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Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  447 Ratings  ·  121 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-
ebook, 256 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Madriver (p/b)
Apr 05, 2012 Madriver (p/b) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 jo ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Kathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to spend money on a book and not finish the entire thing. But I almost did just that with this book. The author spends the first part of this book convincing the reader what a perfect mother she is and what an exceptional daughter she has...hiking, home schooling, giving up her Harvard PhD, stay at home mom. Although she states otherwise, she seems pretentious and judgmental. Some of the dialogue between her and her daughter seems phoney. Yes the daughter may be extremely bright and preco ...more
Megan Palasik
Mar 04, 2012 Megan Palasik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mothers, daughters
Shelves: own, memoir, read-again
I just finished an "uncorrected proof" copy of "UP" that I received from the Amazon Vine program and I want to start reading it all over again!


It made me laugh, it made me tear up a little and it showed me the kind of mother I hope to one day be.

Ellis Herr tells the stories of her daytime, and sometimes nighttime, peakbagging adventures with her 5-year-old daughter, Alex. They climbed the 48, 4,000ft and higher, peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in 15 months.

Jun 10, 2012 Lain rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little people can do big things. That, in a sentence, seems to be Patricia Ellis Herr's theme behind "Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure." The book is a memoir that traces author and her five-year-old daughter, Alex, as they attempt to join the Four Thousand Footer Club, ascending all 40-some of New Hampshire's 4K-plus peaks.

Herr makes it clear that it's all driven by Alex, and if the way the little girl is portrayed is accurate, then I buy that. Alex seems to have been born with
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
I liked this book. It was interesting to read about the trails -- particularly in the second half of the book-- but honestly I'm not sure why UP was written and that's plagued me a bit as I've contemplated writing this review and tryed to sum up what the book means to me.

Now most of the mountaineering and spelunking books I have read thus far have been about the ascent, or descent where appropriate. They've been books written to clarify what happened during a particular climb of K2 or Everest or
Jul 24, 2012 Gillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of all the outdoors books I’ve been reading and posting about lately, this is my favorite.

I feel like I should dedicate this post to the jerk who recently told me that women are weak and shouldn’t go into the woods without a man. (Insert eye roll here). If I didn’t have enough evidence already that’s he’s so wrong, Patricia Ellis Herr offers up a wheelbarrow of backup with her tale of hiking New Hampshire’s White Mountains with her five-year-old daughter in “Up: A Mother and Daugther’s Peakbaggi
It started by accident, almost: Herr's daughter was small, but she had boundless energy, and Herr thought hiking might be a good way to use some of that energy. So they climbed a mountain. They had some false starts (e.g., their very first hike, before Herr understood how conditions differ on and off mountains and before she knew what kind of clothing & gear they would need to be comfortable and safe), but one hike turned into two turned into three turned into...forty-eight, and then some.

