I wanted to divulge a little bit about my next adventure before I started it, and it ended up being too much to stuff into one of my little Facebook announcements, so I’m organizing some of the info here. Sift through it at your leisure.
The plan is to thru-hike the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks, hitting them all in a week or so. Should be a lot of fun, should be really really hard. I’ve only climbed around half the peaks, and even then they were mostly the easy half. Of all the things I’ve done recently that I thought I couldn’t do, this is the most couldn’test do thing that I’m going to do.
I’ll be following in the footsteps of Jan Wellford and Cory DeLavalle, who thru-hiked the high peaks back in 2009. The report of their trip is a fascinating read, and inspiring. Give it a look. A lot of my route is an obscene plagiarism of theirs, and I’ve talked back and forth a bit with Jan for pointers. Whatever happens to me, I’ll be standing on the shoulders of the tallest giants around.
Generally, the route travels from the west, moving east through the dense collection of peaks before swinging north and picking up the outliers. The idea will be to finish on Whiteface and Esther in time for Red Newt Racing’s Whiteface Sky Race (Have you signed up yet?), in the slingshot position to watch the race from the shallow grave that I will dig for myself on the side of the mountain. Yeah, that’s right, I am scheduling my hike around a kickass event instead of something practical like the weather. It’s pretty stupid, but for me it seems about par for the course.
Here’s the route – the image is huge, so make sure to blow it up to catch the detail (Might be easier to save it or open in a new tab). Because it’s the Adirondacks and I have next to no clue what I’m doing, this is a best-case scenario map. My backup plan, should I have to bail from the thru-hike, is to finish off the peaks that I haven’t ever climbed and walk away a 46er. The days go ROYGBIV from day one to day seven.
I’ll be carrying everything with me, which should make the long, tough days even longer and tougher. Figuring out what to take and what to leave has been a lot of fun. I’m pretty scrawny, and I’d like to run a little bit here and there, if possible, so packing light has been a priority. I’m nowhere near ultralight, but I’m hoping I’ll get my pack down under 20 or 25 pounds. Packing nonessential items like first aid and a second water bottle pains me, but you never know.
Weather looks pretty good right now. Sun for most of the trip, grading into light showers by the end of the week. Pretty stoked about this, since a little rain would be nice, especially by the end of the trip. A lot would be shitty. Really humid days would be shitty. But it won’t be like that. Probably.
This venture is a big deal for me. Of all the awesome things I’ve done in my life, this will be the acme. My odds of failure are pretty high, but I’m tougher, smarter, and more handsome than I’ve ever been. On top of that, I’ve never been richer in friends. So many people have put effort into helping me with this adventure, whether it’s training or advice or camaraderie. I am the instrument of their expertise, the sum of their knowledge and wisdom, and when I hit the summit of Mt. Esther, the final peak on the traverse, I won’t be doing it alone.
I kinda rushed to write this, and I think I left a lot of stuff out. If you have questions or advice, feel free to get in touch. In addition, anyone is welcome to join me along any part of the trip. I’d love the company! Let me know if you’re interested, and I can give you a little more detail. I’ll have my phone on me in the mountains, so (hopefully) I’ll be able to coordinate and give updates that way.
If you want to keep track of my progress, I’ll be updating this page with my location a few times a day. Jason was kind enough to set it up for me. I’ll be able to send messages letting you know what kind of progress I’m making, how many bears I’ve had to fight off, how many milliliters of water I’m drinking, that kind of stuff. You can send me messages through that page as well. I envision that being especially helpful if you want to try and hike with me at some point during the week.
I’ll be damned if I upload a single post to this blog without some fucking cartoons, so have this graphical narration of this one time I tried to make too much spaghetti in too little of a pot. I wrote a little children’s story to go with it, but I think the illustrations work okay on their own.