Safety on a Mountain Hike (SMH)

Interact, Explore, Connect...Enjoy Safely

What is SMH?

When you go venturing into the mountains, you need to know what to take along and where to set up camp so you can be safe. The Safety on a Mountain Hike organization, founded by Ivy Breedlove, is dedicated to making sure that everyone is unharmed and secure when climbing a mountain. Skilled hikers from our non-profit organization with multiple years of past experience will accompany the students on their first few times into the mountains, and then eventually, when ready, the student will be on their own.

Our main goal

This organization teaches navigation skills, which plants are okay to eat, and which animals to avoid. It also makes sure that hikers know what actions to take in time of a crisis. Our goal is to decrease the injury risk rate by at least a half. "The wilderness teaches patience," (75), and that is one thing we hope to teach to all of our students. They need to learn that in the wild, (and in life), they will not always get what they want in the amount of time they want, if they even get it, and that sometimes, they have to improvise.

About Ivy

Ivy is the non-aggressive black sheep of her Breedlove family. Her life’s desire is to become a historian, and she says that she “lived for historical perspective,” (2), meaning that she knew her destiny was to help people understand and learn from history. The only thing was, she didn't want to disappoint her father, who seemingly had every intention of trying to relentlessly persuade Ivy until she decided to follow his path and career; until she decided to become a lawyer. At first, the most defense Ivy could muster was thinking "Can't you just let me be who I am?" (22). But after her life-changing journey, things began to change, and she had a stronger belief of who she was meant to be, and realized that no one could change that. Although the majority of her family have become lawyers, she defied them when she learned that she was “not an exact replica of anyone” and that she didn’t need to be. She “learned that understanding comes from acceptance,” (180) when her father finally realized and accepted that Ivy was different, and that was the way it would always remain, no matter what. She couldn’t be forced to take on a destiny that wasn't meant for her―a destiny that someone else would shape.

What are the Adirondacks like?

The Adirondack Mountains are part of the Adirondack Park and contain 85% of the entire wilderness in the Eastern United states―"representing the largest area of its kind east of the Mississippi River," ( The region spans an intimidating six million acres in Northern New York, which is larger than the whole state of Vermont. The Adirondack Mountains "boast more than 2,000 miles of hiking trails, over 3,000 lakes and ponds, and 1,200 miles of rivers," (visit, providing habitat for varieties of species to flourish, some of them native. There is an annual uplift of 1.5-3 cm., and about 3 million acres of the mountains are public.

Ivy's Inspiration

When Ivy was 16 years old, she determinedly embarked on a journey to find her Aunt Josephine, who was alive according to the evidence Ivy gathered. Ivy ventured into the mountains with a well-experienced and wise guide named Mountain Mama who led her to Jo’s home, a mini city including a cabin made from scratch, up in the mountains. On this trip, Ivy found herself learning many imperative things about mountain hiking and life in general. She knew that "Mountains draw you to a deeper place in yourself. The suburbs don't do that," (3). In the mountains, our spirit is calm and centered, and you are true to yourself. " 'I'm trying to figure things out,' he said. 'Mountains are the best place to do that,' Mama offered," (71). They bring you peace and a good place to think and deal with any problems. In the suburbs however, there is rarely a solid place to stay with your deep thoughts. The noise and pollution is too distracting compared to the tranquility to the mountains.

Upon reaching Aunt Jo's residence, Ivy decided to stay with her hermit aunt for two days to acquire Josephine's perspective of her past. Mountain Mama left Ivy at Josephine’s residence and promised to be back in 2 days. Eventually, Jo opened up to her niece, and their relationship not only formed, but also improved.

In the early morning of the day Mama was scheduled to pick Ivy up, there was a very strong blizzard, and a tree fell on Aunt Josephine’s cabin and crushed it. Ivy had to think fast and make the important decisions, as her aunt was half-unconscious most of the time, due to her possibly fatal injury. Ivy and her aunt survived, but Ivy never wanted anyone to experience isolation, pain, or a burden like that at all in their lives, so she founded this organization for the plenty of especially young hikers who could use this program's advice.

What can the reader do?

Make others aware. Do you have any friends that love to hike? Tell them about this organization that can successfully help them learn more tips. Other than word of mouth, you can spread this like wildfire on social media. By doing so, you just might save a life.