Declan Kiley becomes third known hiker to complete “triple-single” winter of White Mountains 4,000-footers
Declan Kiley had always felt drawn to the mountains.
A native of West Hartford, Connecticut, Kiley had spent much of his youth outdoors. Growing up he was involved with the Boy Scouts and went camping every month, and when it came time to head off to college, he chose St. Anselm partly because of its close proximity to the White Mountains.
And yet, for reasons he could never put a finger on, he never made the hour-long drive up I-93 from Manchester during his first two years at school.
“I honestly don’t know why I didn’t go up,” he said. “I think it had been building that whole time but I never quite got past that hurdle.”
Upon his return to school last August, Kiley decided that it was finally time. He drove up to the White Mountains and hiked Mt. Moosilauke, and from that moment on he was hooked.
“That’s what opened the floodgates,” he said.
Over the past nine months or so, Kiley has likely hiked more peaks in the White Mountains than anybody else. The 20-year-old college junior completed his first round of the 48 4,000-footers in less than two months, and recently he became just the third known person to hike all 48 peaks three times in a single winter season — a feat known as a “triple-single.”
Kiley did it despite having to balance hiking with his busy class schedule, and in order to maintain his pace he hiked in all kinds of conditions, including regular trips at night.
“I went up as often as I could,” he said. “I’d head up right after class on Friday, hike over the weekend and go back Monday.”
Kiley finished his first round of the 4,000-footers on Mt. Isolation on Oct. 26, 2019. Immediately afterwards, he returned to The Notch Hostel in North Woodstock — which had become his White Mountains basecamp — in time to hear a presentation by fellow hiker Philip Carcia on his recently completed Single-Year Grid.
The Grid is a White Mountains challenge in which hikers must climb the 48 4,000-footers in all 12 months of the year, ultimately requiring 576 peaks in total. It takes most hikers years to complete, but Carcia became the second hiker ever to complete the grid in a single year, setting the fastest known time in the process.
Hearing that such a feat was possible, Kiley began considering what he might be capable of.
“It got the gears turning in my head about what was possible and gave me a lot of inspiration,” Kiley said.
Kiley decided to go back and re-hike his earliest peaks to complete a single-season fall round of the 48. Then as winter approached he decided he wanted to attempt a single-season New England 67, which encompasses all 67 4,000-footers in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.
There was only one problem. He’d never hiked in winter conditions before.
“It was completely new to me,” he said. “The only thing I was going off of was my motivation and willingness to hike in the cold.”
As it turned out, Kiley was well equipped to handle the rigors of the Whites in winter — both physically and mentally — and also had the dedication to get out on the trail every day. During winter break he hiked every day for 14 consecutive days, staying and working at the Notch Hostel to avoid unnecessary travel, and before long he’d completed the full 48 once more.
By that point, Kiley decided he didn’t want to deal with driving to and from Vermont and Maine, so instead of completing the New England 67, he shifted gears and attempted to do the New Hampshire 48 a second time.
“I’d gotten to know the peaks really well, all of my friends were still hiking in New Hampshire, and that was the biggest thing, the community in the Whites,” Kiley said. “My friends were there and I really loved the peaks I was hiking, so I kept going.
“Eventually I finished my second round and was quite a few into the third, so at that point it was crazy to do the Maine peaks,” he continued. “So I felt like this is a tough goal, but if I push I can do it.”
Kiley had his fair share of memorable hikes during his big winter. He took advantage of a particularly nice weather window by completing a pair of Presidential Traverses on back to back days. He also had a fun trek out to Galehead for his friend and regular hiking buddy Rebecca Schubert’s final New England 67 peak.
It all culminated on March 19, the final day of winter, when Kiley completed the lengthy hike out to Mt. Isolation and then returned to Mt. Moosilauke immediately afterwards to complete his triple-single winter.
“It was pretty relieving,” Kiley said. “I was really proud of my achievement but I’d say I was most looking forward to sleep.”
