Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventureby Patricia Ellis Herr
In Up, Trish recounts their always exhilarating--and/i>
When Trish Herr became pregnant with her first daughter, Alex, she and her husband, Hugh, vowed to instill a bond with nature in their children. By the time Alex was five, her over-the-top energy levels led Trish to believe that her very young daughter might be capable of hiking adult-sized mountains.
In Up, Trish recounts their always exhilarating--and sometimes harrowing--adventures climbing all forty-eight of New Hampshire's highest mountains. Readers will delight in the expansive views and fresh air that only peakbaggers are afforded, and will laugh out loud as Trish urges herself to "mother up" when she and Alex meet an ornery--and alarmingly bold--spruce grouse on the trail. This is, at heart, a resonant, emotionally honest account of a mother's determination to foster independence and fearlessness in her daughter, to teach her "that small doesn't necessarily mean weak; that girls can be strong; and that big, bold things are possible."
"Herr’s prose...captures the joy of being on the trail...More than anything, the narrative serves as an apt landscape for a mother to reflect on her choices and on her struggle with how to explain life’s unfairness (sexism, cruelty of nature, distrust of strangers) to her daughter while continuing to nurture the innocent joys of fleeting childhood. Warmly ruminative and honestly observant."
"As someone who has struggled to keep up with Alex on a pair of New Hampshire 4,000ers in winter, I can testify first- hand to what a remarkable hiker and person she is. Trish Herr's charming memoir distills the lessons she learned on the trail with her precocious daughter. Up offers a welcome corrective to the Tiger Mother syndrome."
David Roberts, author of Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer
“As a parent of two kids myself, I'm always working for more quality time with cell phones and computers turned off. Some of my best times have been kayaking, hiking, and skiing with my family. It's the stuff life is built on. So I love this mother-daughter tale of sharing something beautiful and profound together and building upon those shared experiences. It's what every family should emulate. The delightful stories put a smile on my face as they brought back memories of my daughter when she was Alex's age. And it warmed my heart as they reached each summit together.”
— Erik Weihenmayer, author of Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther than the Eye Can See and The Adversity Advantage: Turning Everyday Struggles into Everyday Greatness
"What is more striking than the breathtaking vistas they are rewarded with at the top — including double rainbows — are the mountains of emotions Herr expresses as she observes her daughter growing, not just in hiking skills, but in wisdom about people, learning lessons useful in life: Joy, love, and amazement." BOSTON GLOBE
"An entertaining read....UP perfectly captures the roller coaster ride of parenting." CONCORD MONITOR
"Inspiring and enjoyable." MAINE SUNDAY TELEGRAM
"Herr’s account is really half hiking reference manual and half meditation on how to instill independence and confidence at a young age—an odd and oddly compelling combination." BOOKPAGE
- Publication date:
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- Random House
- NOOK Book
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- 3 MB
Meet the Author
PATRICIA ELLIS HERR holds a master's degree in biological anthropology from Harvard University and homeschools her two daughters. She lives in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
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Patricia Herr's memoir/adventure tale tells the story of then 5-year-old Alex's efforts to hike all 48 of New Hampshire's 4,000 foot mountains. Alex finished in one year and three months, becoming the second youngest girl hiker ever to do so. The book itself is a personal reflection on what's good and empowering about kids. As you'd expect from two girls who are able to accomplish the kind of complex goals Alex and her sister, Sage, have, as characters in the book, they aren't cute or treated as subjects in America's Funniest Home Videos. Herr's remarkable strength as a writer is to offer her family to readers as fully formed and developed human beings. Kids yes, but kids with as much strength and will and ability as any adult. As anyone who has ever had kids knows, you just can't force kids up mountains if they don't want to go. One, sure. Two maybe. But 48? No way! Trish supports her amazing daughter's efforts, but it's Alex who is the trooper in this book, proving time and time again that small does not mean weak. The book is a quick but wonderful read for anyone with kids who wants a powerful and inspirational example of kid power. But you don't have to have children to enjoy the adventure.
I bought the book for my daughter. She is a new mom of a beautiful baby daughter. My daughter lives in Northern New Hampshire and hiking with her new daughter is her dream! She got to page 149 and the book was missing the next 30 pages! But our local Barnes and Noble is replacing the originally book at no cost. She did say that to page 149 the book is great!
This book is a heart warming tale of a mother and daughter falling in love with the mountains. Their bond deepens with shared experience. Its a beautiful story, written in simple language and fit to be shared.
R u an gavin still toghether
Wow gavin yost is that you o my gosh i heard ur cool
U do to me ur craziest dirties dreams ;)
When life hands you a lemon, make _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
Not compelling; 4th grade level-
When Trish first told me she was writing a memoir about her hikes with Alex I just assumed it would be an extension of her trip reports that we all write from time to time where we record our hikes and then post them on various hiking boards for other hikers to read and critique. Little did I realize as I began reading that it would turn out to be so much more than just a chronicle of their hikes together, but her dreams and desires for Alex as she explores the world around her laced with its joys and sorrows that we all must experience in everyday life. Some parents try to protect their children against the perils that the world has to offer even to the detriment of the child who will learn late in life that the world is not fair. Alex will have no such handicap, for she was told and shown very early in life how the world can be a joyous place, yet has the capacity for cruelty as well. Each chapter becomes a classroom as Trish and Alex leave a trailhead and hike to a far off peak encountering some of nature’s wonders as well as her dangers. Not every peak is mentioned in the book and I thought it odd why some were omitted; particularly the North Slide of the Tripyramids, which has turned grown men and women into sniveling puddles of humanity, yet Alex scampered up the slabs with the aplomb of a seasoned hiker. Once I finished the book I realized that UP is not a trip report, but a mother and daughters’ journey of discovery. On a personal note, I have hiked with Trish, Alex and Sage on a number of occasions and have witnessed firsthand Trish’s gentle teaching style and I have no doubt both Alex and Sage will achieve whatever goals or aspirations they set out to conquer in life and this will be accomplished by no small measure due to their childhood filled with wonder and adventures guided by the loving hand of their mother. I love all three, yet Alex holds a special place in my heart for she is an old soul, one who has wisdom, poise, and grace far beyond her years and I suspect that she will be the one to scatter my ashes over West Bond when the time comes. Though don’t rush me on that last point.
An advanced reader copy of this book was passed on to me and I accepted it because it looked interesting. I never finished it. Patricia Ellis Herr may or may not be a good mom but she's not much of a writer. I had to force myself to get as far as I did. I think this probably would have been a good magazine piece - written by someone else. While it has nothing to do with the writing style, I'm not sure I would push my child as much as she did hers. I couldn't tell whether she was doing it for her daughter or for herself.