6,800 Ascents of Mount Monadnock…and Counting

Features / Hiking / ZZBLOG POSTS

From the 48 Four Thousand Footers to the 52 With a View, New Hampshire is a great place for hikers to add new mountains to their tick lists. Not Larry Davis. Since 1984, he’s maintained an almost daily routine of climbing Mount Monadnock. At some point this spring, he’ll summit the mountain for the 7,000th time. In terms of total vertical feet, that’s the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest over 400 times.

Larry Davis (far right) poses with Willem Lange (second from left) and two members of the "Windows to the Wild" crew at the summit of Mount Monadnock.

Larry Davis (far right) poses with Will Lange (second from left) and two members of the “Windows to the Wild” crew at the summit of Mount Monadnock.

Last fall, Larry’s story was featured on “Windows to the Wild” on New Hampshire Public Television. On a perfect October afternoon, Larry made his 6,819th summit of Mount Monadnock accompanied by Will Lange, the 79-year old host of the program.

Let that last sentence sink in for a moment.

A 54-year old man climbing a mountain for the 6,819th time with a 79-year old man following him every step of the way.

This accomplishment is a testament not only to Larry and Will’s dedication, but to the “hikeability” of Mount Monadnock that makes it the second most climbed mountain in the world. As Larry says: “Mount Monadnock has something for everybody, from little kids to senior citizens and everywhere in between.” This is not to say that Monadnock is an EASY summit. At 3,166 feet, it’s not a walk in the park. Like any New Hampshire peak, there are a few rugged sections where footing can be dicey and weather is always a factor. Still, compared to other mountains on the aforementioned tick lists, Monadnock is accessible for just about anyone with the ability and desire to challenge themselves. And with views of Boston on a clear day, hiking Monadnock has its rewards.

While Larry’s accomplishment is rooted in his own personal desire, he recognizes that his story has impacted others. In the “Windows to the Wild” piece, you can see the pleasure on Larry’s face when he talks about how his accomplishment has inspired people to set goals of their own to be more physically active. For Larry, it all started with the lofty goal to hike Monadnock 84 times in 1984. That year, he climbed it 106 times and proved to himself that he was capable of much more than he ever imagined.

Mount Monadnock offers some spectacular views on clear days.

Mount Monadnock offers some spectacular views on clear days.

Personally, I think that’s the best part of Larry’s story. He didn’t set out to climb Monadnock 7,000 times. He simply wanted to challenge himself. Whether it’s your career, your personal relationships or your lifestyle; nothing shakes up your daily routine like setting a challenging goal and holding yourself accountable for achieving it.

Set enough goals and shake up enough routines and there’s no telling where you’ll go, how far you climb or how interesting your life can be.

Jim Darroch