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Colden 08/10/2019, Esther and Whiteface 08/11/2019 (ascension to Cloud 9)

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  • Colden 08/10/2019, Esther and Whiteface 08/11/2019 (ascension to Cloud 9)

    I hiked Colden on Saturday taking a counter-clockwise loop through Av Pass and the L Morgan Porter trail. Despite the cool temps and occasional afternoon rain it really was amazing.
    I hiked Esther and Whiteface Sunday from the ASRC. It was epic and unforgettable.

    Regarding the term "Trip Report" please take the following book to mean the trip I have taken the last 25 months.
    As I thought for my 35er completion earlier this summer, I thought several times this last weekend, "Boy, this escalated quickly".
    And to clarify, I really dislike the term 46er "Finish" and I try not to use that word; this is not the end, this is not the finish. It might not be the beginning anymore, but it surely will be continuing. I absolutely cant wait to get to Mt Marcy again this next weekend, its been two long years since my first time there.

    I did not tell one person I met on sunday that it was my 46th different high peak, however I must have told myself a million times on Sunday that it was. I told my family by phone when I had service back at the asrc that I had made it back and it was "official", and for the millionth time I told my girlfriend and daughter I cant wait to show them all the ones I have seen that they haven't been to yet. I decided to hike Colden, Esther and Whiteface for my 44-46 solo this last weekend for a few reasons, including to really allow for reflection, and while I still have a few weeks before I am able to hike with my daughter again, Katie was understanding. Crazy Rory was upset as usual that I didn't bring her with me again, but forgave me when I got home Sunday night and rolled around on the lawn with her and let her lick my face. Rory is my dog, Katie is my girlfriend for clarification.

    It started in the summer of 2017.

    For a reason i wont get into here, I do not get to spend summers with my daughter. Even with facetime and messaging it is the hardest 2 months of my life every summer for the last few years, and i really needed a distraction in July and August, and i wanted one that helped me get back into shape. Before 2017 i tried to get back into bicycle racing during the summer, I raced mountain bikes in college and then amateurs for a few years after that, but i just couldn't stick with it to make progress and distract my mind enough. Luckily in late spring 2017 a family member I had working with me was telling me about him and his girlfriend climbing this mountain in the adirondacks, and i was very interested. The extent of my true hiking prior to this was minimal, even with the FLT being a border of my property, while i had hiked most of its miles in my county (and years ago mountain biked them before I finally learned Ed Sidote's message, and they started posting no bicycle signs on the trees with the blazes probably due in part to my tracks in the mud) I really wasn't appreciating hiking for hiking. Even before my daughter left for that summer in 2017 i started researching Cascade and Porter, and learned of the 46. I was intrigued. I love researching stuff online and was glued to my laptop most nights, looking at cnyhiking, lakeplacid.com, etc. Thanks to 46upsanddowns and offonadventure and others i had a great head start on the new adventure, and the first summer weekend of 2017 I was hooked. A lot of my free time during the weeks was spent researching my next hike luckily instead of just thinking helplessly about how much i miss my daughter, and the weekends were spent driving and hiking, and i started collecting patches.

    Fast forward two years and the ADK has also led to me becoming a 35er and exploring the fire towers beyond my local Berry Hill.

    I have lost a lot of things the last 25 months; including over 65lbs and 2 toenails. I think i am truly a part of the community with that last fact. And after jogging down the Marble Mtn stretch this last weekend im thinking it will be 3 toenails. Sometimes they grow back, and that seems pretty weird to me.
    I also lost my grandfather last summer. I car-camped on Corey's Rd for the Seward Range that June/July weekend, and those 2 dayhikes were amazing. When i regained cell service that Sunday somewhere around Tupper Lake i learned my grandfather was hospitalized and it was serious. I went right down to Wilson Hospital stopping only for a quick shower at home with it being on the way. He passed a few days later on July 4th, you can imagine that day meant nothing for me in terms of celebration this summer, I lost its true meaning, I guess I made myself forget what should have been remembered that day, and a few weeks ago I realized i was taking a day off from work and found myself hiking the Dix Range on July 4th, where someone told me (i think around Hough Peak) "Happy July 4th", and I literally stopped short and before realizing it was Independence Day i realized it had been exactly a year since the man who introduced me to the outdoors and how to respect it had passed. His son, my uncle Mike, just retired a few months ago after decades of service as a NYS Forest Ranger; my grandfather's love and respect for the outdoors got transferred to my uncle a long time ago and has remained with him.

