Wilderness Heals

Thank you for visiting the Wilderness Heals blog. Wilderness Heals is an all-women, three-day annual pledge hike that benefits the Elizabeth Stone House (ESH), a Boston-based emergency shelter, transitional housing program, and therapeutic community that provides services to women and children who are escaping violence and overcoming trauma. By encouraging hikers to set challenging physical, emotional, and financial goals, Wilderness Heals mirrors the experiences of hundreds of women who have sought help from the Stone House. Committing to hike is a way to grow personally while simultaneously standing in solidarity with women of the Stone House and women everywhere who are working to overcome the effects of violence in their lives.
Wilderness Heals 2011 will take place July 15-17, 2011. Registration materials may be downloaded here.
Go here to view the 2011 routes, and visit our Who's Who page to meet this year's team leaders and Recruitment Committee members.
Want to learn more? Visit our list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Still have questions? Contact Erika Whyte, Wilderness Heals event coordinator, at 781-726-0551 or ewhyte@elizabethstone.org.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bearing It All on Kearsarge North

Sunday's hike up the 3,268-foot Kearsarge North can be summed up in one word: bear! Shortly after arriving at the trailhead, hikers spotted a large black bear crossing the street.

Kathleen prepares to hit the trail.

Although it rained during the entire 6.2-mile hike, Karin never stopped smiling.

Lisa, Sue, Jenn, Vicky, and Nora take a short rest in the rain.

Kathleen and Karin make their way up the trail.

Raindrops glisten on the plants.

A glass-enclosed fire tower at the summit provided a warm place to eat lunch and change into dry clothes. Above: Karin, Jenn, and Vicky.

Vicky naps during a break on the descent.

Three Mountains, Nine Miles, Ten Hours

It was slow-going for the eight women who took part in Saturday's Lincoln-Lafayette training hike, but they made it back to the trailhead before dark! Many Wilderness Heals hikers cite this classic 9-mile loop over the 5,089-foot Mount Lincoln and the 5,260-foot Mount Lafayette as their favorite hike. It features multiple stream crossings, waterfalls, rare alpine vegetation, three peaks, gorgeous views, a ridgewalk, and a stop at Greenleaf Hut. Above: Debbie, Nika, Eileen, Wendy, Karen, Jenn, Vicky, and Mary take a short rest atop Little Haystack before continuing on to Mount Lincoln.

The group stopped at Shining Rock for lunch. Above: Jenn, Eileen, Mary, Debbie, Wendy, Karen, and Nika.

Shining Rock is accessed by a short spur off of the Falling Waters Trail. It gets its name from the water that constantly trickles down its steep cliffs. The cliffs can be seen glistening from the highway far below.

The first peak that the group summited was the 4,780-foot Little Haystack. The mountain is not included in the New Hampshire 4,000-footers list because of its lack of vertical prominence.

Jenn and Vicky get ready to tackle Mount Lincoln.

Mount Washington can be seen from the summit of Mount Lincoln.

Karen (far right) consults a map while Debbie and Mary rest.

Nika and Eileen take a break atop Mount Lincoln.

The group begins its ascent up Mount Lafayette.

The ridge is seen from the Old Bridal Path.

After more than ten hours, Debbie, Vicky, Nika, Karen, Wendy, Jenn, Mary, and Eileen arrive back at the trailhead.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Major Training on Mount Major

On Sunday, June 7, eleven Wilderness Heals hikers climbed the 1,786-foot Mount Major. The mountain's rocky summit offers extensive views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the Belknap Range.

The trail to the summit was a moderately steep, 1.5-mile climb through lush woods.

Amy and Amanda summit their first mountain ever.

It was Tatiana's first hike, too.

Jenn takes in the view while resting against the remains of an old stone hut.

Katie basks in the sunshine.

Mount Tecumseh Training Hike

On Saturday, June 6, nine Wilderness Heals hikers climbed the 4,003-foot Mount Tecumseh, the lowest of New Hampshire's 4,000-footers. The summit has moderate views and is mainly wooded, due to its fairly low elevation

The mountain is named after the Shawnee leader Tecumseh and is part of the Sandwich Range of the White Mountains. The east side of Tecumseh drains into the Mad River, and the west side drains into several brooks. All are tributaries of the Pemigewasset River, which drains into the Merrimack River and thence into the Gulf of Maine in Massachusetts.

There is only one major trail that accesses the summit, the aptly named Mt Tecumseh trail, which traverses the mountain from the ski area base to Tripoli Road.