It’s Not About the Hike – Women Blazing the Trails and Bagging the Peaks

The AMC 4000 Footers Club experienced its largest crowd ever for their awarding of the scrolls event. Young, old, and everyone in between packed into the auditorium at the Cooperative Middle School in Stratham, NH for an evening of celebrating hiking achievement.  The mild winter may have had a little something to do with that, with an avalanche of finishers for the winter peaks list.

The crowd

Before settling into the auditorium finishers, family, and friends had a chance to catch up and swap stories at a social hour and pizza dinner. Sure both people and dogs were being awarded for completing all of the 4000 footers in New Hampshire or all of New England but if you ask Nancy Sporborg & Pat Piper It’s Not About the Hike. These two ladies started out just walking the sidewalks of Keene, NH but soon found themselves hiking up mountains. Their t-shirts really summed up why most of us hike, for such things as being out in nature, testing your courage, and friendship. Nancy wrote a book about their experience and the ladies travel around New England giving presentations about their time spent together.

Pat & Nancy

Friendship was very evident throughout the awards by the sometimes wild cheers, noise makers, and standing ovations. Another great aspect was seeing families receiving their awards together. Some of the loudest cheers came for the Herr girls. Up first was 7 year old Sage receiving her all season NH 4000ft scroll. A bit later on Sage’s 9 year old sister, Alex, and mom, Trish, receiving their scrolls for completing all of the NH 4000 footers in winter. Alex is one of the youngest, if not THE youngest to complete the winter list. When I asked Alex what was her favorite she couldn’t decide because she liked so many of them. She did tell me though she has been working on the highest points in each state and that she isn’t quite ready to take on the likes of Hood, Rainier, and Denali just yet. You can read about the Herr girl’s adventures in the recently released book UP: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure.

Alex, Trish, & Sage

The purpose of the 4000 Footers Club is not only to recognize hiking achievement but to also help with trail maintenance. The club has adopted a trail in the White Mountains and with the help of member donations, given over $50,000 to trail maintenance projects and mountain stewardship in the last 6 years. Click here to find out more about the club.

Scrolls for me and Dad

~Amy Parulis, Eastern Mountain Sports Contributor


A former captain of the University of North Carolina track team, Amy now spends her days influencing young minds as a second grade teacher. By night she influences the outdoors as an EMS guide in Waterford, CT. Somewhere in between, she finds time to get outdoors to ride her bike, kayak, and hike. Her favorite hike was to the crater rim of Mt. St. Helens where she witnessed a steaming lava dome and she some day hopes to summit Mt. Rainier.

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