Sage is 13! When I started documenting her first hikes, she was only 3 years old. It's been ten years of hiking...wow. What a great life we've had; I have ten years filled with great memories hiking with my kids up the wild mountains of New Hampshire and on beautiful trails around the country and in different parts of the world. I am a fortunate woman.
Alex and Sage in August 2009, the day Alex finished her first round of the NH4Ks at 6 years old (on Moosilauke), and just before Sage started hiking 4Ks (she is 4 years old in the photo and was partially carried up on the day this photo was taken).
The girls on Moosilauke last December (2017). They each now have accomplished hundreds of NH4K ascents, close to two hundred non4K peaks (NH and across the country), 46 state highpoints, and a handful of thru-hikes (John Muir Trail, Cohos Trail, Camino de Santiago, and the Laugavegur Trek). They are also responsible for the creation of the Terrifying 25 list, which they both now fully manage (and they moderate the Facebook page), and, last year, they began the GraniteGals podcast. A lot can happen in ten years!
When I first started documenting our hikes, the girls were of course not old enough to have blogs or their own online presences. There is a minimum age of 13 in our house for participating directly in/with social media. When Alex turned 13, she was allowed to start her own blog so she could be the one keeping track of her own hiking -- that blog is Alex in the White Mountains. She's been documenting her hiking (and Sage's) since January 2016. Now that Sage is 13, she too has her own blog in which she documents her own hiking (and Alex's). That blog is Sage's White Mountain Treks. From here on out, the girls will take turns writing the trip reports for their hikes...except, of course, when each hikes solo, and then that particular solo hiker will write her own trip report of her experiences.
This blog will continue to exist mainly as a way of keeping track of the Grid peaks, and as a way of having a published record of all the girls' hikes dating back to 2008.
Another transition is public speeches -- Alex joined me on our talks earlier this year at the AMC (Sage was supposed to as well, but she caught pneumonia and was out of commission for most of February). Now that they are teenagers, it is appropriate both Alex and Sage speak for themselves about their childhood adventures. I have been the spokesperson for years, but now they are the appropriate ages to have their own public voices.
Thanks to everyone who has followed us over the years, and thanks to those who read UP and then kept track of all our subsequent journeys. We have always appreciated your support, and I am glad we have had an influence on some parents who want to facilitate their children's love of the outdoors.
We have another talk coming up at AMC's Pinkham Notch Visitor Center -- February 21 at 8pm. Stop by, have a listen, and say hello!
Alex and I had a wonderful time at the AMC's 2018 Summit in Norwood, MA last month. Alex gave a mini-talk at the end of my talk, and she answered questions from the audience.
Sage had prepared a mini-talk as well, but unfortunately she woke up with a 102 degree fever that morning. A few days later she seemed better, but then she took a severe turn for the worse. Turns out she had pneumonia. She is doing better now and is slowly getting back out there -- and by that I mean doing regular things like karate practice and walking down the street. It will be a couple more weeks before she is ready to hike a 4K, and when she does hike again, we will need to go slowly. She will eventually be strong and fast and her usual self, but it will take a while for her to build back her strength. During the next couple of weeks, Alex and I will have to hike without her. She doesn't mind, as she has two more years than Alex does to finish the Grid; even if Sage doesn't hike at all during the month of February, she still has time to finish before leaving for college. Alex, on the other hand, needs to get her hikes in sooner rather than later. We hope to have Sage with us again on the trails in March.
You can find trip reports of the hikes we did in January on Alex's blog, Alex in the White Mountains. Our January 2018 peaks were the Tripyramids (with Sage, three weeks before she became ill), and Lafayette/Lincoln (also with Sage, one week before she became ill).
Franconia Ridge in the clouds
Coming down the Tripyramids
Also, check out the GraniteGals interviews for January! Alex interviewed Jen Lemire and her daughter, Bella Dalzell.
Alex keeps almost weekly updates on her blog now, so take a look over there for more steady news. Also, check out Sisters Hiking for the Environment on both Facebook and Instagram -- Alex runs those completely on her own, though soon she will share those accounts with Sage. I only update this blog once a month now, and with just the basics.
The girls and I are honored to be speakers at the AMC's Annual Summit in Norwood, MA on January 27, 2018. There's a lot going on at this wonderful collection of informative talks and workshops. Check it out -- register, attend, and hang out with a bunch of fun hikers/outdoorspeople! Here's the description of our talk, which can be found on the Summit's webpage.
