(Granby) The club of “four thousand footer” in the United States now has a Alphonsois in its ranks. Robert Van Doorn completed the ascent of the 48 peaks of 4,000 feet (1219 meters) and in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. A challenge that began seven years ago.
It is at once a weekend by one, by this that Mr. Van Doorn was able to go through with his plan. His efforts were recently recognized when he received the official certificate attesting to his membership in the club, at an annual ceremony. On this occasion, several hundred new members have joined. To his knowledge, he was one of the only, if not the only, group of Quebecers.
Over the years, other hikers Belle Province were nevertheless admitted to the club of “four thousand footer” because it would count more than 8,000 members.
The adventure of Robert Van Doorn started by chance seven years ago with the ascent of Mount Washington (6288 feet), the highest peak of the White Mountains. After he climbed the hill and Lafayette Twin Mountains. “That’s when I heard we could do 48 summits. And I was hooked, “launched the hiker, who met The Eastern Voices to share his passion for heights.
On the trails, he met more people that motivated him, “sick”, he says with a laugh. They do not walk the trails they do on the run, was he surprised. Never mind, said Robert Van Doorn love the spirit of camaraderie in the mountains. “The people are warm. They greet all. They are very positive, “he notes.
Fear and Wonder
Generally, when Robert Van Doorn launches to conquer one of the 48 coveted summits, it is always for a hike of at least 10 km, he said. “My biggest day, it was 25 km with a backpack of 40, 45 pounds,” says one who can sleep one or two nights in paths, as appropriate, or in his camper Westfalia between two mountains.
“I have already lost his way and I was forced to make six kilometers more. This is where I started dragging my card … “said Mr. Van Doorn smiling.
The hiker 56 years of St. Alphonsus made some alone tops, others with friends. “It’s still not easy to find a partner in step with us,” he said. Van Doorn has nevertheless found in the person of Granbyen Claude Campbell, who also went in search of the 48 peaks.
If the collector scenery breathtaking no mishaps to report with bears and other forest dwellers, he sometimes had cold sweats during some excursions, like the Owl’s Head (Editor’s Note: not one of Quebec, one of New Hampshire) and Mount Tripyramid. “There, I got scared,” he said about the steep rock walls.
Conversely, the crossing of the Presidential (the Madison Mountains, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Monroe, Franklin, Eisenhower and Pierce) left him with lasting memories.
Now that he has completed the 48 highest peaks of the White Mountains, it is not shortage of projects to Robert Van Doorn. The Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches over 4000 km between the Canadian and Mexican borders, the dream. It could at least walk a section with the John Muir Trail, which is about 330 km, advance one who works as a machinist at Air Ground Equipment (Atlas Aeronautik).
Last winter, Mr. Van Doorn suffered from bacterial meningitis that has weakened. He feared that his physical being affected. But a recent hike proved that he has lost none of his energy. Another summer on the trails is being prepared, he enthuses.