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  • Tell us about yourself.

    With all the new (and old) members on the forum I think we're due for a,"tell us about yourself" thread. I'll start:
    Hi, I'm Neil and I'm a hiker.

    OK, bad opener.

    How's this? I'm a 49 year old father of three boys. I have no idea what attracted me to the outdoors but when I was in my early 20's my buddy and I began bushwhacking in Manitoba, Canada with a piece-of-junk compass and literally no knowledge or experience. Looking back I can see that the stuff we did was pretty hardcore even for experienced hikers let alone the beginners we were. Summer gave way to winter and off we went on the train to be let off at midnight in the middle of nowhere with temperatures that were regularly in the neg 30 to 40 range. We learned that in school you get the lessons first and the exams second. In the winter camping school of hard knocks it was exam first, lesson second. The fun we had!
    After spending 5 years hiking in the Canadian Rockies I went back to school and got a real job (my own health clinic) and had one kid after the other. There was a long period there where hiking was restricted to one winter camping trip per year (same buddy, also transplanted to Montreal).
    Then I took one of my kids, then 5 or 6 on a little snowshoe dayhike. The difference between me and most dads was that I brought a shovel and saw and made a big snow-free area and lit a big fire in it. We cooked lunch and roasted marshmallows. On that trip I could tell the kid had potential but our family was still pretty young.

    Finally, years later, I decided to check out the Adirondacks and drove down for the day and hiked Marcy. After the Rockies, Marcy is pretty tame, right? But still I figured the area would be OK for my boys to roam around in. We did a few family trips and then my super keen 14 year old of the snowshoe trip and I went up UWJ, Armstrong and Gothics one fateful day. The kid rocked and so did the ADK's! A light bulb kept going off in my head that day as I realized what I had going for me. The rest is history as they say and we have the 46 under our belts and come December 21 we hope to take a huge chunk out of the 46-W.
    Being the obsessive type who likes to take things to the extreme I'm working my way through the hundred highest list and hope to do 50 slides over the next couple of years.

  • #2
    Due to Tim's 'acceptable Use Policy' (IE this is a FAMILY forum),. I can't say much about my self. I can talk about my hiking...

    I started hiking in the adirondacks at the age of 13 or so...I hiked as much as I could, but couldn't hike as much as I wanted to. I did a bunch of hiking in the Catskills, because it was close, but I don'T remember a single thing I climbed there.... but that was in the '60s, and there seems to be this cloudy haze around a lot of things.

    Then I got married, and took my wife hiking, but every time I took her on a hike it either rained, the bugs were insane or it rained, or the bugs were bad.

    Then I got poor. My wife and I were both students with a few kids, no car, and at the time, I didn't realize that I could get to the adirondacks by bicycle, so I didn't hike. After a while, I entered the real world and got a job, but forgot about hiking for a coupld years, until I remembered. I decided to see if the kids would bring better weather-luck than my wife.

    It worked.

    I ended up using he kids as an excuse to get away every few weeks. And we hiked and did the 46.

    So what happened with the kids.

    Oldest kid (3201)lives in Germany, hikes there when he can (but he's a poor student). He also hiked a 22K Peak in Nepal. middle kid (3200)lives at home, youngest kid (3824) ....

    Oh yeah. I'm the 'evil trailmaster' for the 46ers. I lead people out on trailwork crews, and whip them if they don't work hard enough. Ask Timmus..

    So the youngest kid started going on trailwork weekends with me and he liked it. When he turned 18, he started working with the ADK pro trail crew (now crew-boss), and now hikes faster than I do, and carries a heavy pack at the same time, and he calls me old.....

    Old.... Well, as I approach middle age, I'm slowing down a bit, although I can still do Marcy up and down in less than 5 hours. And I can XC-ski 100 miles in 2 days (CSM) with a full pack.. (ask Prino)

    Oh yeah, I live in the town, formerly known as Hull, Québec. And each year, I take at least one 'human powered' trip to the adirondacks. I walk out my door, get on my bicycle, ride at least 160 miles, climb a peak or two, then ride home.

    Oh yeah. and I've been known to hike, carrying several gallons of bottled beer. And my salsa... well, Tim's AUP.

