Saturday, December 30, 2017

AMC Annual Summit - January 27, 2018. Also, our December update

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's Birthday
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.

GraniteGals Podcast
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.

December Hikes
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.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

November Update

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
Hiker people are the best people.  :)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Curly Perzel on GraniteGals, Alex on Jackson, Sage on Hale

Hello everyone,

Check out Alex's latest trip report on Jackson.  She finished that peak for the Grid last Sunday.  :)

Also -- the girls interviewed Allmuth "Curly" Perzel a few weeks ago.  Alex edited the podcast and it was released last week on GraniteGals (subscribe on iTunes!).  Curly is a hiking legend, having hiked the rare Triple Crown (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail), and having finished White Mountain redlining just last year at the age of 76. 

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). 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Congrats to Alex on Trailwrights! Also, GraniteGals and TRs


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!


Friday, September 8, 2017

High Winds and Heavy Fog on Jefferson, Plus Cairn Repair Work

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.

Area of our trail work

"Before" photo

"After" photo

Heading down to the hut, then down Ammo

Gem Pool on the way out

Sunday, September 3, 2017

New GraniteGals episode, PNVC, Madison/Adams, and the Cohos Trail

Hi everyone!  I hope you are having an excellent holiday weekend.

Lots of updates -- first, Alex and Sage have a new GraniteGals episode on iTunes.  You can subscribe to the podcast, and/or you can find the interviews here.

Also, our recent talk at Pinkham Notch Visitors Center went well and was a lot of fun.  We spent the night at Joe Dodge Lodge afterward, then hiked Madison and Adams the next day via Madison Gulf Trail and Buttress Trail.  You can read Alex's write-up about our experiences here.

Finally, my Cohos Trail blog is almost finished.  I just published the next-to-last day's hike.  You can read about it here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

We're speaking at Pinkham Notch Visitors Center on August 26, 2017

Hi folks,

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.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cairn Building, and the Kinsmans for August

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

Finished cairn 

Yesterday, we managed to get the peaks of Kinsman; we had a great time observing the solar eclipse up there.

North Kinsman

View from the North Kinsman outlook

South Kinsman

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cohos Trail 2017!

The girls and I hiked the Cohos Trail from July 29-August 12 (including rest days).  I am putting a blog together at  Come take a look!

Friday, July 28, 2017

July Trail Work

I'm posting few trail work entries this month -- trail work is good for the soul, it's good for the hiker, it's good for everyone.  If you live anywhere near a trail, volunteer with the local crew from time to time.  You'll be glad you did.

July 22, 2017 -- Six hours with Trailwrights, crushing rock (to help build stone steps) and digging drainage ditches on the Pemigewasset Trail

Alex, Sage, and I were fortunate to work with Trailwrights again this month.  Our schedules don't usually coincide with their trailwork weekends, so we were happy we were able to join them.  We always learn so much from them!  If you would like to learn some great trail building/maintaining skills, donate a weekend to them sometime!  Their website is here.

The girls and I are the official adopters of the Alpine Garden Trail (we are now certified in Alpine Trail Maintenance).  Sage and I got in a few hours of brushing (trimming overgrown vegetation) last June, and Alex and I were able to put in a couple days work this month.

July 25, 2017 -- Six hours -- Scree walls, one cairn, and brushing

Since we are trail adopters, and since we were doing at least two days of trail work in a row, Alex and I decided to stay at Camp Dodge.  Lodging there is free if you are working on your trail.  I checked in with Becky the morning of the 25th and then, following Becky's directions, headed to the under-17 girls' bunk room with Alex.  Both of stayed in that room for the evening; the teen group that was working that week was out until Friday, so Alex and I had the place to ourselves (if I had not been with Alex then I would have been in the adult bunk room).

After we had settled in, I drove up the Auto Road to the "Cow Pasture," the parking area before the summit.  The views were less than stellar, which was fine with me since we needed to see how visible the cairns were on our trail in the fog.

Unfortunately, the fog lifted as we headed down to the Alpine Garden Trail.

We may put in scree walls here...will discuss with our regional supervisor and ask for his thoughts.

It took a while for us to walk the mile+ trail to the intersection with Tuckerman Ravine Trail.  Along the way, we righted fallen rocks on existing stone walls and brushed back krummholz that threatened to trip up hikers or poke them in the eyes.

Lunch break...

Our view during lunch...

On the way back, we noticed a cairn would be useful on a rock slide that crosses the trail.  In heavy fog, a hiker might veer too far up or down the slide and never see the cairn across the way.  We therefore built a cairn right by where the trail is supposed to go so, even in fog, a hiker should hopefully be able to find his/her way.

Alex tested the strength and sturdiness of the cairn when we were finished.  It held up well.

Before we returned to the car, we cleaned up a few areas we had missed earlier...

July 26, 2017 -- Seven hours -- minor scree wall reinforcements and rebuilding four cairns from the base up.

Today was all about rebuilding as many cairns as we could physically handle in one day.

We drove up and, right before we headed to our trail, our friend Samantha pulled in next to us.  She was training a member of the OBS Museum that morning and had stopped to say hello.  It was good to see her again.

Down we went to our's the first cairn, before we rebuilt it....

During the rebuilding process...

Selfie when we were finished...

Finished product!

Second cairn before we rebuilt it...

After we rebuilt it....!

Third cairn, "before" picture...

"After" photo...I didn't get a close-up of this one for some reason...

Fourth cairn, "before" photo...

And "after" photo! --

We were worn out by now...moving all those rocks is tiring.  We had also reinforced existing scree walls as we came across ones that needed touch-ups.  We called it a day after seven hours of work and headed home.