Synopses & Reviews
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."
"Taking her five-year-old daughter on ambitious back-packing adventures in the White Mountains of New Hampshire earned author Ellis Herr flak from her blogging audience as well as an enormous sense of accomplishment. In fact, as she recounts in this charming, uplifting account, Ellis Herr and her daughter, Alex, climbed all 48 of New Hampshire's highest (4,000-plus feet) peaks from 2008 to 2009 to become members of the Four Thousand Footer Club, sponsored by the Appalachian Mountain Club. Alex was a super-charged kid with a lot of stamina; the daughter of notable climber Hugh Herr, whose frozen legs were amputated at age 17 in 1982 after he and a friend were lost for three days in a snowstorm while climbing Mount Washington, Alex rarely complained, but learned to be cautious while climbing and employ safety techniques enforced by her mother. Braving the elements, especially the rotting snow in spring, sudden storms, and aggressive grouse, and ignoring criticism by importunate fellow climbers who questioned Ellis Herr's intentions in taking her daughter up the mountains ('A little girl like you shouldn't be trying to hike such a big, grown-up mountain,' they were told), Ellis Herr and Alex spent a happy year and a half scaling the peaks, recording their treks, and silencing the critics. Would people have wondered at their feat if Alex had been a boy? Ellis Herr wonders, rendering this a keen feminist fable for brave girls." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About 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.