On July 11th, Courtney Ley, of Shirley, Massachusetts is embarking on a rugged, 64 mile hike to raise funds and awareness for Friends for Health in Haiti.
Courtney heard about Friends for Health in Haiti from her friend Pamela Adams. Pam grew up in Haiti, which is where she met and got to know Dr. Katie Wolf. One day, Pam and Courtney were hiking in the New Hampshire mountains and talking about how people in Haiti walk up and down mountains just to get home. Pam commented that she never really understood hiking as a recreational sport! This struck a chord with Courtney and now she is planning the longest continuous hike of her hiking career to benefit Friends for Health in Haiti.
Courtney is planning to hike the Pemi Loop in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, not once, but twice! The Pemi Loop, rated the 2nd most difficult day hike in the U.S. by Backpacker Magazine, includes eight mountain peaks and an elevation change of 18,000 feet. It’s also notorious for it’s “knee-hammering” rocky trails and miles of exposed ridgeline. Courtney is currently spending her weekends doing 20-30 mile training hikes.
Bondcliff, the last peak in the Pemi Loop
Regarding the hike itself, Courtney says “I plan to begin the hike Friday night July 11th at around 8 p.m. Hike throughout the night and have completed a little more than half of the first loop, up and over 6 mountains and 18 miles before the sun rises on Saturday. I’d like to watch the sunrise from on top of South Twin Mountain, a 4,902 foot peak. From that point, I will be going over the last four mountains in the daylight and begin the second loop after 32 miles and 14-16 hours later. I will be camping after about 8 miles into the second loop at the base of the summit of Mt Liberty (4,459 ft) for about 4-5 hours, depending on how I feel at that point. From there, I hope to complete the last 40 miles through Saturday evening through the night and into Sunday morning. My goal is to have hiked all 64 miles by Sunday afternoon July 13th“.
Courtney in Alaska a few weeks ago
Courtney is 32 years old and works for an environmental consulting company. She has an extensive hiking background, having hiked up the 48 mountains in New Hampshire and half of the 46 mountains in New York’s Adirondacks. She climbed Mt. Ranier last year and just got back from a mountaineering course near Denali in Alaska. She is going to attempt to climb the Matterhorn in 2010 and she’s going for Denali in 2012.
Help cheer Courtney on! Leave a comment wishing her good luck.
If you’d like to make a donation to FHH in honor of Courtney’s hike, click to go to our PayPal donation page. Put Courtney’s name in the message field.
And stay tuned! Courtney will be doing a guest post about her experience when she’s completed her trek.