A Change in Altitude and a Change in Attitude: Nate Bradstreet’s Story of Hiking All of New Hampshire’s “4000 Footers”

    A few weeks ago, I opened Instagram and saw a post that immediately inspired me to write an article. The post was by Nate Bradstreet, a senior Communications major from Middleton, MA. He had recently achieved the massive goal of- summiting all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4000+ ft. peaks. I had interviewed him two years ago to help promote the rugby formal, and I reached out to ask if he would like to be interviewed again to talk about this amazing feat. 

    Nate told me that when COVID-19 hit New England, he was itching to do something that would allow him to stay active and keep him out of the house. His journey began in May when he asked some friends to go on a hiking trip for a few days. Over the course of their three-day trip, Nate and his friends covered 30 miles and nine peaks. After this trip, he hiked the Presidential Traverse, which covered seven more peaks in New Hampshire. Upon realizing that he had conquered this many challenging hikes already, Nate set a goal to complete all 48 of the listed peaks in New Hampshire.

    Since May, there has rarely been a week where Nate has not gone on a hike, whether by himself or with friends, especially after he set his goal. While he has completed all 48 of the listed 4,000+ ft. peaks in New Hampshire, he estimates that he has actually done closer to 70 different mountains. Nate is self-described as very goal-oriented and little can stop him from achieving what he has set for himself. His next goal is to do all of the 4,000+ ft. elevation peaks in the Northeast, which would be over 100. This is a large goal, but he is up for the challenge. 

    To prepare for this goal, Nate had already begun focusing some of his workouts towards building strength for long, strenuous hikes like the ones he did this summer. Most of it was lower-body focused, as well as increasing high volume lifting and cardio training. However, Nate says that much of his strength was conditioning from consistently going on these trips. He believes that if you put time into it, you can improve on any goal you set for yourself. 

    Near the end of our interview, I was telling Nate how impressed I was with this physical accomplishment and how it was something that I didn’t think I could do myself. He told me that he believes anyone who dedicates time, energy, and heart to get to a summit can do it. One of his most memorable hikes was when he met an older gentleman who had completed the same 48 peaks that Nate had done himself, but more than 16 times in his life. The day that they met, he told Nate and his friends that this was his last trip up- as he had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor and was about to begin treatment. 

    Nate told me that he learned a lot about valuing the simple things in life, as well as about himself during this journey. “From the first peak to the last, I was a different person”. Just before completing the last summit two days before I interviewed him, at Mount Isolation and Boot Spur, he took a moment to take in what he had completed. Sitting on a small rock just 200 feet from his summit, he was able to recognize his accomplishments and revel in the fact that he accomplished something he set out to do mere months before.