Apr 28, 2012 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What do you do with a five year old daughter who is bouncing off the walls with energy? A daughter who you, of course, want to grow up happy, strong and confident? Careful, but willing to attempt large goals undeterred by the expectations of others? Author Patricia Ellis Herr’s daughter Alex was thrilled with the idea of trying to climb all 48 of the New Hampshire mountains that are over 4,000 feet. Mother and daughter achieved that goal in half the time they expected to and it became an ideal l ...more
May 16, 2013 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a bummer! Although the idea of taking your young children on peak-bagging adventures is inspirational, this book is a boring, pedantic, "holier-than-though" book to read. I know hiking in the Whites can be dangerous & scary (been there, done that), but she makes it sound as if these mountains are in the Himalayas! For goodness sake, I've taken a stroll up some un-remembered peak with boxes for collecting blueberries, a light jacket and a water bottle (before the days of everyday GPS). N ...more
May 15, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an excellent book! I loved this mother and daughter's story. It is truly inspirational to me. I feel inspired to try more things with my children, to persevere through difficulties, and to be a better example for my children of making goals and doing what it takes to reach them - whatever they might be. I'm also encouraged to keep working on our goal of going backpacking someday soon. May we reach that goal and have some fun!
Rachel Jacobs
Jun 26, 2016 Rachel Jacobs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is amazing. It is a wonderful story of accomplishment between a mother and her young daughter. The goal of the two is to summit all 48 4K mountains in New Hampshire. Her daughter is 6 years old when they finish and as you are reading you will be completely inspired to get outside and get moving.
I would recommend this book for everyone. I read it in a day and was just completely caught up in their stories.
So glad her daughter encouraged her to write this book.
Mar 28, 2013 Marci rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't slog through this whole book. The mom just rubbed me the wrong way. I hike with my daughter all the time, so thought I would relate, but she just felt so self-congratulating to me, I lost interest in her story.
Jan 31, 2015 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book! This story of this mom and 5-year old daughter hiking team is amazing! 15 life lessons are highlighted. I must say I learned a few more life lessons as I read this book!
Oct 30, 2013 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patricia Ellis Herr and her husband Hugh are well-educated, active, outdoorsy people who are raising two girls, Alex and Sage. Patricia learns about ‘peak bagging,’ the hobby of climbing 4000+ feet mountains. In New Hampshire, people have the goal of climbing all 48 to be inducted in the 4000 Footer Club. On a whim she tells her oldest daughter Alex, then age five, and asked if she’d like to try hiking a grown-up mountain. At first, it is experimental; Patricia writes that she leaves the option ...more
I really enjoyed this book.
Kristine Hansen
Aug 02, 2012 Kristine Hansen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, nature
** I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway **

I want to climb a mountain.

I don't think it's possible to come away from this book without wanting to climb mountains. How can you not, even when the author describes some of the horrible disasters that happen while hiking (storms, slugs, massive spider I'm not an outdoor person normally). But I want to climb a mountain all the same.

I loved reading about little Alex tackling what most adults never even dream of doing - climbing 48
Leighanne Medina
May 28, 2016 Leighanne Medina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this book so badly. And for the most part I did. But, throughout the book there was a nagging sense that something wasn't quite right.

What I realized towards the end was that this author seems like she is out to prove something of her parenting. I have a hard time believing that she hiked 48 mountains with her five-year-old daughter and everything was peaches and cream the entire time. I think I would have liked to have read the real tale, and not the sugar-coated saccharine ver
I won this book via giveaways so thanks! :)

This rating is really 3.5 stars.

The book is a memoir that chronicles the hikes of mother and daughter up the 4k whites. Little Alex has lots of energy and shows herself fully capable of hiking up big mountains, and we follow their journey together as they meet challenges and surpass expectations.

I really enjoyed the book. I love memoirs and especially appreciate those that concentrate on a mother/daughter relationship. This book has a great message a
Mar 18, 2012 Candice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ellen
I won an uncorrected proof copy through Read It Forward. Thanks, RIF. This is an inspiring story of a mother who believes in her daughter and does all she can to give that little girl the best life experiences possible. Five-year-old Alex is an energetic, inquisitive child. To tap into that energy, her mother suggests hiking in the New Hampshire mountains. Alex proves to be an enthusiastic hiker and soon the mother and daughter have set a goal of climbing all 48 of New Hampshire’s over 4000 foot ...more
Feb 24, 2015 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about the destination, not the journey.

I love the themes of the book—mother and daughter hiking together, the daughter learning that she can do anything if she sets her mind to it. But the writing itself is uneven.

At times I felt bored or frustrated with the author, at other times I admired her honesty and vulnerability. There were many points that she made that I agreed with, but sometimes the way they were said felt slightly judgmental of others. And I'm glad she is such a loving
Aug 26, 2012 Olivia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at the library the other day. Quite honestly, how I could I not want to read a book about a 5 year old hiking the 48 highest peaks in New Hampshire? That's quite an amazing peak for someone so young.

