American Students to Challenge the Wild as They Rather 48- 4000 Foot Hiking Quest

Hiking adventures are often cherished as a family or friends trip during the weekend. The northeast of New Hampshire has recently caught the attention of the hiker’s community for offering a demanding yet spectacular outdoor challenge. 

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The students of Dartmouth to savor the outdoor experience are taking up this “48” challenge that involves traversing through undiscovered areas amidst the pristine wilderness. Let us find out about the challenge and the varied experiences of the Dartmouth students exposed to the transformative power of hiking. 

Tracing back to the origin of the challenge


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The challenge, popularly known as “48” refers to the 48 peaks that adorn the White Mountain range in New Hampshire with elevations ranging between 4000 feet and higher. It was in the year, 1957, that the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) took the initiative of preparing a list of 48 peaks as a means of encouraging travelers. 

Although, initially the purpose of this enterprise was to explore the lesser-traveled areas, with the time the idea has evolved to be an iconic hiking challenge. On surviving this challenge by accomplishing the hike to all 48 peaks, the hikers earn a commemorative patch along with a prestigious spot in the Four Thousand Footer Club.  

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Virginia Coffey, the student who has completed 18 of the 48 mountains shares her experience with The Dartmouth, “It wasn’t until I had done five [mountains] or so that I realized, ‘Oh, I’ve made some decent progress, I should keep going.” Out of the many students who have taken up this challenge, some have finished it while others are still heading toward their goals. 


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Student success stories continue

While Coffey had been visiting the White Mountains since she was a kid during family trips, for 25-year-old Sam Barton, the hiking started unintentionally. He took the climbing adventure to Mount Lafayette as an opportunity to break in a new pair of hiking boots before an upcoming school trip. However, in the meantime, he gathered interest and started to keep track of his progress towards his newly set goal. At present, he is almost nearing the end of the challenge by already covering 41 mountains.  

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In the list of the finishers is Madeline Wolf, who has set records for herself by completing the ‘48’ even before starting college. Belonging to a family where hiking is pursued enthusiastically, her father became her inspiration. Knowing that he took the challenge during his first year Trip to Dartmouth, intrigued Wolf to start with the adventure earlier in her life. 


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Hence, the ‘48’ challenge apart from solely being a hiking adventure carries with itself a tale of personal growth and self-discovery. Dartmouth students coming together through this challenge can form lasting bonds sharing their love for mountains while conquering summits.

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