    I have gained so much the last 25 months, including so much respect for this hiking community, and hopefully i am earning a rightful place in it. Im not just talking about peak-bagging; i have seen FLT thru-hikers pass by my house in the past and never really thought about what they were doing. Now when i see them on the trail instead of simply waving to them and forgetting about them, i rush to ask them if they need anything. One of my goals the next 10yrs is to see the other 500+ miles of the FLT that i haven't put foot to yet, and to hopefully make some thru- and section-hikers journey a little easier and better with water, food, phone calls, beer, whatever i can offer. If you are giving it a go and see a sign along the trail, please knock on my door if you need anthing.
    I have also gained a deep love of butt-slides in the winter. God it feels good to be a kid again sometimes, and this last winter coming down off Iroquois and Algonquin was possibly the most fun i have ever had without my daughter (while descending to the ASRC this last weekend, I thought that i really really want to butt-slide down that Marble Mtn stretch in the winter).
    I have also gained a really deep need of post-hike thin crust pizza. For some reason my mind and body crave that greasy goodness every time heading back to the truck, and I start needing it sometime between every summit and its trailhead. And sorry ADK but for me Donatello's in Arkville down in the Cats is still my favorite.
    This last weekend i gained something i think i lost sometime over last 25 months. While on Whiteface's summit there were so many car-tourists, ogling over the mountains and wilderness and views, but these people might never summit another high peak, because there are no roads to any of the other mountains. A lot of those people that drive up the toll road are physically unable to make even the "short" hike up Cascade from Rt 73.. I have been on top of all the other 45 high peaks that they were looking at in the distance, and a bunch of them at least twice, and i have been taking that for granted for way too long over the last two years. Do you guys realize how lucky we all are? I was just talking to a friend the other day, who is a local hiker who goes out for a few hours a few times a year on the FLT or local state park, and i was explaining how every few weekends i love to hike with a full-pack into the wilderness, sometimes solo and sometimes with Katie and Rory, and hike to the high peaks from camp and then afterwards the dinner of pouring boiled water into a bag of dehydrated lasagna is my favorite meal every time. There is no way to adequately explain the beauty and gratification of dinner or breakfast on the Opalescant or Johns Brook rocks to someone that has never been there and done that. That hiker definitely thinks im nuts, but hopefully thats just because they have no idea what they are missing.

    Time for some plugs, how about some shout outs?
    Foot stuff Podcast for keeping me laughing and awake on all my 4+hr Saturday morning trips starting at 0230hrs.
    All you guys on this forum here who have helped me out on topics such as hiking with our children, backcountry and car camping, slide climbing, routes, fitness, gear, etc.
    All you guys that have worked on the trails and out in the woods, paid or volunteer, especially the pioneers and also you stewards out there working to protect the peaks and trails.
    My girlfriend and dog for letting me get away some weekends without them.
    My grandfather.
    Damon, for sparking the fire with your talk about Cascade.
    My little red Ford Ranger. For getting me there and back so many times. Might be a first for thanking your truck.

