In February of that year, my maternal grandmother passed away. When that year began, it was extremely difficult for me. A close family member died for the first time when I was old enough to comprehend it, and it was difficult for me to deal with at the time Then there was the fact that I was still adjusting to a new role at work.

The lack of control in my life was strange and overwhelming as I struggled with stress and grief. I was afraid to open up to anyone because I’m an extremely private person who excels at masking her feelings. I’d never felt so dejected in all my life.

48 Mountains That Held My Grief


The Journey 48 Mountains

My physical and mental well-being deteriorated, and I lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time due to my lack of appetite.

Even though it was difficult for me to wind down after a long day at work, my exhaustion forced me to repeat the same routine night after night. An old friend of mine invited me to hike Mount Major, a small but well-known peak on the outskirts of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, in April of 2016.

I felt like I had just run a marathon as we made our way up that 1,785-foot mountain. Legs felt like they were on fire because of the cramps in my side.

We paused on a ledge just before the summit to admire Lake Winnipesaukee’s enormous waters. I felt a deep sense of calm as I surveyed the landscape. My shoulders finally began to relax as a wave of previously underutilised endorphins entered my bloodstream.


That’s when it hit me: I’d finally arrived at my spiritual home after sailing for thousands of miles across a dangerous and desolate sea. I decided to tackle Mount Lincoln and Lafayette that Memorial Day weekend. These two are the most popular of New Hampshire’s 48 4,000-foot peaks.

Unbeknownst to me, my decision to hike this trail solo set a precedent for all of my future ascents.

For some reason, this hike made me feel like I was on top of two mountains even though I was still a bit out of shape. When I returned to the car after hiking nine miles and felt like my heart was going to burst, I set a goal of hiking all 46 of the White Mountains’ peaks—and thus began my White Mountains romance.


On solo hikes, I had to be self-sufficient, and it’s comforting to know that all the necessities of life can be carried in a bag on my back. For some reason, these mountains held steady as I traced their paths during a difficult time in my life. My thoughts were poisoned and my chest was constricting because of them.

They made me stronger when I emerged from them, and they gave me a new lease on life.