Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Terrifying 25

Join us on Facebook: The Terrifying 25 We're also on Instagram: @theterrifying25

This list includes White Mountain (NH) hiking trails that have slides, rock scrambles, and boulder caves.This list is not inclusive of every single slide/cave route in the Whites. It is, however, representative of the more "interesting" White Mountain trails for the intrepid New Hampshire hiker.

Please note that descriptions here are simple so as not to reinvent the wheel -- detailed and excellent descriptions of these trails (and every other trail in the White Mountains) can be found in Smith and Dickerman's White Mountain Guide. Every NH hiker should have a copy of this book. Buy it and refer to it before/while hiking these trails.


1) Hike all twenty trails in the required section (see tabs above).

2) Hike any five trails from the electives list (see links to the right). These trails are easier than the required twenty; they serve as a warm-up to the main list.  Some of them are downright tame, others are more challenging. Read the WMG descriptions and choose whichever ones you feel might float your boat.

3) Hike the trails on your own two feet (and/or hands, butt, knees, etc.)

4) It doesn't matter how you get to the trailhead. Meaning, if you want to drive the Auto Road to the two-mile mark, then get out and start hiking Madison Gulf Trail...that's fine.

5)You may either ascend or descend the trail, you don't have to do both. Note, however, that many of these trails aren't suitable for descent.

6) Hike the entire trail.  

7) Hike at your own risk. You are responsible for your own safety. In other words, my family is not liable if you end up like the poor fellow depicted in the patch.

8) Once you've finished the list, email the list of your hiked trails, the date each trail was hiked, and what you thought of any particular trail (optional) to Trish Herr (  Alex, Sage, and I will then send you a free patch. If you want more than one patch, extras are $5 each. Let me know and I will tell you via email how to arrange payment for the extra patches.


1) There will be no winter patch, and there are no patches for dogs. Experienced ice climbers might be able to handle the likes of, say, Huntington Ravine Trail during the winter months, but I'd like to keep the requirements for a patch nontechnical. As for dogs -- dogs don't care one iota about lists, patches, or any other silly human status markers. Also, it is one thing for humans to decide to take on the likes of Huntington Ravine Trail,'s quite another for humans to bring along their dogs. Most dogs are animals that will loyally follow their owners up or down any trail under any conditions at their own peril. I've no doubt there are a few (rare) canines that can happily hike all these trails.  I don't want to give the impression, however, that this list is dog-friendly, because it isn't. Therefore, as a general rule, no patches will be given to dogs.  

2) Hike this list for fun and adventure, not for record-breaking or bragging rights. Human beings of all ages can obtain patches, but there won't be any public announcements of who's the youngest, oldest, fastest, slowest, etc. person to finish the list.

Creation of this list

Sage Herr came up with the name -- The Terrifying Twenty-Five.

Alexandra Herr drew the design for the patch.

I (Trish Herr) went through Daniell and Smith's White Mountain Guide, 28th Edition and, based solely on the published descriptions, came up with a list of trails. I then asked the girls for their input, and I reached out to a bunch of other hikers to contribute their advice.

The girls and I created this list mainly for our own amusement, since we greatly enjoy scrambles and caves. It appears many other hikers also enjoy scrambles and caves; I am glad so many are having fun with the Terrifying 25! Enjoy your treks and be safe.

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