Day 2 —  The Climb

Jordan BrownDec 13 · 4 min read

Every year during the month of December, Buddy highlights the Twelve Days of Fearlessness. Whether it is getting up the nerve to lace up your old ice skates with your five-year-old or conquering a halfpipe like your teenage days, fearlessness is not just situational for all- for some, it is a way of life.

Black Mountains
North Carolina's Black Mountains

These 4 U.S. Mountains are Perfect for Conquering Your Fear

Sometimes, fear feels like a great weight.

It can feel like a giant, immovable mass, like a looming mountain blocking your path.

But unlike a mountain, fear can be moved through.

In fact, if fear feels like a mountain, it’s the journey up and over the mountain that describes the fear-conquering process.

Yes, fear has its place in your life. It can alert you to danger and keep you safe.

But in other situations, fear is a mere roadblock. It’s something to clamber up and over on your way to becoming a better version of yourself.

And tackling a mountain is a perfect way to conquer fear in a safe, controlled way.

Here are four mountains, in four regions of the United States, that can help you conquer inner battles while whetting your appetite for the great outdoors. To start, we’ll travel to peaks on the East Coast, in North Carolina and New Hampshire, before shifting our focus to two towering terror-tamers in Wyoming and New Mexico.

First up on our list is a mighty mountain with a friendly name.

North Carolina - Big Tom

Named for famous bear hunter and mountain guide Thomas “Big Tom” Wilson, Big Tom is an East Coast behemoth with a background that speaks to the fear-conquering roots of its namesake.

Big Tom is one of 18 peaks in the Black Mountain range in western North Carolina. Although not quite as towering as its western counterparts on this list, the mountain affords brave travelers awe-inspiring views.

When approaching a fearful peak like this one, it can help to get in the proper mindset. A drive down the gorgeous Blue Ridge Parkway will lull you into an almost-mystical trance before you ultimately arrive at the trailhead nestled between Mount Craig and Balsam Cone.

Be sure to bring your camera. You’re going to want to grab a shot or two of the majestic Southern Appalachians.

New Hampshire - Mount Washington

New Hampshire may not be known for its mountains, but it’s home to the highest peak in the Northeastern United States--which makes it a great pick for the second mountain on our list.

Mount Washington stands tall at 6,288 feet, and it’s a worthy contender for a fear-conquering journey.

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash
The view from Mt. Washington by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

But if you’re not up for a hike, Mount Washington is also the location for one of the oldest auto races in the country. First taking place in 1904, The Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race is run on the mountain every year. Daring competitors pit their driving knowledge with knowledge of the mountain terrain to see who can be the first one to motor up the peak.

Wyoming - Medicine Bow Peak

Conquering fear in a healthy way is good medicine for the body and brain.

And with salutary benefits on our mind, we now turn to Medicine Bow Peak. A journey there will take you to Wyoming and a vast expanse of big skies and open spaces.

Photo by Colby Thomas on Unsplash
Medicine Bow by Colby Thomas on Unsplash

Rated the number one trail in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest on alltrails.com, hikers claim that this mountain trail is steep but doable.

If you’re using this journey as a measure of your fear-conquering capability, just know that you’ll have to scramble over some rocks at the very top. Because life’s like that at times. You think you’ve overcome the feelings that you’re working through, only to find that you’re not quite there yet.

Although it may seem like a daunting climb--the mountain tops out at 12,013--it’s actually an accessible hike via a 6.7-mile loop trail.

New Mexico - Sierra Blanca Peak

Last on our list, way down in southern New Mexico, is the final mountain for your consideration.

Eerily beautiful when capped with snow are the mountains in the Sierra Blanca range. Spanish for “white mountains,” the mountain capturing our attention for this final fear-conquering stop is Sierra Blanca Peak. At just under 12,000 feet, this peak can be seen from miles away.

And if our New Hampshire choice has auto races, this mountain is known for its skiing. Bold outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a day on the slopes at nearby Ski Apache resort.

If this mountain is your choice for conquering your fear, just know that you should be prepared for the varied weather. Keep in mind that, as you approach the mountain, you’ll be moving from a desert landscape to a rocky, alpine climb. And the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s probably best to attempt this climb during the summer months.

Just like is the case for overcoming tough emotional challengers, there are some factors that are within your control when trekking through the outdoors.

Bringing Your Fear-Conquering Journey to an End

Like fear, you don’t need to take on these mountains all at once.

Pace yourself. Pick the one that best suits what you’re ready for. Once you’ve done that, it’s only a matter of time until you’re eager for more difficult challenges.

And when that time is here, we’ll be here for you, too.

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