With his spring semester cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, Kiley has been back in Connecticut since winter’s end. While his plans for the coming year are now largely up in the air, when things do eventually go back to normal he hopes to get back into the Whites and find new challenges to pursue.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out there as much as possible,” he said.
N.B. Since the launch of this post, there is some exciting news. Declan has accepted a job at The Notch Hostel -- where he will be living in "The House of Grid" where Philip Carcia lived while completing his Single Year Grid. The House was built by Justin Walsh, the operations manager at Burgeon.
Declan Kiley’s Triple-Single Stats
- 144 peaks
- 733 miles (approx.)
- 250,000 feet of vertical (approx.)
- 50 hiking days
- 3 Presidential Traverses (two on consecutive days)
- 1 Super-Extended, 12-peak Pemi Loop
- 1 Wildcats-Carters-Moriah Traverse
Thank you to Mac Cerullo for his work on this blog post. He did 99% of the work!
Burgeon Outdoor was founded in 2019. Burgeon’s mission is to help mountain communities flourish. Burgeon proudly manufactures premium outdoor apparel in Lincoln, NH. By manufacturing locally, Burgeon creates year round jobs in the White Mountains. 5% of Burgeon’s sales support its community and environment efforts. To learn more, please visit our studio at the Village Shops in Lincoln, our website burgeonoutdoor.com or call us at 603-745-7123
Lincoln, NH the heart of the White Mountains: Ammonoosuc Community Health Services (“ACHS”) is a valuable member of the White Mountains Community. With six locations throughout the Whites, they provide healthcare services to 26 towns and more than 10,000 of our neighbors. ACHS provides services regardless of insurance coverage (or lack thereof) and ability to pay -- providing a critical backstop to the neediest among us.
In 45 years, ACHS has gained a great deal of experience -- not only in handling contagious disease, but also dealing and managing with the unique challenges of our rural population. As soon as word began to spread of COVID-19, they began to prepare for its arrival in the White Mountains.
While their training, experience and preparation gave them a strong foundation, they quickly learned how challenging COVID-19 would be. The combination of high rates of contagion and a rapidly dwindling supply of personal protective equipment had the potential to put both patients and staff at risk.
As word spread of the needs at ACHS, individuals and businesses began to give support.. A local theatre group, Upstage Players, created a pattern for gowns that could be cleaned and reused. Tamworth Distillery supplied alcohol based hand sanitizer. Dozens of local stitchers supplied masks.
Healthcare workers need to eat too! During the long, often draining days, local restaurants such as Chang Thai Cafe, Reklis Brewery, Gold House Pizza, Red Kite Candy and others offered discounts, donated food and treats to support the those on the frontlines working to keep us all safe.
“As prepared as we are for COVID-19, we could never be fully prepared for the amount of love and support we have received from our community. Together strong, we will get through this.” -- ACHS
Burgeon is proud to support ACHS. ACHS is the largest recipient of the masks we make. In partnership with the “Brands Better X” coalition Burgeon has designated 10% of its sales through May 31st to benefit ACHS. We hope that by supporting ACHS and its efforts to battle COVID-19 we can help keep our communities safe and healthy during this time.
“There are organizations that talk about doing the right thing. Then there are organizations that DO the right thing. Burgeon, you are an organization that saw a need in the community and stepped up to the plate to use your resources to benefit people in need. Not just one time, not just a little, but our entire state. On behalf of all of us at Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, we thank you and your incredible team for listening, pivoting your business model, and doing the hard work to truly make a difference during this difficult time.
Cheers to you and your amazing team!” - Jill Kimball, ACHS
Burgeon Outdoor was founded in 2019. Burgeon’s mission is to help mountain communities flourish. Burgeon proudly manufactures premium outdoor apparel in Lincoln, NH. By manufacturing locally, Burgeon creates year round jobs in the White Mountains. 5% of Burgeon’s sales support its community and environment efforts. To learn more, please visit our studio at the Village Shops in Lincoln, our website burgeonoutdoor.com or call us at 603-745
Lincoln, NH the heart of the White Mountains:
It's a different world
These are challenging times for all of us. Some have lost loved ones, some have lost their jobs. Many are isolated from our families — especially those with elderly relatives. Others are on the front lines trying to help in various ways: medical workers, checkout people at supermarkets, and other essential roles.
