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Hiking is rewarding in many ways; from an intense workout, a sense of accomplishment, and incredible scenery, hiking provides more benefits than other sports. Hiking is also a dangerous activity, and many participants have suffered significant injuries from hiking accidents. Some climbs are remarkably inspiring, as well. Regardless of whether you’re a frequent hiker or not, these true hiking testimonials are sure to inspire.


Taz To The Rescue

After world-champion athlete Danelle Ballengee slipped on ice and fell into a canyon, shattering her pelvis, it was her dog Taz who ultimately saved her. Taz kept her warm for two nights in below-freezing weather before sensing something was terribly amiss. Taz kept running up and down the canyon, alternating between looking for help and checking on Danelle. When a man on an ATV spotted Taz, the dog was later credited for saving Danelle’s life.


Birthday on Mount Washington

Mount Washington, with its legendary brutal winds, is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous climbs. It is also the tallest mountain in the northeastern United States. That never stopped Dick Dreselly. This experienced hiker completed the journey many times. But one time, conquering 8.5-mile Crawford path to the summit was a bit more meaningful. This climb was to celebrate his 90th birthday. Although there’s no record, Dressily is likely the oldest person to date to climb Mount Washington.


Young Triple Crown Athlete

Reed Gjonnes is one of only 200 people to complete hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. That’s more than 7,900 miles of hiking. While all are to be admired, Reed accomplished the feat at just 13 years old. She began backpacking with her father, expert long-distance hiker Eric Gjonnes, when she was only four years old. To date, she is the youngest person to complete the Triple Crown.


Saved By the Bear

Robert Biggs, an elderly California hiker, was on a trek in Whiskey Flats when he stopped to watch a mother bear and her cubs drinking from a stream. But the peaceful scene was interrupted when a lurking mountain lion leaped on him and took a bite out of his arm. Biggs tried to fight back, but the mountain lion had an advantage. Hearing the commotion, the mother bear came to Bigg’s rescue. She fought the lion for about 15 seconds before sending the big cat scurrying. She made brief eye contact with Biggs before returning to her cubs. He returned home, thankful for the bear’s intervention, with only a few cuts and bruises.


Age is Only a Number

Nan Reisinger had wanted to finish her section hike of the Appalachian Trail at age 70. It didn’t happen, but Nan didn’t give up. In late March, she and a friend hit the trail in Spring Mountain Georgia, the trail’s southern terminal. They reached Katahdin, Maine, on October 4th after six months of hiking. Nan had suffered one injury along the way after tripping and falling, but she persisted. At the time they completed their hike, Nan was 74 years old, making her the oldest woman to complete the Appalachian Trail.