July 5, 2012
I've been hiking recreationally for over 20 years. I have been fortunate to hike 12 Munroes in Scotland, five peaks in Switzerland and several peaks and trails in New Zealand, but NH calls to me! I'm from that state and I want to complete the 48,000 footers.
I favor long day hikes that stay on the trails. I like hut-to-hut multi-day hikes, too. Since several of the summits I need to reach may require camping, I will do that as well; I"m not that experienced in camping and I don't like to carry all that gear.
My first goal is to complete 20 of the 4,000 footers outstanding on my list. My second goal is to hike more regularly. Hiking is my favorite activity and form of exercise. Unfortunately most of my hiking buddies don't feel as strongly as I do so I often find myself begging someone to join me. If I could find enthusiasts out there that would be great. In 2010, I was trained to be a co-leader for the AMC and I completed two hike co-leads. Unfortunately an injury kept me from the mountains in 2011, but I'm back and ready to go now. I hope to take my wilderness training this summer or fall and work toward becoming a leader.
Sgurr n gilean in the Black Cuillans on the Isle of Skye. This summit is one that many Everest aspirants include in their practice. My husband and I hiked it in 2000. We hiked to a false summit before we realized our errors and had to descend via scramble through a challenging boulder field before we could ascend along a precarious pinnacle path. We got to within 20 feet of the summit, but to actually touch the top, we needed to shimmy between two rock faces, something we felt we could do without ropes on the ascent. The descent would have been a deadly challenge without ropes, so we stopped and admired what we had achieved looking both skyward and down toward the tiny valley far below. The hike took 12 hours. For hikes in Scotland, most of which are unmarked or in fog anyway, one should a) thoroughly read the route description b) always carry a compass, and c) bring ropes -- although I don't know how to use them -- or have the sense to recognize when to turn back.
I love hiking and am trying to finish 20 - 4,000 footers over the next few years. An injury kept me off the trail last year, but I'm back. Are there any hikers out there who want to hike on weekdays or weekends between now and October?