Hiking, Life

Forty Before Forty

July 26, 2016


I like goals. I also like round numbers. So setting a goal like summiting forty peaks before my fortieth birthday seems like a no-brainer to me. It also seems just a little too easy; after all, I have four years to go. That’s ten peaks a year–totally doable. But I also have kids and a full-time job and, I don’t know, sometimes I would rather sit on my ass and drink wine than lace up my hiking boots.

(As a matter of fact, I’m drinking wine while I type this, but I digress.)

I’ve hit seven peaks already, most of them in Virginia, so maybe it won’t be so easy to reach another 33. I’m not counting repeats, so it’s not like I can just do Old Rag over and over again (although I do, because it’s my fave). Other peaks require travel. Maybe, if it looks like I’m closing in on my goal early, I’ll tighten the rules. Nothing under 4000 feet, for example.

So, what 40 peaks do I want to summit? Good question. I know I want to do the Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire, and that takes care of four peaks right there. I have a friend in Palm Springs who I hope to visit this fall, so why not do the Cactus to Clouds trail while I’m there? (Because it will probably kill me, that’s why.) I’ll also do some West Virginia hikes, because that’s a fairly easy weekend trip. Other than that…eh. I’ll probably take advantage of work trips and visiting friends and family.

I’m open to suggestions! Keep track of my progress on the Forty Before Forty page.

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  • Reply Art August 25, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    This is a great goal. As a VERY soon to be dad, I’m so glad that your kids join you on a lot of these adventures, but I also enjoy that you get out on your own as I hope to be able to do myself. 4,000 feet is hard to come by on the East Coast (I think Old Rag is around 3,400). Right in Shenandoah, you can find a few similarly sized mountains (Robertson, Hawksbill)…I’ve done 3 in a weekend while there and all a bit above 3000. You’ll probably do well in W. Virginia. I haven’t been able to explore out there much, but I am planning a trip to camp near some of the abandoned coal towns in the New River Gorge. I also saw a great blog post about the Dolly Sods wilderness in W. Va, which looks like a nice one to check out, as well. Good luck!

    • Reply Lynn August 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks! There are five (I think) mountains that top 5,000 feet in VA, but they’re all at least a five or six hour drive away. I’ve done a little bit of backpacking in Dolly Sods, so I hope to get back there soon. I want to see Lion’s Head in the fall.

      • Reply Art August 26, 2016 at 10:02 am

        That sounds like a great trip. There’s so many more sites and peaks to explore nearby than I had possibly thought. Lion’s Head in the fall sure sounds like a great trip. You’re mentioning that made me look it up as I didn’t know much about it. While looking on the map to see how long of a drive it was to Dolly Sods, I noticed Seneca Rocks was nearby, didn’t know what that was and now want to go there! TOO MANY TRIPS!

    • Reply Lynn August 25, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      And absolutely yes to hiking with kids but also taking time to hike by yourself. Both are important.

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