View Full Version : I've got the 4000-footer fever, now I need suggestions!

02-18-2010, 04:25 PM
I was just climbing in the White Mountains for the 1st time ever this week and let me tell you this flat-lander Michigan boy was impressed. I have 4000-Footer Fever! We attempted Adams on 2/14 but were litterally blown to the ground by the winds. We then summitted Adams on 2/15. On 2/17 (yesterday), I summitted Madison. I then drove 15 hours home, slept for one hour and now I'm at work. (I've got to save those precious vacation days for future days in the mountains you know :).)

Anyway I'll have a fun video link posted on this forum soon from our trip.

I now intend to join the 4000-footer club by climbing all 48 peaks. I'd like to bring my family out this summer and do one or more of the 48 but need some advice. Which of the 48 are the easiest? Last summer my then 6 year old son climbed Harney Peak in South Dakota. It is 7244 foot mountain. The trail is a 7 mile round trip but only gains 1100 feet in elevation from trailhead to summit. I'd say he could do something a bit harder than that but not a lot harder. Any suggestions? My 3 year-old daughter is still small enough to ride in the Kelty-type pack on these hikes which I don't mind carrying her in. If interested in seeing a fun short video of my son's Harney Peak climb, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-5kc0PaKNw

Let me know what you think of the video and most importantly what your suggestions are for hiking some of these 4000-footers with my kids. Thanks!

02-18-2010, 04:58 PM
Hi glowingrock --

Congratulations on getting bitten by the best kind of bug there is!

I hike the Whites regularly with both my kids.

Sounds like your son might be ready for:

Jackson (5.2 miles roundtrip, 2150 ft elevation gain)
Pierce (6.4 miles roundtrip, 2400 elevation gain)
Tom (5.8 miles roundtrip, 2150 ft elevation gain)
Tecumseh (5 miles roundtrip, 2200 ft elevation gain)

Those are the four easiest, at least in my opinion. Of those four, Jackson and Pierce have the best views. Tom has limited views from an outlook near the summit, Tecumseh has almost no view whatsoever.

If you don't mind spending some money, you can go higher and use the hut system to break the hike into smaller pieces. You could hike up to Lakes of the Clouds, spend the night, and then summit Monroe and/or Washington the next day, or you could hike up to Greenleaf Hut and then summit Lafayette. If you like to camp and don't mind carrying tent and sleeping bags, then the possibilities are almost endless. There are campsites and shelters all over the Whites.

PM me if you want company, by the way. My 7 year old is a very hardy hiker (she's done all 48) and LOVES to hike with other kids. Both my 7 and 5 year old will be doing a lot of peakbagging and camping this summer. Even if you don't want company, perhaps we'll cross paths out there.


ETA: Just watched your video. Nice! Especially like the opening shot with your (very cute) daughter chanting in the backpack.

02-18-2010, 07:04 PM
Welcome to the forum Glowingrock. The whites are definetly addictive. Thanks for sharing your video with us it was very enjoyable.

02-18-2010, 08:04 PM
Glowingrock - fellow Michigander:
The White Mountains are a treasure - glad you found them! I have been a Michigander my whole life and as a youth spent several summers camping and hiking with my family in NH and elsewhere. We always seemed to end up back in NH. I have taken my family there 6-7 times now. My high school son chose to go there for his senior trip. He and I are planning a 4 day hike this summer. Michigan is beautiful, but the White Mountains have a beauty that is most difficult to describe to folks who have never seen them.

Our kids did a lot of day hikes in the Whites, including Mt Washington and the Lafayette/Lincoln range. If you can work up to those, they will remember them forever! Enjoy.:)

KD Talbot
02-18-2010, 08:23 PM
If you're really serious about this then buy this book. It will answer all your questions and then some. It covers where to camp/stay as well as covering all marked routes with maps/distances and trail descriptions which are invaluable for trip planning:


Welcome to the forum and look forward to your trip reports.


PS: your purchase from this link helps the Obs!

02-19-2010, 03:34 PM
Plenty of good responses already so I'll just throw in a couple of short comments. First, we really love the AMC huts and they are a great way to get in more peaks with less effort. Lots of families with kids of all ages go this route. Not cheap but worth it in my book. I've got 2 trip reports in the White Mountain Hikes forum from '07 and '08 if you want a more detailed view. Info and reservations on the AMC site (outdoors.org).

Kevin is right about the WMG being the hiking biblein up here. Another good book for the 4000 footers is this one: http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=282

Welcome to the forums and to the "fever" that so many of us here have!

02-19-2010, 03:56 PM
Thanks for all the great suggestions. This is an excellent forum, I'm glad I found it.

I've been looking over the 4000-footers of the White Mountains club website, it looks like you can take as much time as you want to complete them which is great for me since I don't live very close. However, am I reading it correctly that if you want to be recognized as someone who has done all 48 in the winter that you have to do all of them in one winter season as opposed to doing them over the course of several winters?

I'm already planning a family trip out there this summer and next year's winter trip in early March. I'm telling you, I've got the fever. I'll definitely check out the hut option as I'm sure my kids would love that.

For those of you that enjoyed the Harney Peak video, I have several more hiking/climbing videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/glowingrock Let me know what you think of those.

I also wanted to mention that Altitude Sports in Gorham had 50% off all Patagonia items and 40% off all Mountain Hardwear items in the store when we were there earlier this week. A great deal for sure. Hope they are not going out of business.

02-19-2010, 05:17 PM
However, am I reading it correctly that if you want to be recognized as someone who has done all 48 in the winter that you have to do all of them in one winter season as opposed to doing them over the course of several winters?

You can take more than one winter season.

There is a website recognizing those who have done them all in one winter season, but those folks are in the minority. Doing them all in one winter earns you extra kudos, but taking more than one winter season is fine.

02-19-2010, 07:44 PM
And heck, if you start thinking about doing them all in one winter might as well move on to the grid. ;)