to Mount Pleasant

  • $325 (food included)

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