    Another thing... The older I get, the more of an enviro-wako I become. That's because the older I get, the more I see what we're loosing.

    That enuf, Neil?
    Last edited by pete_hickey; 11-21-2005, 08:56 PM.
    Guinness: Goes in brown, comes out yellow.


    • #3
      Hi all, just joined and figured this would be a good place for a first post. My name is Andy and I'm married with two kids-a five year old daughter and 2 year old son.
      I've been a member for a while at the "other" ADK forum and occassional browser here, but since I can't get enough of the ADK's I figured, "what the heck, might as well join!"

      I was first introduced to the 'dacks in about '99 when friends moved to Olmsteadville. My wife and I made our first trip up to visit them in the winter. We left our home at that time in Lancaster, PA in the snow. Needless to say the snow didn't stop and what was to be a five or so hour trip turned into a nine hour trek. Those first trips up, we didn't do much outdoor stuff, but saw lots of the area. One summer trip they told us we were going to go visit Lake Placid. Didn't know much about the place, but it sound like fun. Well, my love affair started with the 'dacks on the drive up. I couldn't get over the rugged beauty and the endless mountains and brooks, etc. I knew those woods had more to see than what I saw from the road, and I had to find out for myself!

      As a kid all my family did was camp. As a teenager I declared that I hated camping and when I had a family of my own we would never camp, but stay in hotels. Well, I've been married for over 9 years now, we've stayed in a hotel only twice and one of those times was my honeymoon. Soon after that first trip to Lake Placid I returned with friends to rediscover my camping roots at the Loj campground. I was quickly reminded just how great camping is! We hiked Marcy on an overcast dreary day with absolutely no views, but I was hooked. After that I returned home to my wife and announced that we were going to be a camping family even though she had never spent a night in a tent in her life.

      We've been doing it ever since, mostly car camping at the Loj, and a couple other trips to VT, and the coast of Maine and some local spots around home. We love it, and I'm glad my parents instilled that love of the outdoors and family activities in me. When my daughter was about 20 months old I backpacked her up Algonquin with my wife. It was amazing, a gorgeous September day with endless views. This September we returned and went for Cascade. My daughter completed the hike and my two year old son made it 95% of the way to the top on his own. As soon as he hears the word, hike, he says, "me walk, me walk!" Unfortunately no views that day, but more great memories!

      This summer I took my first stab at backpacking. I loved, unfortunately no peaks were to be had, but still an amazing time! I returned for another trip the last weekend of October. It wasn't winter, but it was definitely winter conditions that weekend! I loved every minute of it, from the cold temps to the snowshoe trek.

      Hope this wasn't too long, I guess I kind of rambled. When it comes to the 'dacks I can't help it! I love the place and can't wait to keep exploring all that it has to offer.

      Oh yeah, did I mention that the highlight of all my ADK experiences was meeting a true Adirondack icon------NEIL!!!
      Shut your eyes and think of somewhere
      Somewhere cold and caked in snow.......


      • #4
        I am a married 38 year old mother of two teenagers, and we live about two miles from Bristol Mt. Hence the name. I grew up in Rochester and always managed to find some kind of park or wooded area to wonder off into when I was young. As I got older I would ride my bike miles away from home in order to find new places to explore. I never really thought of it as “hiking” because there were no trails to follow where I went. I basically would just wonder for hours. My family was not interested in the outdoors at all. I always felt that I was cheated on the whole nature thing, so I joined the girl scouts for the camping and fishing. Once I married hunting, camping, and bass fishing became my life.

        But things changed when I went to college a couple years ago. I had a professor that was pursuing the 46 high peaks which at the time I had never heard about. I was intrigued by stories he would tell me, and amazed at the beauty of the photos that hung in his office. The year of graduation we decided to take a club trip to the adk’s where my professor convinced a couple of us to climb Tabletop with him. So, while the young stayed behind to go shopping, the older ones decided to tackle the mountain. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done, :shock: and being a smoker at the time I almost didn’t think I was going to make it, but I did. I was so banged up and bruised by the time we got down, but I wouldn’t have changed it for all the tea in China. It was the most spiritually uplifting experience. And did I mention it was hard as hell, I guess I did.

