Recap: Autumn Sunrise Hike at Mount Monadnock

Jaimee Rondeau, Northeast Ambassador (NH)

Alarms went off early the morning of our hike, women and girls from all over woke up bright-eyed to meet at Mount Monadnock to gear up for a sunrise hike. With clouds in the forecast we knew the skies may be gray, but the energy of our group of 24 was contagious. We set off at 4:30 a.m., a winding trail of headlamps in the mist.

Hiking at night can prove more technical than hikes in the light. The pace is slower, there are more safety considerations, more precautions taken. When the first blaze was spotted, we all stopped to discuss orienting ourselves in the darkness, what signs to look for on the trails, and the importance of looking out for one another. The connection to the outdoors was undeniable, however, and the quietness of the forest is unlike any other time of day.

 

The summit was reached after about two hours on the trail – gray skies were not the picture perfect sunrise we hoped for and visibility was pretty terrible – but moments like that make groups bond and jokes flow. “Are we on the moon?” “Does the sun even exist anymore?” The accomplishment, not only by women of all experience levels but also an eight year old, two eleven year olds, and a thirteen year old, was awesome to witness. “Hiking in the foggy dark was definitely the most ambitious thing I’ve ever done without being able to see more than a foot in front of me,” commented Melissa Traverse. “It was a wonderful adventure with a few lessons for life on the ground.”

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Just choosing to go for it is half the battle. Night hikes can be intimidating to even the most experienced hikers, making this group atmosphere a perfect introductory. There were encouragements along the entire trail, women helping each other through difficult sections and lending a hand down the steep spots. “Thanks for getting us to push our limits,” said one of our hikers.

“Hiking in perfect weather is irrelevant. You create your “perfect” with likeminded kicka$$ ladies! Even though our sunrise hike ended up being “sunless” it was magical nonetheless. Thanks to SheJumps for being such a great outdoors advocate and pushing us to do what we love,” commented participant Julie Theriault.

Topics of this hike included a review of the ten essentials, layering, safe hiking techniques for wet weather, and more. “We can’t wait for the next one,” said Sonja Kraus.

A special thanks to Eco Lips, Treeline Coffee Roasters, and Misadventures Magazine for providing goodies for our participants, and our national partners: Essential Wipes, Mountain Hub, Big Agnes, Krimson Klover, Mountain Khakis, Rumpl, Western Rise, SunSki, Wild Rye, Coola, Adventure Medical Kits, Sun Day Afternoons, Toad & Co., Camber Outdoors, Selkirk Lodge, Arc’Teryx, Powder House Ski Shop, The Mountaineers, Alta, Karakoram, Hike It Baby, Wave Foundation, and Play Hard Give Back. And a big appreciation to all of the women and girls who joined us for this event – thank you!

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