Next up in our ambassador spotlight series is Saša Marinkovic. Saša (pronounced SAH-shə) is one of our two ambassadors who live on the east coast!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do when you’re not hiking?
My wife and I moved to New Hampshire in 2017, after spending two previous summers working as seasonal workers. When I’m not hiking I am making beer. I am a brewer at Woodstock Inn Brewery in North Woodstock, NH. I fell in love with hiking in 2016 when I did my first serious hike in the White Mountains. That was the Franconia Ridge loop trail, one of the most scenic trails in the USA. On this hike, I summited Mt. Lincoln, one of the peaks in the New England Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge.
What has the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge meant to you?
It’s a perfect opportunity to connect with other hikers and be part of something. Helping Big City Mountaineers is another thing. It is great to be part of a project that brings great outdoors closer to those kids that live in big cities and don’t have all that beauty in their backyard. Also, I am glad I can share pictures from my hikes with the Six-Pack of Peaks community and show the beauty of New England to fellow hikers across the country.
What is your favorite hike in the Six-Pack of Peaks and why?
Without any doubt Mt. Lincoln, although Mt. Washington follows close by. I like hiking Mt. Lincoln because it’s located on Franconia Ridge, one of the most beautiful ridges in the country. Also, you can hike some other peaks along the ridge (Mt. Flume, Mt. Liberty, Mt. Lafayette). All these peaks have stunning 360-degree views and it’s quite an experience to be on this ridge.
Share one of your most memorable adventures. What makes it so special?
In September 2018, I hiked the Pemi Loop (35 miles long loop with around 9000 ft of elevation gain). This loop goes over 12 of New Hampshire 4000 footers and a few other smaller peaks and it’s pretty rugged (2nd hardest single-day hike according to Backpacker Magazine). On my way down from the last peak I lost the trail (it was already dark) so I ended up scrambling down the rocky brook for 40-45 minutes before I found the trail again. But the weirdest thing happened a mile or so after that. At some point, I saw a headlamp light a few hundred yards in front of me. I pushed a little bit harder to catch up and was quite shocked when I encountered this lady with two full-grown horses (yes, horses) 4 miles into the Pemigewasset Wilderness. I guess she took them for a nice night of grazing deep in the woods. To this day that encounter is really weird for me.
What’s one piece of gear that you never hike without?
That would be my Spot Gen3 satellite tracker and messenger. Almost 90 percent of the time on the trails in the Whites I don’t have cell reception, so this little messenger is a great way to keep in touch with my wife and call for help if needed. In the summertime, I always have my hammock. Taking a break somewhere along the trail in the hammock is one of my favorite things.
Share a quote, song, or another inspirational item that helps get you through the toughest hikes/life moments.
Thinking about mountains and being on the trail helps me get through tough moments in everyday life. When hiking, just being on the trail, being able to sense the great outdoors with all my senses gets me through tough hikes and motivates me to get outside every chance I get.
What upcoming adventures are you looking forward to in the year ahead?
I’m really looking forward to exploring some more remote and less popular (and less crowded) parts of White Mountain National Forest. Also, I will try to climb Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak of Maine, and its famous Knife’s Edge.
Share a fun fact about you that most people wouldn’t know.
Nothing really crosses my mind, I am a pretty ordinary person, I guess.
Is there anything else you wish I would have asked you or anything you would like to add?
You can connect with Saša here on SocialHiker as @sasamarinkovic89 .