        My first peak was two years ago and this year I was finally able to return to do six more. I can’t wait to go back up next summer. I owe a lot to that old teach

        Meanwhile I continue to hike around my area and have asked for snowshoes for Christmas. Not that I have any desire to hike the peeks in winter or anything its just to stay in shape.
        Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land amongst the stars.


        • #5
          I'm just me.....

          Not a very impressive story but.....

          Other than romping (spending countless hours) in the woods of western NY as a kid, blowing up stuff & making forts and otherwise being a nuisance, I would not have considered myself an outdoorsman. In fact, I had only ever visited Lake Placid, or anywhere in the Adirondack a few times (visiting Katie's family) prior to my first hike at age 30 (I'm 38 now).

          I was always very athletic growing up, but after a stint in the US Army (playing in the woods with real guns instead of pretend ones ), college, marriage, kids, I sorta let myself go. By the summer of 1997, I weighed around 255 lbs. That summer, while visiting Katie's family, she suggested we hike Mt. Baker (in Saranac Lake) with our kids (4 y/o daughter and 6 y/o son). I had absolute ZERO interest, but I could tell in the way she asked, well.......... I was going. What the hell, lets get it over with. Well, I REALLY enjoyed it. Over the next few years we hiked more and more and even did a few high peaks. Out kids were pretty young still so we were limited with what we did. But we did spend some good time in the woods.

          In 2001, Katie fell off horse and really busted up her knee. She was OUT of commission for an entire year. During that year we were determined to get her healthy and "climb the remaining 43" (of the 46 HP's). At my weight, I knew I'd never do it, so I went on a fitness and weight loss program. In June 2002, we (with me down to 190 lbs) set out on "the quest". Over the next 28 months we climbed many peaks (I did about 65 including do overs). Living 5.5 hours away, it was not easy, but all 4 of us finally finished together in Sept, 2004. Finishing that day, was our kids (who were 11 and 13), my wife and I, and also my brother Dan (who got into it with us early on). 5 family members, parent and children, plus two sets of seperate generation siblings finished that day (which has to be a 46er 1st). The journey was life-transforming and those mountains got deep within my soul along the way. Plus, I met and had hiked with many that had enriched my life during that period, including Peak_bgr, bushwhacker, masshysteria, hillman, ALG bob, JimB and more (I've since met and enjoyed the company of several others since then).

          Early on in 2001, I started typing Trip Reports for the various hikes we did and posting them on a makeshift personal website. In May of 2003, I registered and the rest is what the call history.

          I try to get up and hike as often as possible, but realistically the 15 trips I've done this year pretty much is "as good as it gets". I expect 2 more trips this year for a total of 17 trips for the year (over 150 hours of actual hiking time). For us, that is a good year. It pales in comparison to the time others from here get out. Given the distance and life's challenges (work, kid's school, ect), I can't expect more for the moment and must feel content with the hundreds of hours spent each year tinkering with this site, or other hiking forums, to keep the demons at bay between hikes.

          Nowadays, I find myself primarily interested in bushwhacking. Not sure why, but I LOVE the feeling of being in the middle of the woods with nothing around me (like trails, which for some reason, bore me to tears lately). It's like......... discovery time. Everything is so new and you never know what you'll find. Doing it with people, like those already mentioned, and others along the way who think like me (Neil, Rik, Peakbagr) only adds to the allure. I'm working on the ADK 100, and will not doubt finish sometime. But to tell you the truth, I got alot of other places I'm interested in exploring too. Stick around, and perhaps you'll read about em'

          That's about it...
          Last edited by Mavs00; 11-21-2005, 11:54 PM.
          "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb


          • #6

            My Name is Dave. Im 25 years old. Ive been hiking/snowboarding/skiing in the dacks since i was 10.

            My parents had been going up for years in the winter to ski and finally after a while we took a family vacation up there in the summer of 1990. 1st trip was from the Loj out the klondike to the JBL, spend nite. Then up marcy and back to the LOJ. Then did like Joe and Algonquin. Immediately hooked! We then took weeklong family vacations every summer on the summer till one year when i was 22 and we went to England and Wales for 2 weeks...But in the meantime, i managed to bag 45 of the 46 drunign random trips in between, so by the summer of 2003 i bagged #46 on Iroqoius, but have never officially registered...

