We’re going to carry big rocks up and down one of the White Mountains. You in?

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/doug88888/4138251783

Note: I’m looking for men to carry big rocks up and down one of the White Mountains in New Hampshire for a day hike this summer. Will you join us – in person, or in spirit?

I am blessed to live in the great state of New Hampshire, where our state motto is “Live Free or Die.” This is indisputably one of the best places to live in the USA. And I’ve grown to love it these past 20 years that I’ve been here.

One of the great things about living here is that we’re just a hop, skip, and a throw away from the majestic White Mountains, which can provide a lifetime of great hiking, and other outdoor adventures.

And this summer, I’ll be leading a hike, of sorts, up the great Mount Moosilauke, which coincidentally, I climbed earlier this summer with some friends who thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail last year.

Now, Moosilauke is not a very tall mountain (4802′), but it is still quite a challenge to climb. I’m not sure what it’s official classification is, but “difficult” sounds about right. In fact, after finishing Mt. Moosilauke, my friends told me that it was the most difficult part of the Appalachian Trail they’d encountered since leaving Georgia (i.e., the most technical and challenging hiking they’d done in nearly 2,000 miles). So, it’s certainly no walk in the park.

And this summer, I’m going to climb it again with some of my friends. Except we’re going to carry big rocks up and down it. I sent some of my buddies these instructions via email last week…

A hike is being planned for the summer of 2015, but this isn’t any ordinary hike. You’ll have to gird up your loins for this one, men. Here’s how it will work…

We will be hiking the formidable Mt. Moosilauke (4802’) – think Lord of the Rings – and rendezvousing at the camp beforehand. But there’s a twist. Prior to the hike, each man will procure one stone that he will carry with him during the hike.

Special care should be taken when choosing a stone. It should neither be too big (perhaps revealing too much pride/ego) nor too small (perhaps revealing a lack of courage or ambition).

You will carry this stone all the way up to the summit and back down again. Once upon the peak, two questions will be proposed for thought and discussion on the journey back down. Those who endure the trek will no doubt grow together through adversity.

Sound scary? Even a little dangerous? Sounds about right. Hence, the reason why we’re giving you 6+ months notice to prepare.

So, that’s what we’re going to do. I got the idea from the SEALFIT Kokoro camps, which are a 50-hour trial by fire of non-stop brutal physical training that’s based on the Navy SEALs hell week. I saw somewhere that they did this during one of their training evolutions (one of many!), and I thought it would be a cool idea for a unique challenge. Of course, their route was only two miles. Ours will be ten miles round trip – and we’ll be gaining roughly 3100′ of elevation. We’ll see if it turns out to be a good idea or not. That’s part of the fun.

So, I have two questions for you. Will you join us – in person, or in spirit? And if not, what will you do this year that gets you out of your comfort zone and challenges you greatly? Don’t set your sights too low.

And in all seriousness, if you’re a man, and you’ll be in the New England area this summer, and you’d like to join us for this event, just let me know using the Contact Form. We’d love to have you.

Note: since a few have asked. No, we’re not sexist. The event is being hosted by a men’s group.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi John,

    I won’t be joining you in person, but possibly in spirit. When you say “carry this stone all the way to the top and back down again” do you mean “carry” as in hold in your hand, or “carry” as in a backpack?
    I live in Northern Arizona. Don’t think cactus, think pine trees and living at 7,000 feet. The highest point in AZ is just outside of town, Mt. Humphrey’s at 12,600 and some change.
    there are many other smaller mountains nearby that would more closely replicate your hike up Mt. Mooseilauke. Carrying a rock for 10 miles in your hands sounds like a bad idea. But I might be in.



    • The choice is yours, Randy. Obviously, we’ll have a mixed group w/ different physical abilities. The point is to challenge yourself greatly – to get well outside of your comfort zone without risking life and limb. So, for some, just finishing the hike might be an ambitious challenge, and a small stone would be more than enough to symbolize the feat. Others, might want to carry a much heavier stone by hand or in their pack. It’s up to you. It’s your hike.

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