We know that while all of us have challenges, everybody’s situation is unique. We all have different hopes, dreams, fears and realities. We can only imagine the difficulties you face. We wish you all the luck and good fortune in navigating this new reality.
Burgeon takes a stand
Just over a month ago, Burgeon converted its production from outdoor apparel to making masks. As soon as we let people know what we were doing, we began to receive requests. Friends, customers, nonprofits and other small businesses wanted to buy masks from us. It quickly became apparent that our business would be stronger than ever. We had more interest than we could possibly handle. People were willing to pay as much as $50 for a mask.
So what did we do? We started giving the masks away for free. No charge whatsoever, not even for postage.
We started off giving them to local healthcare providers such as Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, who needed them for presenting patients. The Massachusetts Association of the Blind was next. Then we heard from Taravista, a provider of mental health services in Massachusetts who did not have masks for their staff. A customer told us about Cathedral Towers, a nursing home in Atlanta that had zero masks. We sent masks to them as well.
Locally, we have donated masks to:
We started hearing from individuals and families in need. People needed masks to go grocery shopping, make food deliveries for elderly relatives or neighbors, and to go to the drug store.
So then what? We started making masks available to New Hampshire residents — once again, free of charge. No shipping, no handling, free. We started shipping them to Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts as well. Next — all of New England.
We will continue to supply these masks free of charge to those in need until they are no longer needed or until we can no longer sustain our business.
Our commitment moving forward
I founded Burgeon Outdoor because I believe that mountain communities are valuable resources not only to the people who live there, but also to the outdoor community and our nation as a whole. I wanted to create a company that not only produced great products made in these communities, but that improved their social fabric as well, making them stronger and richer places to live as well as visit.
While we are committed to making outstanding outdoor apparel here in Lincoln, we understand that right now what our community needs is masks. We are committed to providing them. The mountains that surround us here in New England are hundreds of millions of years old. They will be here for the rest of our lives. We are doing our part to make sure we are all able to enjoy them on the other side of this pandemic — and when you do, we hope you come by to pay us a visit.
Thank you to our customers for making this possible. Without you, we could not make these masks and donate them to organizations and individuals in need. Thank you for allowing us to make a profound difference to those in need at this critical time.
If you know of a New Hampshire healthcare company, community service nonprofit or other organization in need, please email us at email@example.com.
On behalf of everyone at Burgeon, we wish you, your family and friends safety and good health in the days ahead.
Burgeon Outdoor was founded in 2019. Burgeon’s mission is to help mountain communities flourish. Burgeon proudly manufactures premium outdoor apparel in Lincoln, NH. By manufacturing locally, Burgeon creates year round jobs in the White Mountains. 5% of Burgeon’s sales support its community and environment efforts. To learn more, please visit our studio at the Village Shops in Lincoln, our website burgeonoutdoor.com or call us at 603-745-7123.
Lincoln, NH, the heart of the White Mountains: Three weeks ago, Burgeon converted its production from its own products to making masks for organizations and individuals in need, free of charge. Burgeon has concentrated its donation efforts on organizations that currently do not have the means to protect their people/patients. In the past few weeks, Burgeon masks have made a positive impact in the lives of tens of thousands of people.
“We on the front lines of community aid are so thankful for Burgeon. Without us even having to ask them, they dropped masks off when they saw the local need. So pumped to have you guys in town.” Marcus Covey -- Loon Mountain Ministry
"What a fabulous company! They have “saved the day” by quickly switching from manufacturing apparel to sewing up bandanas in the form of quality masks to help protect our medical providers. Thank you for your service to the community!" Jill Kimball -- Ammononoosuc Community Health
"Please pass along to your team that thanks to your shipment, we have been able to follow local, state, and national guidelines in carrying out our vital mission. Within days of learning that the local public schools would be shutting their doors, Gather quickly ramped up our Meals4Kids program, which normally covers the 10 free and reduced meals per day that vulnerable children miss out on during school breaks. We are providing right around 7000 meals per week to those kid’s families, every week, in 5 towns in the Greater Seacoast. We have also ramped up our pantry-market operation, mobile meals for seniors, and community open market— and literally could not have safely accomplished any of these programs without the masks that your company so generously donated.