    What's next?
    This winter, im going back up Sawteeth. I had to turn around less than 0.2 miles from the summit March 2018 due to the mountain's conditions and my inadequate conditioning and preparation. I would be so proud to break trail up to the summit, seriously. I think i could do it this time.
    I want to get to the top of Yard and MacNaughton Mtns.
    I believe in the spirit of progression (Alex Honnold on Free Solo talking about possibly solo-ing El Cap to others "..i dont know, maybe" but in his mind it is a clear "YES, ABSOLUTELY"), There is no "I dont know, maybe",
    i absolutely will be going for my cat 35 and adk 46 winter rocker, i absolutely will be going to NH for the Whites, I will absolutely try to ultra the SL 6 this fall or next summer, I will absolutely research getting a permit for Kahtahdin. I will absolutely try to get out to Colorado next summer for a 14er. I will absolutely be working on a spreadsheet the next few years for the cats and adk with mountains on one axis and months on the other. I will absolutely go up Nip by its slide and Colden by the Trap Dike.
    But first in the short term, this next weekend im going back up Marcy with my girlfriend and crazy Rory, and when i get to hike again with my daughter in a few weeks i am going back up bennies or whiteface with her, or whatever other mountain big or small she wants to get to. Im sure those will be my new favorite ADK hikes, just like right after i mailed in my Cat 35er paperwork the Blackheads loop a few days later with Katie and Rory was my new favorite Catskill hike.
    And i will be mailing in some envelopes tomorrow morning, because just like with the Catskill club i believe in the good that the clubs are capable of and do, especially regarding trail work and education
    . And I will be proud of those patches and stickers.
    Anyway, if you are still reading this book Im really sorry it was so long. But i hope to meet you on the trails (or slides or bushwhacks).

    Click image for larger version

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    Me (in red and blue jeans) on Whiteface in the early 1980s.
    Click image for larger version

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ID:	500023Me on Cloud 9 this last weekend.
    35er #3133
    46er

    "The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place, but a state of mind."
    John Burroughs

  • #2
    Great read, and congratulations! Yep, it's just a start.
    ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 271/552
    Photos & Stuff

    Comment


    • bikerhiker
      bikerhiker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks auto, over the last 25 months have definitely been looking for your reports and beautiful pics

  • #3
    I hope when I finish (and start over again) that I will be able to write a sum up T/R as good as yours.
    Me - 39/46
    Mrs - 17/46

    A trail without mud is like a day without sunshine.

    Comment


    • bikerhiker
      bikerhiker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, tree groper, I have enjoyed your trip reports too, and if I remember your tr's right i think we both share the need for post-hike pizza. I hope the mountains and woods inspire you as much they did me as you get to your 46.

    • Fat Man Hiking
      Fat Man Hiking commented
      Editing a comment
      Mmmmm....pizza......umm, lost my train of thought, what were we talking about??

  • #4
    Oh man! What a journey! These mountains sure help us get right. I totally agree that we are very lucky. Your perspective seems fantastic. Thank you for sharing it and congratulations!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    • bikerhiker
      bikerhiker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, the woods and mountains are definitely one of my Happy Places to get things right, and I think it took Whiteface on sunday to remind me that.

  • #5
    Oh man! What a journey! These mountains sure help us get right. I totally agree that we are very lucky. Your perspective seems fantastic. Thank you for sharing it and congratulations!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    • #6
      Oh man! What a journey! These mountains sure help us get right. I totally agree that we are very lucky. Your perspective seems fantastic. Thank you for sharing it and congratulations!


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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      • #7
        Enjoyed your report. And Congratulations. Whiteface is a good place to finish up.
        Don

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        • bikerhiker
          bikerhiker commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you Don, thanks for all your posts and messages on many different topics, definitely really helpful along the way. I believe things happen for a reason, and Whiteface was the perfect place for me sunday morning.

      • #8
        Congrats on your finish! Love the then/now photos. I'm right with you on the post-hike pizza. I used to eat whatever but now I stop for pizza every time.

        Good luck on your next adventure.

        Comment


        • bikerhiker
          bikerhiker commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you Makwa, thanks for putting out there all the different reports and posts you do, as well as a lot of the others that Great Adirondack Life Challenge seems like a terrific idea.

      • #9
        Huge Congrats!
        "You haven't finished... It's only just begun" I believe that's a Gary Sizer quote (He has some amazing hiking books).
        Great TR's. Really happy for you!

        Comment


        • bikerhiker
          bikerhiker commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you, thanks for all your help along the way so far, I hope I can help pay it back even a fraction as much as you helped me as you and K continue your journey. And you were right all along, unless i'm giving the great range traverse a go, I wont be going up LWJ unless its up Bennies again.
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