When I started reading, I was impressed with the attitude of the mom and author, Patricia Herr. In the introduction she states, "...small doesn't necessarily mean weak, that girls can be strong, and that big, bold things are possible." She then goes on to say, "...don't automati
Jul 05, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, nature
When I saw this at work, I thought it would be a cute story. And is it cute? Yes. How can a story about a mother and her five year old hiking together not be? But while reading I came to find out that this story originally started out as a blog and, in my opinion, it probably could have remained simply a blog. There's nothing really groundbreaking or memorable about the story. Her daughter is awesome and adventurous but not to the point that I think there needed to be a book written about her. A ...more
Apr 08, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this with my 10 yr-old daughter and highly recommend any mother/daughter do the same. You don't have to love hiking or New Hampshire. It's so beautiful how Patricia can record those split-second, but critical and illuminating parenting thoughts, thoughts most of us powerfully experience but don't dare to do what seems impossible- write them down! The mother/daughter conversations also make fantastic jumping-off points for your own. It's real and calm and based in natural experience. The d ...more
Donna Price
Jul 09, 2014 Donna Price rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book turned into a family read on our recent vacation. It started with my Mom... she passed it onto me. I read it before we left for home and our 12 year old read it on the ride home. My husband read it when we got home and now I am reading it together with our 10 year old.

It was a fun and easy read. I don't usually finish a book in 3 days. It was inspiring and gave us lots to talk about on our 9 hour ride home.

We have already gone out on a hike and much like the first chapter in the book,
I enjoyed "Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure" by Patricia Ellis Herr much more than I thought I would. The book tells the true story of Trish's daughter Alex, who climbed all 48 four thousand footers in New Hampshire before her seventh birthday.

I hike in the Whites frequently and have bumped into Trish & Alex once-- and can attest that Alex is an extraordinary little girl who delights in hiking. Trish can come off a bit preachy-- she loves her daughters and thinks they are t
I ended up really liking this! The first chapter almost turned me off-the writing was stilted, the scene-mom on a mountain hike with her 5 and 3 year old daughters, gets caught in a thunderstorm and they huddle, not touching, in "lightning position". No way would I not be holding my kids for dear life!! But the author seemed to get her groove as she went on, and I found myself enjoying the stories she told about her hiking experiences with her 5 year old daughter, on a quest to "peakbag"-or touc ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Victoria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a mountain runner that has been hiking and backpacking with my kids since before they were bipedal, I was intrigued by the used copy in my local bookstore. Throughout the book, I found myself at times rolling my eyes at some comments that were outright lacking humility, and at other times offensive. The chapter where she and her daughter run into the trail worker, and she worries about her "beautiful blonde hair, blue eyed child"as if that would merit more concern than any child not baring th ...more
Sue Jackson
There were several things I liked about this book about a mother and daughter climbing 4,000+ feet mountains. First, I was impressed to think of attempting something like that with a 5 year old child and how overwhelming that would be. I also like some of what the author described as far as preparing for each journey. Several times what Patricia Ellis Herr wrote about was inspirational and beautiful.

Sadly, there were also things that disappointed me like the continual reference to how rare it wa
Jul 20, 2015 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a very good book. After reading some of the reviews, I can see where the author can be seen as elitist, but I don't think she intended to be that way. I believe she just has an immense love for her kids and a passion for allowing them to grow and become great people.

This book is not hard to read, as I read it in 2 days, but is very captivating. Each chapter offers a new lesson and a new story. Some "character" development happens, but could have been developed better.

Even thou
Apr 20, 2015 Archana rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! Couldn't have been more timely. Spring is here and we were scouting hiking trails to set out on like we used to every weekend in North Carolina. Tame, urban trails, but it was all we did and we enjoyed them nevertheless.
Reading this makes me want to go traipsing up the mountains with both my daughters :) I jest! I am nothing like either of the exceptionally skilled athletic parents. But, that being said, it definitely inspires me to try. We may not climb a mountain, but we most
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Patricia Ellis Herr is the homeschooling mother of Alexandra and Sage. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and holds a Masters Degree in Anthropology (Biological) from Harvard University.
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“If you want to do something big, something daring and grand and huge, then don't automatically shrug and assume that you're too young, too old, too weak, too busy, too poor, too frazzled, or too small. Learn, persevere, sweat. Take the time to figure out how to do it correctly, then go to it with a giant spirit of adventure and enjoy the climb.” 0 likes
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