For years, the famous 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks have traditionally been recognized as the tallest points in the entire park. But no longer! As the old saying goes, traditions are meant to be broken, and a local survey team has recently revealed the official 47th High Peak.
46 High Peaks, say hello to Snowy Mountain. Located near Indian Lake in the Central Adirondacks, Snowy Mountain is the highest peak in Hamilton County.
It’s been said the earliest ascent of Snowy Mountain took place in 1771 by Albany, NY surveyor Archibald Campbell. Since then, surveys determined the elevation of Snowy Mountain was 3,899 feet, less than the 46 High Peaks (originally believed to all be over 4,000 feet).
Although a few of the 46 High Peaks are actually shorter than 4,000 feet, to uphold tradition, the original list has remained the same. That’s all about to change thanks to the shocking discovery at Snowy Mountain.
The most recent survey was conducted by Adirondack Mountain Vision (AMV), a collaboration founded by environmental photojournalist Tony Riseman. AMV is a long-term project to document ongoing changes in the alpine ecosystem of the Adirondacks’ tallest peaks.
As part of the project, AMV used a GPS receiver at the summit of Snowy Mountain to measure the distance between it and an orbiting satellite. By comparing that data with the distance between the satellite and the center of the Earth, AMV discovered the true elevation is 4,010 feet!
According to Riseman, the fact that Snowy Mountain is above the 4,000 feet “elevation requirement” means there are now 47 High Peaks of the Adirondacks.
“This was definitely unexpected, but now you can’t overlook Snowy Mountain as a true high peak,” Riseman told us. “47 High Peaks does sound odd, but you can’t argue with science.”
But what does this mean for all of us who know and love the 46 High Peaks? Will there be a 47ers club in the near future? Only time will tell.
One thing is for sure – today is April Fools Day!