**Nurturing Amazons: Raising Girls Outdoors Trish Herr Alex (15) and Sage (12) have hiked the White Mountain Four Thousand Footers with their mother, Trish Herr, almost weekly, year-round, since they were each five years old. They’ve created a podcast, GraniteGals, which celebrates women hikers of the Whites; designed a hiking list and patch—the increasingly popular Terrifying 25, now being pursued by well over a thousand people; become trail maintainers on Mt. Washington; and volunteered to promote environmental conservation and climate change research. Trish will talk about how their journey began; Alex and Sage will share what hiking in all seasons has meant to them, and how they think their outdoor life has influenced their views about themselves and their everyday lives as young and growing women.**
Alex turned 15 on December 28! She is growing into such a kind, intelligent, and wonderful young woman. I'm proud of her. Also, now you see why I've been stepping back and leaving our trip report documentation to her (and, soon, Sage). My girls are older now and it's time for their voices to become louder and mine to become softer.
Sage interviewed Jen Adams, one of her Girl Scout leaders, for the GraniteGals podcast a few weeks ago. You can listen to the podcast here, and you subscribe to it on iTunes.
Our December hikes included the Kinsmans and Moosilauke. You can read Alex's account of both hikes on her blog, Alex in the White Mountains. We intended to hike December 26 as well, but weather combined with a lot of fresh snow derailed those plans. We'll get back there in early January.
Wow, it's been a while since I've posted! All our hiking-related trip reports and news are now posted by Alex on her blog, Alex in the White Mountains. She posts every week or so -- though right now she is on Thanksgiving vacation and will catch up with her blog posts this Saturday evening. I believe she has two trip reports to post (Franconia Ridge Traverse on November 12 and the Osceolas on November 21).
The girls also have news related to Union of Concerned Scientists, an organization they support and highly respect. Alex will write of that news this weekend -- check out her blog.
Also, subscribe to GraniteGals, the hiking podcast by Alex and Sage dedicated to the female White Mountain hiker. Every other week, the girls publish an interview with a woman who hikes the Whites.
Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday! I was supposed to hike today, but I twinged my knee a bit coming off East Osceola two days ago and decided to stay home to make sure I'm good to go for hiking next week. The cool people I was supposed to hike with posted their adventures on Facebook today, so I got to live vicariously through them. Here is one of the photos (posted here with their permission).
Adam Kateri Mooshian and Jen Lemire (aka Summit Jumper aka XpandaX) You can follow XpandaX's scary mountain adventures on Instagram
The day after Alex hiked Jackson for what may be the last time in a very long time, Sage and I hiked Hale (Alex also has Hale for the Grid). It was nice getting out with just Sage; I do like having some one-on-one time with each of my daughters every now and then.
Sage and I had a lovely trek; the photos are below (it won't be long before she too has her own blog and writes her own trip reports).
Alex recently qualified for Trailwrights -- meaning, she hiked all 72 peaks (one ascent per hike) and completed over 72 hours of documented trailwork. Trailwrights is a stellar organization dedicated to the maintenance of hiking trails, and they allow people of any age to join them on their work weekends. They are a great source of education and an excellent example of service. We are grateful for their time, instruction, and expertise!
Don't forget to subscribe to GraniteGals on iTunes! A new episode is released every two weeks. Last week's episode features Zoey Ceriello-sachetta, a seven-year-old hiker halfway through her first round of the NH48.
Alex posted a trip report for our recent hikes of Field/ Willey and Carrigain. You can find those trip reports here. Happy Hiking and enjoy the foliage! Trish
Alex will have an account of this late Sunday night; in the meantime, I'm posting some photos here.
We had an excellent, windy, rainy, and worthwhile trip up Caps Ridge Trail to the summit of Jefferson last Monday (Labor Day). From there, Alex navigated through the fog and wind around the sides of Clay and Washington to an area of cairn vandalism. The three of us then joined the AMC's Pro Crew in rebuilding the destroyed cairns. After three hours of building 7 or 8 cairns, we headed down Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to the Cog parking area and caught a ride from two kind hikers back to our car on Jefferson Notch Road. Good times.
The wind was so fierce the Cog had to stop running.
The girls and I are speaking at Pinkham Notch Visitors Center this Saturday, August 26, at 8pm. Come join us! We will discuss how the girls began hiking, where that hiking has taken them, and what we've learned from all our adventures.
Our summer trail work continues...we have worked with Trailwrights this summer and we are the official adopters of the Alpine Garden Trail on Mt. Washington. Here are some photos of our latest work (on Sunday) -- rebuilding cairns.
One of the cairns we rebuilt -- this is the "before" photo
Yesterday, we managed to get the peaks of Kinsman; we had a great time observing the solar eclipse up there.