In difficult times, frontline organizations like Gather count on the support of companies like Burgeon Outdoor, and are especially proud that this kind of generosity is coming from a home state company." Scott McKee -- Board President, Gather
The thousands of masks that Burgeon has donated to dozens of organizations over the past several weeks have made an impact. Grocery store workers at our local supermarket are better protected, meals are being taken to those in need and our healthcare workers are better protected. The masks may be small, but their impact is huge.
We have received so many notes of kindness and heartfelt gratitude over the past weeks. We are honored to serve in this time of need and look forward to the day when our masks are no longer required.
“We would like to thank all of our customers for supporting our mission during these tumultuous times. Your purchases allow us to continue our efforts to support local organizations. We are 100% focused on making a difference in the lives of those in need at this critical moment. You have made this possible. Thank you.” Rudy Glocker -- Founder, Burgeon Outdoor
To read more about the impact of Burgeon masks, please see the following:
Burgeon Outdoor was founded in 2019. Burgeon’s mission is to help mountain communities flourish. Burgeon proudly manufactures premium outdoor apparel in Lincoln, NH. By manufacturing locally, Burgeon creates year round jobs in the White Mountains. 5% of Burgeon’s sales support its community and environment efforts. To learn more, please visit our studio at the Village Shops in Lincoln, our website; burgeonoutdoor.com or call us at 603-745-7123.
Lincoln, New Hampshire, the heart of the White Mountains
"I was up in Lincoln and just happened to run across this store . .. ended up buying this mid layer. I wore it out of the store, and haven’t wanted to take it off since. It’s super warm and comfortable.” Neil S
“I used the Franconia as a mid/outer layer in 3 activities: hiking, skiing, running. Performed extremely well every time. Ventilating great at hiking . . . very warm and comfortable as a midlayer for skiing - allowing upper body movement and just tight enough in the hip area to prevent the cold getting in. Winter runner’s best friend.” Aljosa
"It is an amazing, comfortable, versatile piece that I have been wearing non-stop. Originally I bought it for cross country skiing and it’s great for that. But it is just so comfortable, breathable and warm... that I also wear it for lots of other things. I wore it on a long haul flight, I wore it running. I even wore it over a black cocktail dress... The only problem is finding a time to take it out of the rotation for washing. I need another one.” Andrea
The weather in the White Mountains changes all the time -- sometimes by the minute depending on where you are. The woods can be warm, the summits cold and whether you are on the north or south side of the mountain can make a huge difference. This calls for a mid layer that will keep you warm whether by itself or in combination with other layers. Requirements; warm, breathable, flexible, quick drying and of course, comfortable.
Polartec Power Stretch Pro: 53% Polyester, 38% Nylon, 9% Spandex. Made in the USA! Material is Bluesign certified. YKK Zippers Made in the USA. Hand stitched in Lincoln, NH and Fall River, MA.
Features and Benefits:Polartec 4-way Power Stretech for superior movement and fit
Merrow Active Seam for increased stretch
Velour lining for on skin comfort
Thumb holes for improved hand coverage and layering
Extended length ensures lower back and wrist coverage while active
Integrated balaclava/hood for complete coverage in cold and windy conditions
Two Chest pockets for quick access
Two interior pockets for close to body storage
Hiking, Backcountry skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Downhill Skiing, Snowshoeing, hanging around the house on a cool day -- anytime you need to stay warm.
Story behind the name: The Franconia Ridge is a famous destination for hiking in the White Mountains. The above treeline ridge offers spectacular views on a clear day, and it is right up the road from Lincoln, New Hampshire -- home of Burgeon Outdoor.