My Start

I got my start into the Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness Area (HPWA) just a little under 2 years before Grizzly Adams.

It was March 8th, 2005 and my brother and I had decided to go to Lake Placid for our college Spring Break. We climbed our first two Adirondack High Peaks the day of arrival, starting early afternoon and finishing in the dark, while snowing. Some immediate lessons learned there, although we really were prepared with headlamps and some background outdoor survival / safety skills.

The very first High Peak for both of us was Cascade Mountain, a common first as it is one of the shortest "ins" of all the 46. It was a cold and snowy day, not too much to be seen from Cascade's bald summit, and much too cold to take more than a few quick photos. In fact, after snapping just a few my digital Kodak ceased functioning due to the conditions.

We really were tired after having topped out on Cascade, and cold. But the trail sign (which was at feet-level due to amount of snowfall) indicated that adjacent Porter Mountain was less than a mile away! We had to go for it. And that was our second High Peak.

We spent the night at South Meadow Farm in the cabin and headed out for our third peak the next day, a ski up the toll road at Whiteface Mountain. We did ski the 5 miles up that road, however ended up turning around about 300 vertical feet of the summit where it became unsafe to continue. Disappointing. Absolutely thrilling!

I did have some experience in the Adirondacks prior to the trip--through Boy Scout Troop 138--however March 2008 definitely drew my initial encounter with the fabled land of the 46. Can't exactly recall how we chose to go after the mountains we did, although I'm sure my father-in-law the 46-R (# 2290) had something to do with it.


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