Up until Friday, October 12th, I had never climbed a mountain. Now more than four days later, I am still constantly reminded of the trek up by the aching in my legs
I have to admit, I had seriously underestimated how difficult the climb would be. I had a hard time preparing for the trip in general; within the first ten minutes I had nearly passed out from wearing too many layers. The weather on the way up Mount Monadnock was unpredictable, some measures of the hike were painfully cold (the kind that makes your entire face turn a bright shade of red) and others were fairly warm.
Unfortunately, we chose to hike the same day that a large group of middle schoolers did. It was almost embarrassing that these young kids were practically running past us and up the mountain. I don’t think I was ever that energetic as a twelve year old. But my focus wasn’t on making it up the mountain as quickly possible, I was just hoping on making it up the mountain in one piece.
Now, this isn’t exactly my first experience with a treacherous hike. Last summer I went on the Latin trip to Sicily and climbed a volcano. But Mt. Monadnock took much longer and was more difficult due to the dreary weather and slippery conditions. I though because of my experience with the volcano that this hike would be easy in comparison. I was wrong.
The first half of the hike was the most grueling; it was a constant incline (which I suppose can be expected from a mountain) and it was really just boring. We stopped for lunch and it was blissful. we finally got to sit down and rest but it made getting up and restarted that much harder. Something about the second half was much more enjoyable despite it being just as difficult. This portion of the hike entailed more scaling of rocks, which was challenging but much more fun. It also included an incredible view which made making it to the top of the mountain a much more attainable goal.
Don’t get me wrong, the top of the mountain was incredible but the most fulfilling thing was pushing myself and completing a task no matter how challenging it was. The whole experience really brought everyone on the trip together, whether we were laughing about me ripping my pants or feeding a squirrel our lunch. I know I will never forget my time on Mt. Monadnock.