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Unsupported 46 Traverse

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  • Cory D
    started a topic Unsupported 46 Traverse

    Unsupported 46 Traverse

    On September 7th at 4:35am I started out from the Sewards parking lot at the end of Corey’s road with my good friend Jan Wellford. Our goal was to arrive at Whiteface and Esther roughly 7 days later. Our path at some point would take us over all the summits on the 46er list via one continuous footpath: a distance of about 196 miles with 65,000 ft of elevation gain.

    As far as we knew a through hike of the 46 had only been done once before, by Jim Kobak and Ed Bunk in 2002. They used some resupplies to attempt what had never been done before: They succeeded and arrived at Esther nearly 10 and half days later.

    Like everyone fortunate enough to have spent time with him, I considered it an honor to know Ed Bunk. He was an eccentric presence that you couldn’t help but be drawn to with his stories and the compliments he paid others, saying little of his own accomplishments. It hit many of us very hard when we heard of his passing on Feb 23rd of this year. For me, although I had experienced the loss of people close to me, this was the first time I lost someone that I had become friends with that I truly looked up to. During the time after his passing I reflected deeply on many of the conversations and inspirational things Ed had said to me over the years. Especially the last part of the last email he ever sent me. It read:

    “Something such as this trip begins with a plan, that is the start of the adventure. The plan is lived as the walk would be, full blown intensity. Not full blown bullkippy. Youth is once there are no excuses for wasting any of it……Ed."

    The email was on doing a through hike but its response was on a life philosophy. Ed always seemed to add these little caveats to our talks, without ever sounding condescending and with a genuine feel for the words. I had made the decision that I wasn’t going to just keep dreaming but lay down the work to achieve the goal. I wasn’t alone in gaining inspiration from him and at a barbecue at a friend's house last fall Ed talked to me and Jan about it. Jan had become as dedicated as I had to the idea of a through hike. What we didn’t really discuss at the time was doing it together. That was early this summer and I let Jan know because his wife Meg asked me what I was doing this summer and I responded, “I’m going to through hike the Adirondacks with Jan”. We then discussed it on a long hike and came to the conclusion that it was a near perfect match. We shared the desire, speed, trail philosophy and knowledge of routes. Without ever doing a scouting hike there was only one 3.8 mile section of trail that one of us hadn’t been on.

    Ed had said that this trip should be started between August 15 and September 15. There always seems be this magic window every year that will appear if you just wait for it. This year was no different, except maybe better. We didn't have the luxury of picking our start date--Jan's vacation time was scheduled months in advance--but we got lucky. When we got close to our go time I remember checking the forecast and seeing 9 of the next 10 days as having 0% chance of rain. I had never seen that before in years of looking. Apparently Ed was looking out for us.

    We also wanted to attempt the hike unsupported instead of self-supported. Unsupported is generally defined as meaning you have no external support of any kind. Typically, this means that you must carry all your supplies right from the start, except any water that can be obtained along the way from natural sources, and of course you must cover all the miles on foot.

  • TFR
    replied
    What's next guys?

    Unsupported ADK 100 ?

    Unsupported Winter 46 ?

    Unsupported 770?

    Leave a comment:


  • jwellford
    replied
    Originally posted by akafuzzjones View Post
    the weather and conditions forced us to cut our plans short by 4 peaks.
    Yeah, it was a rough weekend up here for sure. Thanks for the congrats!

    Leave a comment:


  • Prino
    replied
    Originally posted by Rik
    Sorry I missed you.

    Anyone wanna use this thread to plan a hike?
    I'm planning an expedition to Mt Jo.... please PM me your resume if you think you measure up.

    Leave a comment:


  • akafuzzjones
    replied
    Holy crap!

