Saturday, August 15, 2015

Our next (and last?) highpointing attempt...

..will be Idaho's Borah Peak.  We are about to take a long road trip for a month or so.  Somewhere in there, we will attempt Borah Peak.  Of course, if my ankle isn't feeling up to it, then we won't give it a go...but I am feeling more and more certain that it will be just fine after another 7+ days.

We may or may not summit Borah -- I have done a lot of research on Chicken Out Ridge, and I have no idea if we will be comfortable with the scrambles...we will see when we get there.

I also have no idea if we will attempt the rest of the highpoints after we (maybe) summit Borah.  The rest -- Gannet, Granite, Hood, Rainier, and Denali -- all require mountaineering skills.  Up to this point, we consider ourselves extremely experienced hikers and rock scramblers.  I am not a climber, and, right now, I have zero experience roping myself to my kids.  Therefore, it would be foolish and arrogant of me to state that we will definitely continue after Borah.  If Alex and Sage decide they do want to keep going, then we will spend a lot of time learning new skills during this next year.  If they decide they want to stick to hiking, then there is no shortage of thru-hikes we can enjoy every summer.  There are so many trails I want to tackle!

Since the girls are young, and since they have broken many "youngest" records here in the White Mountains, I have been repeatedly asked if we are trying to break the "youngest female" highpointing record.  I know that if the girls wanted to, they more summer, maybe two, would do it, at least for all but Denali.  However, that is NOT a reason to hike mountains.  The records they have broken here have all been accidental, a matter of happenstance.  We hike all the time, so therefore various records have been broken simply because my girls happen to be young.  It has never been our intent to hike anything simply to establish or break a record.  I do not feel that is a healthy motivation, at least, not for my children.  Mountain hiking and climbing can be very dangerous, deadly if one isn't careful, and to hike something simply to be the "youngest whatever" adds an additional layer of "summit fever" risk.  I want my kids to hike because they love to hike, and to scramble up peaks because they love to...not to chase a record that will inevitably be broken by someone else in a few short years (or months) anyway.

I will report back here in mid-September.  We'll either summit Borah or we won't...either way, we are going to have a great time out West.


John said...

I wish all of you the BEST of luck in Idaho. Enjoy yourselves!!!

Marcy said...

Loved your comments about not chasing "youngest" records. I agree those can be dangerous and are not a good reason to do something, especially when parents are pushing the kids. You always make it clear that you don't do that. Have a great trip!

rwc said...

The Cascade volcanoes are probably quite "do-able" for your family if you take the time and be safe. I would recommend a private guiding service since the standard route/main guiding services push up and back pretty hard and your girls would benefit from the extra time and attention.



Anonymous said...

I've hiked Hood and most of Rainier and have complete confidence that these peaks are attainable for you and the girls. You are truly an inspiration and I look forward to each story you tell. Good luck on Borah and to many more hikes in the future

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Thanks, everyone, for your advice and comments! I appreciate all that you have written. It is helpful to hear from more experienced people; we are encouraged by your support. We did Borah yesterday (I will write a trip report on that later) -- now, I will begin the research on the other peaks and decide which one(s) are feasible for next year. The girls, as of right now, want to continue onward. We will take this one (or two) summits at a time.