The Adirondack 46ers

46er logoThe Adirondack 46ers is a club dedicated to hikers who have summited all 46 High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains. The 46ers are dedicated to preserving the wilderness, and the club works in cooperation with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Hikers who summit the 46 Adirondack High Peaks are able to register and become an official ADK 46er!

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view from mount marcy
View from Mount Marcy (Photo Credit: Kelsey Schumacher)

The 46 High Peaks

In the early 20th century, the High Peaks of the Adirondacks were considered the 46 tallest mountains in the Adirondack Park because each had an elevation of at least 4,000 feet. Although later surveys revealed not all of these peaks reached this elevation, the original 46 peaks are still recognized as the High Peaks.

The History of the 46ers Club

view from whiteface mountainThe Adirondack 46ers began with a simple goal, to climb all 46 of the High Peaks of the Adirondacks.

The history of the 46ers dates back to 1918 when brothers Robert and George Marshall, and their friend Herbert Clark, climbed Whiteface Mountain. This was their first high peak, and from there, the trio began their journey to climb all 46.

What ended up as an eight year hiking adventure (1918-1925) for the three hikers would inspire many others in the future. Today, over 7,000 people have summited the same 46 peaks.

In particular, in the 1930s, members of the Grace Methodist Church in Troy, NY began to take hikes up the 46 High Peaks, including Mount Marcy. Reverand Ernest Ryder and parishioner Edward Hudowalski finished climbing all 46 in 1936, and soon after, formed a hiking club called the 46ers of Troy. This club would be the basis for the Adirondack 46ers.

The 46ers of Troy were mainly led by Grace Hudowalski, who became the first woman to climb all 46 High Peaks in 1937. She was in charge of club membership and encouraged members to write about their experiences. This was the start of a tradition for 46ers to share their experiences in order to register for the club.

Over the years, the popularity of hiking the peaks grew. The 46ers of Troy realized the club needed to expand in order to welcome others from beyond their reach. As a result, the first meeting of the Adirondack 46ers was held on May 30, 1948 at the Adirondack Loj.

Grace Hudowalski was chosen as the Adirondack 46ers' first president. From the 1950s to the present, the club has been both a social group for like-minded adventurers and a way for hikers to help preserve the lands they love.

Whiteface Mountain (Photo Credit: Ashley Fix)

How Can I Become a 46er?

If you want to become a registered 46er, the first step is to summit all 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Although some are less than 4,000 feet in elevation, the required 46 have remained the same.

However, before you start hiking, be sure to download the Official 46er Questionnaire and Mountain List from the 46er website. In the Questionnaire, you'll need to fill out your personal information, include the dates you hiked each peak, and write about some of your memorable experiences.

Once you've finished hiking the peaks and filled out the Questionnaire, follow these steps:

1. Send your completed Questionnaire to the Office of the Historian.

  • By Mail To: "The Office of the Historian, Adirondack Forty-Sixers, P.O. Box 46, Fort Edward, NY 12828"
  • Or By Email To: "[email protected]"

2. Next, you must pay the initial club dues. For each new member of the Adirondack 46ers, the cost to be a member is $8. Dues must be sent to the Treasurer.

  • By Mail To: "46er Treasurer, Adirondack Forty-Sixers, P.O. Box 180, Cadyville, NY 12918"
  • Or Pay via Paypal To: "[email protected]"

3. It will take 4-8 weeks for the paperwork to be received and processed. Once you get a letter from the Office of the Historian, you can purchase merchandise with the 46ers emblem.

4. Finishers are encouraged to send 1-2 photos as well to be included in the records and possibly in the 46ers' "PEEKS" magazine.

***Your paperwork must be postmarked by January 15th for climbs finished by December 31 of the previous year. If the letter is postmarked after January 15th, then you will have to wait until the next year to receive a climbing number and certificate of accomplishment.***

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I do now that I'm a registered 46er?

A: Once you are registered as a 46er, you'll be able to get involved in club events, projects, and even attend a Spring Gathering where you'll be presented with your certificate.

Q: What are the club's dues?

A: To remain an active member of the Adirondack 46ers, you must pay $8 each year to the club. However, there are a few different membership categories you may be able to choose between.

Q: What is an ADK Winter 46er?

A: The title of Winter 46er refers to someone who has climbed the 46 High Peaks during the winter season (December 21 through March 21 inclusive).

Q: What is an Aspiring ADK 46er?

A: An Aspiring 46er is someone who is attempting to finish the challenge and wants to stay up to date with the latest 46er news. For $8, you can become an Aspiring 46er and receive two issues of "PEEKS" magazine and three newsletters per year.

Q: What if I completed the hikes years ago and want to become a 46er now?

A: You can still register to become a 46er as long as you complete the Questionnaire and pay the initial dues.

More information about the 46ers can be found online at their website.

See the List of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks »

Check our High Peaks FAQs for rules, regulations & other info »

Read Testimonials from Adirondack 46ers »

Find More Hiking Challenges »

Sources:
http://adk46er.org/history.html
http://adk46er.org/timeline.html
http://adk46er.org/how-to-join.html

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