Step, Ropes and Belay –

May 17, 2018 – Robin Agricola lives in Massachusetts but spends nearly every weekend scaling the craggy cliffs found in central New Hampshire. Her life today is a far cry from what it was five years ago, when heroin addiction was ruling over her.

“I was one of those addicts that looked like I had it all together from the outside, but but inside my life was crumbling,” she said. She found a 12-step program that helped her to get sober, it was climbing, she said, that has helped her stay sober. Agricola isn’t alone. In central New Hampshire, where there’s abundant access to outdoor adventure, the substance abuse recovery community has made use of hiking trails and climbing lines. On Saturday, May 12, the hiking community  extended a hand to those in recovery, through a fundraising event, “Climb Above Addiction,” which attracted more than 100 people and raised more than $6,000.

The event at the American Alpine Club’s Rattlesnake Campground on Buffalo Road in Rumney included a portable climbing wall. Proceeds went to a scholarship fund for the Plymouth House, a 12-step rehabilitation center. The “Climb Above Addiction” is a project of Plymouth State University’s social entrepreneurship class, which is coached by graduate student Andrew Casler. The project is an exercise in social enterprise, he said, an idea that a business model can exist to serve society or the environment.

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