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Lofty goal: Taking to area hills, Kelly tops 29,000 feet

Rockport teen hikes elevation of Mount Everest — all in Camden Hills State Park
By Holly Vanorse Spicer | Oct 15, 2020
Courtesy of: Adelaide Kelly Pictured is Adelaide Kelly, 14, of Rockport.

Rockport — “Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do," said famed University of California at Los Angeles men's basketball coach John Wooden.

Adelaide Kelly of Rockport took that inspirational message to heart.

When the 14-year-old Rockport resident made the decision to hike Mount Everest for an end-of-year school project in the spring, but could not climb the actual Mount Everest, she did the next best thing.

Kelly set herself to the task of achieving hiking an elevation of just more than 29,000 feet in daily hikes, up and down the peaks of Bald Rock, Mount Megunticook, Mount Battie, Cameron, Derry and Frohock in Camden Hills State Park.

Kelly said she liked the idea of being outdoors, and she always liked to hike.

“I find it very satisfying,” she said.

Given her favorite subject in school is Outdoor Leadership, and that she is a surf instructor in Old Orchard Beach during the summers, it is far from surprising she enjoys the outdoors.

“I wanted to do something that was hard, that would challenge me physically, and mentally, but was still fun,” she said.

She added that Mount Everest was the ultimate hike, and she wanted to try to do it.

Located at the border between Nepal, and China, Mount Everest is a part of the Himalayan mountain range. With a total elevation of 29,029 feet above sea level, Mount Everest is the highest peak on Earth.

The Camden-Rockport Middle School project assigned was to span a total of seven days, but Kelly said she aimed to accomplish the tall goal in six to allow herself time to put her presentation together.

Kelly researched Mount Everest, as well as the trails, and the base camps of the mountain. Then, she looked at what the local trail elevations offered, and set to work planning six days of hiking.

“I did an average of 4,500 feet of elevation every day,” she said.

The daily elevation totals were achieved by hiking up, and down, the mountains in the area two, to three times a day.

Kelly, now a Camden Hills Regional High School freshman, made videos when she reached the summit of each trail, and when she passed what would have been a Mount Everest base camp milestone.

On day four of her hikes, Kelly said she was ready to give up.

“I saw my third snake, and I hate snakes. I was really tired, and sore,” she said.

She added she told her mother, Darcy, that she did not think that she could do it.

“My mom pointed out that I was more than halfway to my goal. So I got up the next morning, and did it again,” she said.

Kelly had three hikes that day. She said she did them all, and kept going the remaining days.

She and her mother went to Reny’s before she began her hikes and purchased snacks that would be easy for her to carry. She also brought spare clothes, plenty of water, and added rocks to her pack to stimulate the weight that a hiker would take with them on an hike of Mount Everest.

When she accomplished her hikes, and attained the 29,029 feet of elevation, she said she was excited, and in honesty, surprised she had actually done it.

She added it was a tremendous feeling, because she knew she had pushed herself to her limit, and kept going.

“When I got to the top, I looked out at the beautiful landscape, and just screamed into the emptiness,” she said.

After, the youngster laid down on a rock, and watched the clouds pass.

“Then, I stood up, made my end video, and walked back down,” she said.

Although Kelly, who plays field hockey this fall for the Windjammers, said she is unsure about some day climbing the real Mount Everest, she said she would take to the task she completed in June, again.

“I am proud of what I accomplished. It was a really good feeling,” she said.

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Comments (3)
Posted by: Beth Birmingham | Oct 16, 2020 16:13

What a fantastic idea!!! Job well done!!!

Posted by: Reade Brower | Oct 16, 2020 13:39

What an imaginative way to hike, as well as a refreshing story during these days! This is exactly why we need to hear from young people.  They inspire us to think outside the box.Thank you Adelaide!  -Martha Brower

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Oct 16, 2020 05:38

WOW!! What an example of making the best of what we've got!! We could all learn something from this young lady; but also from her Mom who encouraged her when she felt like giving up. We need each other. We are not in this alone. ;)

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