            The same trip i got my 46 we also looked at houses in Jay and bought one in September of that year. Well, this has been a blessing cause i get up, from Philly, at least once a month.

            Now Winter true passion. Im obsessed with winter. Ive been snowboarding since i was also 10. So the daks have been an important place for me as well. I love the slides, obviosuly. But i also LOVE ridng the tight hiking trails when they fill in. Very fun! I recently got into Telemarking and this has opened up a whole new area for me in the daks. But mainly lately ive been in love with my into a slide, climb, then snowboard down. God i love WINTER!!!! As of the last few years, ive been riding alot in Tucklermans Ravine on Mt. Washington, which has really imporved my snowboard-moutaineering skills and has made me want to pick out more aggressive lines in the dacks...soon to be accomplished.

            Anyhoo. Other than the dacks, Im also a musician. I play Guitar, bass, drums, piano, and also write and record all my own music that i play in my band GHOST FOR THE TREES . I love beer and tattoos as well.

            Im sure there is alot of other stuff too...
            The Heart of Oak


            • #7
              I started "walking" back in 1978 when a workmate back in England dragged me out into the Peak District with a group he belonged to. It was a life changing event at that time as I was only "into" Football (soccer) Motorbikes,fishing and beerdrinking (not necessarily in that order). The walking pretty well finished off the motorbiking as I needed a car to carry all the gear. :roll:

              After 3 years of English rambling it was off to North America to see what it had to offer. Well, I wasn't dissapointed.... I joined the Montreal Adventure club and found the Laurentians, x-c skiing, hiking in the Dax, Whites and Maine and a wife to boot (maybe I should rephrase that?). :lol:

              I'm still working on my 46 (24 years later). I can confirm that Pete has completed 100 miles carrying a 12 lb pack in the CSM. hickey result
              I am also been a keen cross country skier having completed the CSM a few times.
              Have met some real nice folks thru VFTT and this site on hiking trips and gatherings including Neil, Tim and Pete.

              That's it for now.... have to write up a beer night post before too long.

              Map and compass man!


              • #8

                Hi, I’m Lumberzac. You may remember me from such forums as, VFTT, ADKforum, ADKsportman, and

                I’m a 27 year old that has been enjoying the Adirondacks in some form or another since the age of two. I feel pretty lucky to have grown up in the foothills of the Adirondacks. Most of my weekends growing up were spent fishing and hiking. My father started taking me on backpacking trips when I was 5 years old. Many of the trips were in the High Peaks region, but it wasn’t until I was 21 years old that I climbed my first of the High Peaks, Dix. I’ve climbed 37 different high peaks since then probably more than that as repeats. I’ve also spent some time climbing lesser peaks as well as flat trail hikes. In 2003 I thru hiked the Northville-Placid Trail and can’t wait to do it again.

                In addition to my social life, or is that antisocial, my job often brings me to the mountains. I work for a preservation architecture firm, which has brought me to places such as Camp Sagamore, Camp Santanoni, and most recently Tahawus.

                I can’t think of any better place in the world to live, and enjoy reading about other people’s experiences in the place I call home.


                • #9
                  I was born in Plattsburgh. My dad was in the Air Force, so I got to go live in lots of other places and I know how lucky we all are to live so close to such an amazing place as the Adirondacks. My first good Adirondack memory was of the Avalanche Lake ladder system, which I still think is really cool. I moved back in time to finish high school here, started hiking and snowboarding and then didn't want to go anywhere else for college. In college, I started guiding rafts on the Hudson and got way into whitewater stuff. Once I was done with college, I still didn't want to go anywhere else, so I haven't. I got married, bought a house and here I am. I'm into hiking, splitboarding and, like Affixsnow, I'm skiing more and more so that I have more wintertime versatility. One of my goals is to travel every mile of DEC trail in the Adirondacks. Another one that I hadn't even considered until finding this forum is the HH, but now that's in the back of my head as something that I really want to do. My dogs are named Rusty and Harley (Harley is a maniac; I got Rusty's name because if I could legally chage my name to anything to sound really cool, it would be Rusty Steele). They're my main hiking buddies, because most of my friends are bums. I teach outdoor education for the State. On average, I spend about 110 nights a year in the woods, even when it's really cold out. I am enjoying it while I can, because sooner or later we're going to have kids and then I'll have to do something where I spend 0 nights a year in the woods. :shock:
                  "Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You're making a scene.' "
                  -Homer Simpson


