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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Climbing Mt. Monadnock, NH

Yesterday my family and I climbed to the summit of Mt. Monadnock located in NH. It was an experience that my children will remember for the rest of their lives and so will I. That was our first climb up the mountain and we met some wonderful people. At the summit we met another family who also had their 8 year old boy the was making his first summit climb. When he found out it was also my son's first trip to the summit of a mountain he put his hand out they congratulated each other. It was great to see other families getting outside together. My children came down with such a sense of accomplishment. My son kept saying he couldn't believe he did it. We talked about now that they have climbed a mountain, if they get overwhelmed at school by a test or schoolwork all they have to do is take a breath and say "I can do this, I climbed a mountain." I think this especially hit home for my son because he is very intelligent but struggles with severe dyslexia and gets overwhelmed quickly. This was just the kind of confidence booster he needed even though that wasn't part of the original plan. Doing something together that is a first for the whole family (it was my first time up Mt. Monadock too) really bonded us together. And I had a blast adding to some beautiful landscape pictures to my photography portfolio!

Some hiking side notes:

Please be prepared! My son is a cub scout so we used planning this as a way for him to earn a belt loop, but plan and pack appropriately. There were a lot of people going up without the proper gear if they were to get in trouble.

We researched the trails ahead of time, packed a lot of water in each of our backpacks, I had rope, compass, whistle, extra food, blanket, first aid kit, ace bandages, and bug spray in mine to name a few things. We also talked about hiker safety and ethic. We stayed on the trails, payed attention to what trail we were following (encouraging our children to find the next trail marker), we stayed together, and followed "Leave No Trace" by cub scouts.

Mt. Monadnock- is aprox 3200 in elevation. We followed the white dot trail up (little over 2 miles to summit) and the white cross trail down. Both trails have some pretty tough terrain where we had to use 3 points of contact to maneuver. It took us about 2 hours up and 1.5 coming down.

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