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Cool Gift: Sweet 16 Hike

We’re not pushing gift certificates — though count on us mentioning it soon. The cool gift in this case — a hike in the White Mountains — was the brainchild of the birthday girl, now age 16. Let’s back up a little and all this will make a little more sense.

It’s your birthday, you can hike if you want to…

It’s about a week out and the parents ask their daughter what she would like to do on her birthday. Within reason, of course, the day is hers to do with what she wants. She unrolls a long list… just kidding. She does have some things she’d like to do: first a celebratory meal at the Common Man, and to wrap up the day, a party with her friends, adding to the mix a fun half-day hike with seven of her closest friends. All doable requests so Mom gets right on it. She reached out to a few guide companies, us being one. It seemed like a fit. We were ready, willing, and able. Moreover, one of the other companies she reached out to referred them to us. That sort of cemented the deal.

As the date approached we discussed gear, talked plans, came up with some options. The forecast continually improving as the weekend got closer. The day was shaping up to be a good one, in fact. As the waivers rolled in we learned that the group was “very fit” — a statement of absolute truth in this case — and that minus a few items, they had adequate gear. We only needed to provide some spikes and gaiters, and of course our oversight and experience to keep everyone safe, handle preparations for the what-ifs, and to make this hike a memorable and solid good time.

Turning the hike into a party…

On lead for this were Redline Guides Mike Cherim and Dominic Torro, but they were doing more than just leading the trip. Behind the scenes they wanted to make this trip even more special. Dominic stopped at a bakery along the way scoring a nice cupcake for our birthday girl. Being it was for a Sweet 16, the baker added frosting and sprinkles. Meanwhile Mike gathered a lighter and a small birthday candle, grabbed one of our Buffs to give as a gift, and also a handful of chocolate bars for the group.

Lighting the candle in the breezes up there, albeit light, was tough. The birthday girl still went through the motions, however, pretending to blow out the candle. It was all in fun and all well received. Everyone seemed to have a really fun time. Their youthful energy a little catching as we flew on the trails, leaving a wake of smiles and giggles behind us.

And to help make all this as lasting and memorable as possible, we documented it here, with this post, and also with this 22 minute video we worked on late last night and got uploaded to YouTube. We hope everyone enjoys it, particularly the birthday girl, her wicked cool friends, and her obviously amazing and extremely caring parents.

Great job, everyone! Congratulations on the summit! And, of course, Happy Birthday!

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