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Horse Hill - origin of the name?

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  • Horse Hill - origin of the name?

    Does anyone know the origin of the name "Horse Hill", referring to the small bump just north of Little Haystack?

    I don't recall ever hearing the name prior to, or outside of, this forum, so my guess is that a forum member attached the name and it stuck.
    Scooting here and there
    Through the woods and up the peaks
    Random Scoots awaits (DP)


    Eat, sleep, hike, repeat.

    It doesn't have to be viewtiful to be beautiful. (NL)

    "Pushing the limits of easy."ô

  • #2
    Cory D.

    Cory D. first mentioned it to me on a leap year hike of HaBaSa.

    Prisoner of hope


    MG " Ellie Gain "

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    • #3
      I recall it being mentioned in the upper range chapter of heaven up'highstedness but its not in the index and I do not remember the page. I don't think it said the origin but it is a mention outside this forum. I'm not sure if the author of that chapter is a member here but I'm pretty sure she is an active hiker and 46er member.

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      • #4
        here is TrailBoss's take from an earlier thread:

        Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
        "Horse Hill" is a term I learned from this forum. I can't find it on any map I've seen.

        I searched the forum for the oldest reference to Horse Hill and found "Willie" used it in 2008 (although it may appear earlier elsewhere). Rik posted a great TR about a winter's hike to HaBaSa with Mastergrasshopper and CoryD. Rik described the hill as "the bump before Little Haystack" and Willie reported that his friends called it Horse Hill. CoryD indicated he had heard it called that as well.

        It'd be interesting to learn how it acquired its name.

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        • #5
          I first heard the name used by 4788W. Perhaps a LP local could ask him or 2857W about the origin of the name.
          46-R #5193W

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mastergrasshopper View Post
            Cory D. first mentioned it to me on a leap year hike of HaBaSa.

            Prisoner of hope


            MG " Ellie Gain "
            The "frozen HaBaSa" hike was '08. I had heard it as word of mouth but can't recall right now where. I think it was either '04 or '05 that I had first heard it. I happen to run into many a 'old timer' in '04 because I hiked three days a week from April under Nov that year. That was still in the time when you learned things from others and actually had conversations with people.
            Be quick - but don't hurry. -John Wooden

            Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that'll get you home earlier. ~Dan Bennett

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mrsmileyns View Post
              I recall it being mentioned in the upper range chapter of heaven up'highstedness but its not in the index and I do not remember the page. I don't think it said the origin but it is a mention outside this forum. I'm not sure if the author of that chapter is a member here but I'm pretty sure she is an active hiker and 46er member.
              p. 523: "Until a trail was cut over "Horse Hill" (today's Blue Connector) in 1919, hikers coming from Slant Rock had to climb down the Gorge, skirt the base of Haystack to "Little Brook", and from there climb straight to the summit to join the path from the Upper Ausable Lake via Bartlett Ridge."
              We are closer now than we were five minutes ago

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              • #8
                I have uncovered the origin of the naming of Horse Hill, for those interested...

                HISTORICAL PROFILE: Mt Haystack's Horse Hill
                ===============================================
                The small peak (or bump, more accurately) just to the north of Mount Haystack and Little Haystack in the High Peaks has come to be known by some seasoned Adirondack Forty-Sixers as "Horse Hill." Specifically, Horse Hill is the nickname given to the short hill on the Blue Connector trail, which connects the Phelps Trail coming from Slant Rock to the Range Trail, and terminates at the junction for the trails to Haystack and Basin. Although not given on maps, the monicker for this hill has slowly made its way into the lexicon of climbers of the High Peaks, usually being referred to on hiking websites such as the Adirondack High Peaks Forum. Christine Bourjade (#4967W) mentioned Horse Hill in the book "Heaven Up-h'isted-ness!" (2011, Adirondack Forty-Sixers, Inc.) in the chapter she authored on the Upper Great Range. Some folks have inquired about the origin of the name, yet no resolution. Here is the tale of how this unassuming bump got its name.

