By: Sara Cardamone

In July of 2016, Sophie was looking to try something new. She had already planned to get away from the world for a while and decided to head to her grandparent’s house in upstate New York. Surrounded only by the sights and sounds of nature, it was the perfect place for her to relax and truly spend time with herself. As the end of the school year approached, her grandpa sent a message to her and her sister mentioning a club that he had heard a bit about called the Forty Sixers Club. The club was centered in the Adirondacks and the only way to get in is to reach all 46 high peaks in the mountain range. Sophie and her sister had always enjoyed hiking and they were both looking for a challenge so they decided to give it their best effort. 

They started off slow as they tried to get a feel for what they would be encountering in the next three weeks. They had planned to climb 23 peaks in the 21 days they would be staying at their grandparent’s house. When Sophie reached the first peak, she felt a little overwhelmed – realizing that it would only get more difficult from here on out. However, her excitement and pride grew as she looked out from the top of the mountain at the incredible view.

mountains with sunset

One of the longest hikes they did was going up Mt. Whiteface. It is the fifth tallest peak out of 46 and took them all day. This hike was grueling and on one of the hotter days of the summer, but once they reached the top it was worth it. Sophie said it was one of the more satisfying moments of her life, making her realize how small she actually was in the world. It gave her a brand new perspective of nature and just how powerful and beautiful it can be.

view of mountains from trail

They woke up at 3 AM to drive to their starting point which was two hours away. This day was incredibly exhausting for her and her sister, but it was the last time that they would get to do this for a while. Using this as motivation, they pushed through and successful hiked eight peaks in one day. With 23 peaks behind them, they were halfway to their goal of being part of the Forty Sixers Club. When asked about the trip, Sophie said that it was one of the best decisions she ever made. She felt like she had pushed her limits just enough to accomplish something that she was incredibly proud of. The two of them are planning a trip this summer to finish off the rest of the peaks and to hopefully be accepted into the Forty Sixers Club! 

Below are some other pictures that Sophie took while she was on her trip.  

Whiteface mountain sign on top of mountain

tree covered mountains with clear blue skies in the background

mountains with blue sky in the background