I completed my quest to climb all 46 Adirondack high peaks with an ascent of Whiteface and Esther.
It took 45 years, but I finally completed what I started.
When I was a young boy my family would make frequent trips to the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York state, camping and hiking in this beautiful “forever wild” region of high peaks, beautiful brooks, ample wildlife, and pristine lakes. Inspired by my father’s love for these mountains, and his encouragement, I started racking up the miles and the mountains. I discovered the concept of a 46er – a person who climbs all 46 of the peaks thought to be over 4000′ elevation, at least according to the 19th-century surveyors. I was hooked, and set out to achieve this goal myself. Today I finished – read on, and check out the photos.
I’ve been waiting all winter for an opportunity to climb a particularly remote mountain in the Adirondacks. Couchsachraga– “an ancient Algonquin name that means Dismal Wilderness,” seems like such an appropriate name for this uninteresting peak on the list of 46 four-thousand-foot mountains in New York’s Adirondack region. Indeed, this peak is not even 4,000 feet high: it was included on the original list of 46, but later re-surveyed and discovered to be a tad shy of that mark. It is the shortest of the 46. I climbed my first 46er peak at age 9 and have been longing to complete the list ever since. The photo below shows a view of Couch from above – not much to look at, but read on to hear about my adventure trying to reach it. (And check out the full photo album.)