It’s March. Three months into 2021. Almost exactly a year of life during a pandemic. Hopefully close to getting myself vaccinated and returning to “normal”. I’m looking ahead to what I might do this year, and looking back at what I accomplished (or didn’t) last year. I’m realizing I’ve not done any sort of year-end review of hiking. Possibly because relative to many hikers, my stats aren’t all that impressive. No matter, I’m a geek and I love breaking stuff down into stats. So here I go:
2018 – the year it all started. I started hiking in May of that year. No real goals in mind, other than doing it and hopefully enjoying it. I managed 15 hikes, 8 of which were solo. 78 total miles and 25,881 feet ascended. 25,881 feet of ascent means I climbed up the equivalent of 17.8 Empire State Buildings. I also hiked my first NH 4000 footer and was determined to eventually hike them all. I ended up hiking 9 that year. I summited 18 mountains in total.
Being the first year, there were naturally a lot of firsts. My first solo hike (they were mostly solo to start since I didn’t yet have hiking buddies). My first NH 4000 footer, as mentioned. My first 52 With a View (though I didn’t know that was a list then). My first hut stay. My first overnight solo backpack, which was a first for both overnight and solo backpack. My first group hike, which was also my first winter hike. And my first meetup with internet strangers hike. Lastly my first “I organized a small group of people” hike.
2019 – Since I had the entire year, you would think I would have hiked a lot more hikes, but alas, 20 hikes, only five more than 2018. However, I did hike 108 miles and over 36,000 feet. So I apparently made my hikes count. 19 mountains summited, only 3 of them were solo. 7 NH 4000 footers. My first really difficult hike (including tears and much swearing). My first hike as a Trailhead Steward! My first “failed to summit” hike. I would in fact end up with FOUR failed attempt hikes in 2019.
2020 – After four failed attempts in 2019, it’s no wonder I had big plans for 2020. Me and the whole world, right?! I managed to get in three hikes before the pandemic hit. I didn’t hike for two months. Then when I did hike, I tried to hit lower, less popular summits. I took off several weekdays for hiking. I managed to go on 19 hikes again. Six of those hikes were solo. This year I summited 29 mountains. I did a lot of “two-fer” hikes with those lower summits. 110 miles hiked. 30,849 feet ascended. Only 3 NH 4000 footers, but 9 52WAV and the entire Belknap Range of mountains for a patch. I had my first sunset hike and hiking out in darkness.
2020 was a frustrating year as far as plans go, however this look back shows me how much I actually accomplished. I’m excited and nervous to make plans for 2021. If you need me, I’ll just be over here cautiously daydreaming.