Interview With Adirondack 46ers About Hiking All 46 High Peaks
4. How long did it take you to complete Mt. Marcy, which at 5,344 feet is the highest Adirondack peak?
Lane: I would guess around 8-10 hours round-trip. I hike at a
comfortable, moderate pace and allow myself time to take photos and
enjoy my surroundings.
Russell Martin: I’ve hiked it from the Loj a few times. Figure 2 miles an hour or so, and 8 or so miles one way. Tack on time for a few breaks, photos, and conversation.
Pam Youker: It took me about 10 hours round trip during the winter. I did this on 1-10-13. It was about -30 degrees at the summit (with the wind chill factor)!
Deb Cantales: I started from my campsite at the Adirondack Loj and my notes say it took me a leisurely 11 hours!
Tom Zebrowski: Well I have climbed it many times with others and alone…over 20 times. I would say my best time was 7.5 – 8 hrs., when I hiked it alone.
5. For someone who has not climbed any of the high peaks, which peak would you suggest they begin with?
Tracey B. Laszlo: Cascade and Porter are classic peaks to begin with, but on a good day Grace and Carson will really get you hooked!
Jeanne Philion-Nichols: Start small. Cascade Mountain is very doable, family friendly and offers phenomenal views.
Eric Epner: The traditional wisdom is Cascade of course, but it can be so crowded! If physically fit I would recommend Giant for the superior views and height. I also like Phelps as a little more off the beaten track and with very underrated views.
Russell Martin: Aim for something like Wright which affords the flexibility of hiking others in the same trip while offering a very good view, plenty of stuff to see on the way up, and a real taste of the “High Peaks”. Big Slide, in Keene Valley, is also a great hike and my favorite “easy” high peak by a long shot.
Pam Youker: I would suggest that they start with Phelps Mtn. since it isn’t a long round trip (about 8 miles). There isn’t much of an incline for quite a while and the views are GREAT.
Tom Zebrowski: Cascade, as it is a short hike with a good view, and also you can access Ester Mountain as well to gain two peaks for the day without much effort.
6. What were some of the most beautiful sights you encountered on your climbs?
Eric Epner: Hoar frost in various geometric designs in October many times. Unexpectedly flushing deer, pheasants from a silent wood, and the views from the summits.
Jonathan Lane: Painted trilliums, the snow-covered Great Range from atop Big Slide, a fisher running across the trail in winter, and my fiancÃ© – whom I met on a hike up Dix Mt.
Tom Zebrowski: The most beautiful picturesque place I would say was Marcy Dam before the big storm.
Tracey Laszlo: The falls as you climb Redfield; the hike through the woods to Dial and Nippletop ; and the decent down elk pass is breathtaking! The trail to Big Slide (just before the Johns Brooke Lodge) was truly memorable with its lush greenery and rambling waterfalls.
7. With 46 peaks, there is plenty of time to learn from mistakes or develop “tricks of the trade.” What advice can you give to future 46ers about how they should pack or plan?
Jonathan Lane: Try not to wear cotton, especially in the winter – if it gets wet, it doesn’t dry very quickly. Carry a bug net – you’ll be glad you have it when you need it! And make sure to carry a water filter or purification and know where sources of water are along the trail; this can greatly decrease the amount of water you must carry on your hike.
Russell Martin: Bring a spare windproof layer, sufficient water (and purifying device, if you’re afraid of diseases, etc), a map, navigating tool (GPS, compass, etc), and plenty of high energy food. A cell phone isn’t a bad idea as much of the High Peaks (but certainly not all) receives service.
Tom Zebrowski: Good gear! A compass, map (have your trip planned), flashlight with extra batteries, good boots, extra socks, outer-ware for the time of year, water, and food. I travel lite.
Tracey Laszlo: Being prepared makes the pack a little heavier, but the peace of mind is worth the weight! Key pack ingredients include a map, whistle, plenty of water, food items, head lamp with extra batteries, rain gear, duct tape, knife, first aid items, long underwear, hat and gloves, poncho, and comfortable boots and wool socks to keep your feet happy!