Penn State senior Connor Yirinec is moving mountains

Video posted December 4, 2013 in News by Alysia Libby


Clearing mind, body, and soul is a tough task for any college student.

Connor Yirinec is a senior at Pennsylvania State University. She is majoring in bio anthropology and hopes to attend medical school. She describes her ideal job as the real life Dr. Temperance Brennan from the television show “Bones.” Yirinec spends endless hours studying for extremely challenging science courses, and for her sanity she partakes in an unusual hobby. She enjoys hiking whenever and wherever she can. Her hikes range from simple hikes such as Mt. Nittany to hundred mile long hikes.

Yirinec says that her hobby allows for her to encompass most aspects of wellness and ensures sanity in her busy life. After partaking in a life-altering hike the past summer, Connor decided to keep hiking as a priority that she will carry on in her life past graduation. Instead of deciding what graduation gifts this college seniors wants or preparing for the dreaded Medical College Admission Test, Yirinec is already planning her post-graduation hike. Hundreds of miles of worry-free hiking is the only gift she wants to receive.

On The Mountain

Yirinec says that this planning for a major hike is comparable to the time that many students dedicate to preparing for finals. The paperwork includes registration, fire permits, and plotting locations. The most outrageous part is that Yirinec does this for enjoyment.

Another aspect of hiking and backpacking is the physical one. Yirinec says that hiking can be done by anyone who has the drive to do it. She trained by doing leg exercises and cardiovascular activities. These included walking at an incline and elliptical workouts. Months before the trip Yirinec researched online previous hikers’ physical preparation plans and she applied their advice to her life.

Someday Dr. Yirinec may be linking forensic anthropology clues to deaths, but for now she hopes to take some time to relax. For many students, relaxation means sitting back and watching a television show, but to Yirinec this means hiking millions of miles. This Penn State senior will continue to move mountains one step at a time.

Marking Me​mories

Connor Yirinec had many moments embedded into her memory, but one funny story left an everlasting mark. A scar on her leg reminds her constantly of life on the trail.


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hiking , outdoors