                  • #10
                    I started climbing in the 1980s, stopped for a while because of money issues, and picked it up again when I met my future wife. Hiking together cemented our relationship. First in the Hudson Highlands, then in the ADKs. We talked about marriage during an aborted try up Dix one spring. The next year I officially proposed to her somewhere between Four Corners and Panther Gorge, on the way down from Skylight.

                    We got lost on the backside of Macomb on our honeymoon, something I managed to repeat several more times before we became 46ers. From there we did the 4000ers in New Hampshire, then added on the rest of the NE111 (I think it's more like 117 by now), and are now working on various Hundred Highest lists.

                    The lists are arbitrary goals, but we are grateful for them because they bring us into different areas we otherwise wouldn't see. It's like working your way through the 32 Haagen Das flavors: how can you tell if you will like a mountain or not unless you climb it? How else would we have gotten to camp for a week in Baxter State Park, or swim in the Caspian Lake, or play miniature golf in Wilmington? Or woken up to six inches of snow in the Uphill Lean-to, counted the wooden steps bolted into the side of Kinsman, tried the primitive lasagna at the Norwich Inn?

                    We also became correspondents for the 46ers, and have been co-editing Adirondack Peeks for I think three years. Along with our hiking, these help us get past living in Manhattan. Not that I don't love New York City, but more and more I want to remain in the mountains.


                    • #11
                      Hi, my name is Tom, and I live in a little town called Washington, pop. 350. Washington is in the Berkshires of West.Mass, and my loghome is on the top of a mountain ridge, and I love it! I lived in beautiful Lenox for 30 years before moving to the hills.

                      I'm 47, married with two children. My daughter is 21 and has a 10 month old son who is just the cutest little rugrat! My son is 13 and has aquired the username;"minimass". He loves to hike, camp, fish, just like the old man. He is an aspiring 46r with 8 under his belt. Unfortunatly, my wife and daughter are not hikers.

                      I've spent my entire life hiking around the Berkshire Hills, but wasn't introduced to the ADKs until 1992. A friend of mine that I worked with suggested that we check out this mountain called Giant. That was all it took, the hook was set! In 2004, I climbed #46 under the watchful eye of my 46r correspondant, and in the company of the Dubois family. That was a very special moment in my life! I'm not working on any specific list, except for my son's 46, but I'm always interested in any kind of bushwack or slide climb.

                      I do alot of snowshoeing and X-C skiing, but my real love during the winter is ice fishing. 3 days a week I'm out there from sunup to sundown, and have even been known to camp out there all night long. I love those big, toothy Tiger Muskies and Northern Pike, but they are strictly catch-and-release.

                      I love it in the ADKs, especially to go backpacking. Frankly though, I have recently developed this fear of pine martens. I've heard stories.......
                      Last edited by Neil; 11-22-2005, 04:29 PM.


                      • #12
                        Hi, I'm Fran, and apparently the only girl in the forum(?!). Come ON, ladies!

                        All I can say is I've paid my debt to society and the state of Utah.

                        Damn, I've already said too much ...


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ProbKid
                          Hi, I'm Fran, and apparently the only girl in the forum(?!). Come ON, ladies!
                          There's also a Peanut Butter loving Chickadee and a backwards spelt Summit and a Webmeister's mistress.


                          • #14
                            Okay, okay, okay ...

                            Let me try again ... I like to hike and I have an unhealthy obsession with vintage Airstream camper trailers. Lately, I've been cursing my decision to relo down to Philly, so am considering selling the house and setting up camp in the north country.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rik
                              Don't forget Skyclimber and a whole bunch of lurkers!
                              Whoops, sorry M.B.!