Climb the White Mountains
To accommodate that desire to take action in the fight against cancer at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, the idea of having a series of events–not held in July but similar in passion to the signature Prouty-–was born. REACH FOR THE PEAKS, our mountaineering program, is now the newest addition to The Prouty Challenge event series—athletic events, like The Prouty—which bring people together to take action in the fight against cancer. The 2012 Reach for the Peaks climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro kicked off our hike/climb/mountaineering program with a bang and was a WONDERFUL success. In September 2013 we did a hike up Mt. Moosilauke—our climb to conquer breast cancer—and it too, was successful. Both Kilimanjaro and Moosilauke have been successes not only as fundraisers for Norris Cotton Cancer Center, but as meaningful experiences.
For mountains are a special place, combining beauty, majesty, seclusion, and simple elevation to produce a matchless, near spiritual experience. It got us thinking about how to bring the Prouty mountaineering program to more people—to bring it to all of New Hampshire—and to bring a very special experience to those who want to stand up and DO something to fight cancer.
Hiking the 4,000 footers of New Hampshire is a rite of passage for every die-hard New England outdoorsperson, and many more commuters from all over the Northeast. It seemed like a natural to create a program that truly was about New England mountaineering and about raising money for northern New England’s only Comprehensive Cancer Center as designated by the National Institute of Health. This feat entails 48 climbs up 48 beautiful mountains. Many of the peaks can be combined in loop hikes or traverses and every single one can be climbed in a day by a competent hiker. All kinds of trails exist in the Whites, from wide-open, gentle cart paths to true alpine scrambles with steep rock slabs and lots of exposure. This is hiking where it’s beautiful, sometimes challenging, and always a hike for a reason.
Season and Gear
By June, most trails (with the exception of some in the Presidential Range) will usually be snow- and ice-free. Beware of fierce black flies before July, especially at lower elevations. By late October trails may be icing back up, but it’s not uncommon to be able to hike into November on dry summits. You can always climb these mountains in the winter, too – but only once you’ve had proper instruction and experience in winter hiking and mountaineering, including travel on snow and ice, and are accustomed to hiking in proper winter equipment, including snowshoes, traction (e.g. Microspikes) and crampons. ANY month of the year can bring cold temperatures, howling winds and rain- and snowstorms to the mountains, so always be prepared with rain gear, warm layers, plenty of water and food, a headlamp or flashlight, a map, a navigational, and an escape route in mind.
Learn More The Climb
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Be a part of Audrey's Ribbon Brigade to the Top
Cancer is ultimately a disease about people--those fighting the disease, those providing care, and those who have passed on. If you have someone you’d like honored at the summit of any of the New Hampshire 4,000 footers or Mt. Kilimanjaro, sign up to support Audrey’s Ribbon Brigade. With a donation, your ribbon will have your honoree’s name on it and one of our hikers will take it to the top. Plus, you’ll receive a digital photo of it!