Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Up - Herr

When Patricia Ellis Herr took her daughter, Alex, to New Hampshire to hike a mountain, she was making a leap of faith. Alex was all of five years old! Though some others in the hiking community looked at Herr with scorn, and even contempt, Herr was convinced that this little girl was capable not only of hiking, but hiking one of New Hampshire's 4,000+ foot mountains. Alex was successful and a "peakbagger" was born.   
Shortly after her first successful climb, Alex decided that she wanted not only to continuing hiking, but she wanted to attempt to climb all 48 of New Hampshire's 4000+ foot summits. 

Through summer, fall, winter and even the wet and sloppy spring they climbed. In much less time than Herr expected (less than two years), Herr and her young daughter managed to summit all 48 mountains, including them in the "Four Thousand Footer Club", making Alex the youngest person ever to complete this feat.  

Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure by Patricia Ellis Herr is her memoir about her experiences peakbagging ("bagging" peaks, or backpacking) the mountains of New Hampshire with her daughter.  Though this book was written shortly after they completed their goal, their adventures have not ended. Including Herr's youngest daughter, Sage, and her husband in the family fun, they set new goals and continue to track their adventures on several blog sites.

This book was a great read with especially moving moments, like when Herr's husband (a hiker himself) sits his young daughters down to discuss an ice climbing event that led to his being lost in the cold mountains leading to the loss of his legs. 

This was a nice, though unplanned, follow up read to Following Atticus by Tom Ryan.

4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.