    Monica and I were just up there for Columbus Day Weekend and spent four days in the Lake Colden/Uphill Lean-to sites with plans of doing my final 8 of the 46, but the weather and conditions forced us to cut our plans short by 4 peaks. The whole while were cursing you Jan - how the hell did you do what you did in 3 1/2 days (I know, you corrected me to say 3 3/4 days, whatever ). Then we stopped by the Keene Valley Hostel to shower and Robin was telling us of your latest exploits, which made us feel even worse about our 4-out-of-8 peaks weekend. It was cool that Rory got to hike a bit with you guys too. Cory, I didn't realize that you were one of the crazy hikers too.

    CONGRATULATIONS on a great achievement.

    Leave a comment:


  • Inge
    replied
    And Another Congrats to Cory!!

    Nice way to get ready for the 100W!! I hear it was a bit wintery for the HH finale too!

    Leave a comment:


  • Cory D
    replied
    Originally posted by Dubhawk View Post
    Can you explain the purpose of the thermarest Z cut square? Is this just for rest stops or to compliment your 3/4th length prolite or both?
    Both, really just for sitting around on. We'd sit on it in camp or change our clothes then toss it under our feet in the tent. We never just tooled around camp. It was about getting set up for what we would need and then getting comfortable as soon as possible. Keep in mind we were virtually always in the dark while in camp too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dubhawk
    replied
    Thanks Dick

    Long thread thought i read most of the replies but missed that.

    29 lbs minus water. I think for my 3-5 day hikes i carry around the same weight but my stuff might be more bulkier because my 5500 cu inch Golite Framed pack is mostly filled. I was looking into getting the Osprey Exos for shorter trips maybe i will give this pack a try.

    Corey or Jan

    Can you explain the purpose of the thermarest Z cut square? Is this just for rest stops or to compliment your 3/4th length prolite or both?

    Leave a comment:


  • Dick
    replied
    Dubhawk, check out post #62 on this thread. And welcome to the forum!

    Dick

    Leave a comment:


  • Dubhawk
    replied
    Hello all,

    This is my first post on this forum and first saw this TR on vftt where I am not a member and don't have posting privileges. After finding this site with the cross post I quickly joined.

    I really enjoyed reading this report and am impressed by the accomplishment.

    One thing that me and my hiking buddy are curious about is the gear choices you used. Would it be possible for you to create and post a gear list, and food/snack list.

    Congrats again on the accomplishment.

    -Dan

    37 of 46

    Leave a comment:


  • Tmax
    replied
    People are talking!

    I was out on the Dix range yesterday and ran into several people who were describing this feat. You guys are famous!

    Leave a comment:


  • Jim C
    replied
    Jan and Cory,

    Congratulations on an incredible achievement. I can’t think of a better tribute than this epic adventure to honor your friend, Ed. You guys are amazing athletes (and pretty snazzy dressers with those giraffe sleeves).


    Cory,

    As many others have said, your narrative is the best one I’ve ever read including those published in magazines. Part of why this report struck a cord with me is my familiarity with the peaks and I can grasp the enormity of this undertaking in total as well as the daily challenges you faced (e.g. Sewards & Santas on one day, the Ausable & Dix ranges on another). But I think what made this account so powerful was the human-side of your journey - the way you spoke of Ed and your grandfather and how you described the teamwork and battling through the pain and, of course, all the humor - added immensely to the report.

    It was extremely well-written and inspirational. You are a great storyteller

    Hope we cross paths again on the trail soon.

    -Jim

    Leave a comment:


  • ADKJack
    replied
    Cory and Jan,
    Your accomplishments and TR just highlight what we already know about you two.........amazing people doing amazing things. When I ran in to you after the "quitting" day I had a hunch from our short conversation that you had pretty much made up your mind to give it your best shot. Congratulations

    Leave a comment:


  • timmus
    replied
    Amazing thing you guys did. Congrats. I enjoyed this TR, thanks. (Sorry, my english is deteriorating I wish I could express myself better !)

    Leave a comment:


  • GrayMarshall
    replied
    Just absolutely remarkable!

    Cory and Jan, you are legend.

    So apparently I've been really busy at work the past couple of weeks, cause I had no idea about this until this evening.

    I hope I have the honor of meeting you on the trails someday with my family,
    Marshall

    Leave a comment:

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