Mount Bierstadt in Spring (1.8 times)

April 24, 2021

Guanella Pass Road

We arrived in the pre-dawn hours at Guanella Pass campground. Or more accurately, I arrived. My hiking buddy that day decided to camp out in his truck at 11,000′ on this cold, snowy spring morning. I tapped the frosted, translucent glass a couple of times to let him know I arrived. And a moment later, an incandescent glow filled the cab, letting me know he was in fact conscious.

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Adirondack 46ers by the Numbers

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.

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Esther and Whiteface via Marble Mountain

The herd path between Esther and Whiteface on a sunny day in mid March 2020.

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.

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Cliff and Redfield via Lake Arnold

Ice and snow atop Cliff and Redfield in mid March

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.

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