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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
Cassia Costa is the newest 53er in the 52 Peak Club. To become a 53er a hiker must be a member of the 52 Peak Club and hike to all 52 Peaks with the 52 Peak Club.
Hiking to all 52 Peaks means a hiker has hiked over 300 miles and gain 120,000 feet in elevation! This is not an easy thing to do. There is no time limit to become a 53er. Some hikers have done it in less than six months; others have taken six years! There are now 155 hikers who have earned the status of a 53er.
Cassia was determine to become a 53er in spite of her difficulties. She could only hike once a week at most and fought asthma and allergies. She was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and moved to the United States when she was 22. She lived in New York City and California before moving to Las Vegas. Cassia has two beautiful daughters and loves living in the United States.
She had mixed feelings of excitement, accomplishment, and happiness when she became a 53er. She told me, "It was the biggest physical challenge I ever experienced. I now feel a lot more confident, my fitness level is at its best, I feel much stronger and I have now learned how to control my fears."
Her advice to new hikers: Listen to the leaders, never hike ahead of them and don't think you know more than they do. No matter how many hikes you have done, leaders can help you reach the peaks and make the hikes easier and safer for you if you listen to them.
The video below is Cassia receiving her 53er Plaque on Charleston Peak.
Welcome to the 53er Club, Cassia. Good work.
This is Rob Shaw's story of what he discovered as he became a Double 53er:
(A double 53er is a hiker who has climbed all 52 Peaks twice!)
When I became a 53er for the first time, the goals I set for myself had been reached. But there was something more to it than that. I wanted to stay in shape and keep healthy so by continuing to hike, it would help me achieve that. I became a leader and got involved with others reaching their goals of becoming a 53er. In the process, I reached Double 53er status. When you go to the peaks a second time, several things may happen. You may take another route and you most certainly will be with different hikers. You learn more about your surroundings because you are a better hiker now and things are a lot easier this time around. You may find yourself lending a hand or spotting a fellow hiker, where as, that was you on the other end when you were going to a peak the first time. You will also be more familiar with the peaks around you since you have been to all of them.
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV