I really thought I’d be further along, but as of today, I still have 45 peaks to climb before I reach my goal of hiking all of the 48 4000 footer mountains of New Hampshire. My love for the outdoors started when I was a child and my love for hiking started during a career counseling session in 2010 when I met an unemployed man in his mid-forties who was completely deflated and never thought he’d return to work. It was his passion for hiking and serving as a hike coach for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society that kept him afloat during that challenging life transition, and it was that same passion that shined through during our conversation that drew me in.
Although the main purpose of our counseling sessions was for me to assess his current situation and help put a plan of action into place, we were always drawn back to the topic of hiking. Somewhere along the line our relationship morphed from counselor/client to client/student and eventually we became friends and he began sharing hiking resources and coaching me as he did with his team. Eventually he took me on my first hike, which I should add was not a 4000 footer, but a great place to start, the Welch and Dickie Mountain Loop Trail. Here I am on my first peak! No proper attire or gear, but I made it and was completely entranced by the view.
After our trip to Welch/Dickie, my friend realized I had caught the hiking bug and went into super coach mode. He shared an abundance of resources with me and I figured I would pay it forward to you. Below you will find a link to the 48 4000 footers in NH, access to dedicated mountain weather forecasts for more than 11300 major summits, and tips for hiking in all kinds of weather.
Following that first hike, my friend suggested I invest in a good pair of hiking boots, proper clothing, and some gear so off we went to REI, Reading, MA. REI is a great place for all of that stuff plus they have a great rewards program and offer all types of “how to” classes and adventure trips.
That summer, I not only reached the summit of my first 4000 footer, Cannon Mountain, I also climbed my first ladder, which scared the hell out of me. Check these out:
I have since climbed the summits of Mt. Tecumseh:
and Mt. Pierce
If you’re the least bit curious about hiking the 48 4000 footers of New Hampshire, check out this inspiring video of a man who did it in 30 days for a great cause:
No matter what your activity level is, there are hikes of all levels that mostly everyone can enjoy. One of my favorite places to take a stroll and is great for those with a sedentary lifestyle is the Carlisle State Forest, also known as Great Brook Farm State Park. My others are the Middlesex Fells Reservation which is spread over 2,575 acres and stretches across five towns north of Boston and the Blue Hills Reservation which stretches over 7,000 acres from Quincy to Dedham, Milton to Randolph. The “Blues” is a great place to prepare for your first 4000 footer!
My plans for this summer and fall include:
Next year I hope to pick up the pace and reach a lot more summits in my quest to chip away at the 48! Otherwise, at the rate I’m presently going, it will take me over a decade and I’m not so sure my knees will hold out!
Hope you enjoyed my blog and learned a few things about the 48 4000 footers of New Hampshire!
Check out Barefoot Theory for some great tips: