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Donaldson and Emmons on 08/19/22

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  • Donaldson and Emmons on 08/19/22

    Hello all, just a late entry trip report for an attempt at Seward, Donaldson and Emmons. I arrived at the trailhead late around 0730 am on a Friday, so I had to park on the access road. Have only hiked once this summer, and it was Allen, and it kicked my out of shape butt...So I figured, what the hell, it's been 11 years since I hiked Seymour why not finish the range. Well, an unconditioned body can really make the Seward Range a challenge. I chose the Calkins Brook herd path since it makes the most sense. I enjoyed the trail, and made great time up to Donaldson, then down and up to Emmons. I ate lunch on Emmons and enjoyed the view with a nice breeze flowing. Heading back to Donaldson my mind started to do it's thing, and I was already contemplating the long down and up to Seward with dismay. My knees were aching as usual, but my left ankle was really on fire and I think it was because of my boots. I have my second pair of ASOLO boots, and for some reason they just aren't as comfortable as my first pair. Regardless, when I got back to Donaldson, it was around 3pm and I decided that Seward will have to wait until I am in better shape. I just didn't want to be in pain anymore that day. I took ibuprofen as usual, but it just wasn't taking the edge off of my ankle and knee pain. So my plan is to hike Seward from the north so as to get a different perspective. Maybe this season, maybe next, but definitely will summit Seward all by itself. I'm down to 12 peaks left. The Santanoni's, Macomb, Hough, South Dix, Whiteface, Esther, Haystack, RPR, Cliff and Seward. Saving Haystack for my finish. Once I finish the 46, I am going to start them again as a Winter 46. It was way back in 2010, on a beautiful and sunny September day hiking a loop of Big Slide from the Garden Trailhead that I decided that I would attempt all 46. That hike changed my life in many ways. I moved up here from WNY in 2014 to be immersed in our beloved Adirondack Mountains. I never had a timeframe for finishing all 46, I just knew I would hike them all at some point before I left this world. It's looking like I will finish soon, but you never know, life happens and so far each hike has been unique in some way or other. I have only "Quit" or "Bailed" on a planned hike while en-route twice, so Seward was my third. In the beginning of my quest I would have been disappointed, but time and experience gives you a different perspective about saving a peak for another day. It's been a journey working on the 46, and not having a time frame to finish has been good for me. The mountains keep me alive, and I will keep hiking and skiing until I no longer can. Pain is just weakness leaving the body, at least that is what my drill sergeants told me years ago. I keep telling myself that as I hike, it helps motivate me. I have lost much "Weakness" over the years and gained so much. I feel very lucky to still be on this rock in physical form, feeling pain in one way or another is just part of the experience.

  • #2
    Sounds like you made a smart decision with seward, i definitely wouldnt think of it as a fail not getting there the same day with the other two, as you will enjoy it more when you do it by itself than if you had struggled through after D and E.
    When there are struggles it makes the accomplishments feel that much better and earned and deserved all around, so i try to embrace the uncomfortable times and pain knowing how much better they make the resulting positives and feats.
    Thanks for the great write, and thank you for your service.
    "...don't assume you can't do it...we all make mistakes and sometimes fail. Keep working and learning, and be committed to improving fitness, and there is no limit to what you can do." Joe Bogardus
    "I believe it is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all." Ernest Shackleton


    • nickUSA
      nickUSA commented
      Editing a comment
      This is great advice.

  • #3
    In the immortal words of Meat Loaf... Two out of three ain't bad. At least you got something out of the day. Not a total bust or disappointment. It's always nice to at least check something off a list. And the two you tagged aren't pushovers so you should feel good about getting those.

    Looks like 7 hiking days left to get to 46. You're in the home stretch. Good luck the rest of the way. We'll all be looking forward to the trip reports.


    • #4
      I did essentially the same thing in July of 2013, although I started somewhat later because I drove from Keene Valley that morning. But, after doing D&E I was standing at the start of the trail from D to Seward and looked at my watch; it was 3:30. I really dislike hiking in the dark, so I decided to come back a few weeks later to do Seward, also from Calkins Brook. Near the summit of Seward, I met another hiker and we were discussing the two routes to Seward, as I was thinking about going down the North side. He said to NOT do the North side unless I had come up that way. I took his advice. I finished my 46 on Whiteface the next month at age 72.

      ADK 46r #8003; 6W
      2nd round: 16
      SL6r #596
      Catskill 3500 21/39; 11W


      • #5
        My daughter and I got turned around 3 times last Summer with only 2 -3 peaks left. At the time and for months afterwards, I felt devastated.
        Dealing with much better weather this summer, we got them done as planned and it was incredibly rewarding.

        Good for you on keeping a positive outlook on things. Look forward to your future TR's.