August 2, 2022
Arrival at Notch Lake
I grew up roughly an hour from Hunter Mountain, in New York’s pastoral Hudson Valley. But ironically, Hunter would become the very last mountain I would hike among New York’s 4000-foot-plus set. Growing up, we never skied Hunter (“too many New Yorkers!”), and chose the Adirondacks over the Catskills for vacations (“too many New Yorkers!”). If there’s one thing New Yorkers despise on vacation, it’s other New Yorkers. Especially ones from farther south.
Continue reading “Hunter Mountain via the Devil’s Path”
The Adirondack High Peaks comprise all the major summits within the Adirondack Park above 4000 feet in elevation. Sort of. Modern surveying revisions have revealed four of the peaks to be below 4000′. And if you stare at a topographic map long enough, you begin to realize some inconsistencies involving arcane terms like “prominence” and “isolation”. But never let the truth get in the way of a good story. And the history of peak bagging in the Adirondacks is indeed a very good story.
Continue reading “Adirondack 46ers by the Numbers”
April 1, 2020, Slide Mountain trailhead
I arrived at an empty trailhead around 7 am on this weekday at the start of April. The sun already shone brightly on what would be a gorgeous, mild spring day. After signing in at the trail register, the hike began with a quick crossing of a broad but shallow brook.
Continue reading “Slide, Cornell and Wittenberg (Catskills)”
March 15, 2020, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center
I pulled into the Marble Mountain trailhead to Esther and Whiteface around dawn. This Sunday, the Ides of March, would mark the completion of my 3.5-year journey to become an Adirondack 46er. I didn’t know much about the forty-six high peaks when I began this adventure. But I always knew Whiteface would be last.
Continue reading “Esther and Whiteface via Marble Mountain”
March 14, 2020, Adirondak Loj
I got an early start from Heart Lake en route to Cliff and Redfield. These peaks lie roughly equidistant from both the Loj and Upper Works trailheads—annoyingly remote either way. The plan involved a traverse to the Uphill Lean-to via Lake Arnold, making fast work of the hike in and gradual ascent. From there I’d tackle my last two summits in the High Peaks Wilderness in height order.
Continue reading “Cliff and Redfield via Lake Arnold”
March 7, 2020, Adirondak Loj
The journey to Mount Marshall began on a largely ordinary weekend in early March of 2020. It was likely the last ordinary weekend of 2020. The novel coronavirus had already begun to increasingly dominate the news cycle. But that was hardly evident on this sunny, beautiful Saturday. Alpine and nordic skiers, snowshoers, and post-holers had already filled the parking lots of Heart Lake. Between the rows of cars, excited conversations took place in both French and English in equal measure. There’s usually one (maybe two) weekends in March where the bright sunshine of nearly-spring and the thick snowpack of a full winter collide. This was that weekend.
Continue reading “Mount Marshall (nearly twice)”
February 1, 2020, Fire Tower Trailhead
Allen Mountain and 46er Procrastination
Putting off Allen for the bitter end is one of the time-honored traditions of High Peaking. According to the Adirondack Mountain Club’s official roster of 46ers, Allen spent decades as, far and away, the most popular last ascent. Only after the 1980 Winter Olympics did Whiteface replace Allen as a more pleasant (and ceremonial) finish. To understand why folks are keen to procrastinate in bagging Allen, one need only look at the stats. Allen requires an 18-mile round trip through brush and bog to bag just one lonely, tree-covered summit. No other peak requires such an enormous minimum amount of mileage.
Continue reading “Allen Mountain”
January 25, 2020, Bradley Pond Trailhead
Into the night
The “day” began around 3:30 am, when my alarm when off at the Owl’s Head Lodge in Newcomb New York, smack dab in the center of the Adirondack Park. As a winter day hike, the Santanoni’s would become the single-longest day to date in my 46er adventures.
Continue reading “The Santanonis”
January 5, 2020, St Hubert’s
Fresh tracks up Lake Road
I embarked from St Hubert’s at 6 am sharp on this snowy Sunday in early January. I headed up the road past the Ausable Club in what was still, essentially pitch darkness. The goal was a swift summit of Sawteeth Mountain, with ample time left in the day to get back to Brooklyn by a decent hour.
Continue reading “Sawteeth Mountain”
January 4, 2020, St Hubert’s
On the Road Again
Just weeks after summiting Dial and Nippletop I returned to the Adirondacks to finish off the Colvin Range with Colvin and Blake. I left the car park at 6:45 am, a bit later than I’d hoped for. But soon enough I had signed in at the AMR trail register and was off down a snowy Lake Road.
Continue reading “Colvin and Blake”