                When researching the name, I first contacted Christine Bourjade, who in turn forwarded my inquiry onto Phil Corell (#224W), Treasurer for the Adirondack Forty-Sixers. Phil told me that the name was given by Pok-O-MacCready hikers while assisting John Sharp Swan Jr (aka Sharp Swan, #566W) and Ed Palen (#710), who pursued climbing all Adirondack Forty-Six High Peaks in five days. Sharp, along with Tim Singer (#1038), who was one of several people who made up a support team for this epic endeavor, fleshed out the details in what amounts to a very interesting story when it comes to peak toponyms!

                According to Sharp (email: "Horse Hill," 11/20/2017) and Tim (email: "Horse Hill," 11/21/2017), on August 22, 1977, the fourth day of their endeavor, Sharp asked Tim to meet Ed and him with extra clothes and gear on Mount Marcy, as they were in the midst of a rain storm and would need a dry set of clothes. Tim, and the support group he headed, climbed up the Shorey Short-Cut and went to the camp they established at the old Sno-Bird lean-to site (located on the Ridge Trail, shortly west of the junction with the Shorey Short-Cut), their packs heavily-laden with gear and clothes needed. Another support group, which included Peter Levine (#1160), climbed from the Slant Rock lean-to to Haystack with full packs, via the same route taken by Tim. From Haystack, they headed to the Sno-Bird base camp to meet up with Tim and his group. From there, Tim, Peter, and others headed to Marcy to meet Sharp and Ed with the gear they requested, which meant going over the Blue Connector trail, then down to the Phelps Trail, and on up to Marcy. Sharp says that he and Ed made their way down from Marcy and met up with Tim, Peter, and company, who were making their way up. Everyone decided to head back to base camp, which entailed Peter going over the Blue Connector trail a second time.

                In regards to Peter and his efforts on the support team, Tim says,

                "Levine had packed a ton of gear to the campsite. Because of that, I dubbed him Pete 'The Horse' Levine. When he chose to join us for a second trip up Haystack, and we got to the shoulder near the Haystack-Range Trail junction, our friend Mike Voigt asked what the name of this bump was. I said '[I]t has no name, so we should call it Horse Hill.'"

                So on August 22, 1977, Tim Singer christened this unassuming bump "Horse Hill," after their hard-working, tireless friend, Peter Levine. According to Peter, "While I donít think of myself as much of a horse, I can assert that my character was accurately defined by my closest friends in 1977!"

                Horse Hill is not the only peak which Sharp and company named. According to Tim,

                "We were constantly naming random false peaks for our friends. We also named an 'Englehard Hill (Wright)' and a 'Palen Peak (Colden)'. In our honor, a 'Swan Peak' (Gothics) and 'Singer Hill' (Iroquois) were also named! not surprisingly, none of these really stuck!"

                In regards to their peak-naming, Peter says,

                "From my recollection, the naming of peaks, as Tim illustrates, was done as a way to pass time on the trail. I can remember discussing the nuances of each peak and how the character of each person was appropriately assigned to their high point."

                These characteristics of the thoughtful naming of random peaks are similar to what the first Adirondack Forty-Sixers - Herbert Clark (#1), Bob Marshall (#2), and George Marshall (#3) - had done. For example, they dubbed Iroquois "Herbert Peak," Boundary "Robert Peak," and the shorter number after Boundary "George Peak." Although none of the names stuck, what they were named is now established history. As for Horse Hill, the use of the name will likely continue to grow, and the history of the name is now established!
                We are closer now than we were five minutes ago

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                • #9
                  John,
                  Thanks for researching into this,
                  Don

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                  • #10
                    Awesome John...thank you for researching this!!
                    Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up. ~Jesse Jackson

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                    • #11
                      One day I hope John will write a history book that sells so well he can quit his day job and research history to his heart's content.
                      Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter. https://project100singlewinter.wordpress.com/

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                      • #12
                        I love hearing stories like this. Thanks for sharing!
                        We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige

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                        • #13
                          'Great fun to read this closely on the heels of the longer account of that trip along with other memories by Swan Sharp printed in the current (Nov 2017) edition of Peeks. Thanks!
                          46/46, 13/46w "I only went out for a walk, and concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." John Muir

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