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Tyler’s Quest to Climb the 4,000-Footers

June 2, 2012

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my son Tyler recently decided that he wants to climb all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains.  This is his last summer of freedom before he starts a three year pharmacy doctorate program in the fall and he wants to make the most of it by summiting as many of the state’s tallest mountains as he can.

When Tyler first mentioned his hiking goal, I didn’t think it would be that much of a big deal…so he wants to hike 48 mountains…how hard can that be?…our mountains aren’t very tall!

Then I started Googling.  Big mistake for a worry-wart type of mother.  I found numerous tidbits of information like a 2005 article in Backpacker magazine ranking the Pemi Loop in the #2 spot among “America’s Hardest Day Hikes.”   Another Backpacker magazine article named 6,288-foot Mt. Washington as the most dangerous small mountain in the world with well over 100 recorded deaths.  A piece on emphasized that “The White Mountains in New Hampshire have a well-deserved reputation as a challenging place to hike. People are always a bit surprised by this because they’re not that high in elevation, only topping out at 6,288 feet on Mt Washington. Still, people come from around the the world to train for major international expeditions here because the Whites are so formidable, particularly in winter.”

OK…so hiking New Hampshire’s 4,000-footers isn’t going to be a walk in the park.  Hopefully, I won’t have to worry about my son.  When he was a youngster we called him “Captain Safety.”  He’s a stickler for research and preparedness.  He’s been working out 3-4 days a week.  He’s been studying maps, books, magazines, online articles, and talking to people who have experience hiking in New Hampshire.  Our dining room resembles a Mount Everest base camp staging area with enough gear to outfit an entire Himalayan expedition.  He’s even graduated from his signature hippy-style hiking ensemble (below)…

…to high-tech hiking apparel from EMS (below).

I’m trying to convince Tyler to blog about his hikes, which I’ll share with you here.  In the meantime, I’ll periodically post some photos from his hikes so you can join me in living vicariously through his adventures (or, you can get in touch with him and offer to join him on a hike!).

Here is a pic taken from atop Mount Garfield.

And a glimpse of Mt. Washington from the top of Mt. Hale.

It’s not always about mountain views when you’re hiking.  Here’s a stone pile indicating he’d reached the summit of Mt.Waumbek.


About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

2 thoughts on “Tyler’s Quest to Climb the 4,000-Footers

  • Allison says:

    I’m hiking the 4000-footers as well. Almost done actually, on number 45! It is great that your son has someone so interested in his goals. Your support will help keep him going! Good luck, Tyler!

    • Jan Stearns says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Allison! Congrats on your near completion of the 4,000-footers! What an accomplishment. Tyler’s been on hiatus from NH hiking for the past three weeks. He went to Nova Scotia and hiked the entire Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island. He’s now itching to get back out on our mountains and working towards his goal. Maybe you’ll see him on the trails!

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