I distinctly remember the first time I saw the high peaks of New York’s Adirondack Mountains. As we drove NW on route 73 I remember being in complete awe with the sheer amount of exposed, steep, and seemingly endless peaks. A few months later I got the chance to climb one and I was instantly hooked. I soon wanted to complete as many of the 46 peaks as possible. Over the next few years I started doing the long drive up the thruway many times a year to give them a shot. One year I even convinced my family to take their summer “beach” vacation there. I have since made decent progress but got side tracked by an experience I had on the famous Great Range. In an attempt to make the most of my trips I often would try to slam in as many peaks as possible in a short amount of time. This led to eventually trying the Great Range Traverse in a day. While there are many variations of the Great Range Traverse, it generally means doing 25+ miles, 10k in elevation gain, and 8 high peaks. While my first time doing the GRT was slow, wet, and very painful my friends and I had a blast and it got me hooked on this concept of endurance peak bagging. Since then I have done a host of different endurance peak bagging days including the Presidential Traverse, the notorious Devils Path, and a climbing ascent up Mt Whitney.
It has been several years since I have been up on the Great Range but each year, I find myself itching to get after it again. I am happy to say that I finally have it on the books for this coming June. The general plan is to start at the Rooster Comb Trail head and finish up at the Garden Trailhead. (more to come on the route in a later post) After getting this on the books I called up my good buddy Shawn D’Andrea. Shawn is an all-around running badass and has been kicking my ass in races since college. He recently finished the Boston Marathon in 2:32:58, which if you’re not familiar is freakin fast!!! While mostly a road runner his ability to suffer and unrelenting grit makes him a perfect partner. This past fall Shawn agreed to “run” the Devils Path with me and ended up getting more elevation gain in one day than the rest of the year combined. His ability to adapt to the Catskills rough terrain and push me to a sub 10-hour Devils path is both inspiring and motivating. Stay tuned to the blog and Instagram over the next few weeks as I will be posting what I have done so far to prepare, each weeks training recap, and some short stories on past ADK experiences. My next post will focus on my base training period and my training log set up. Thanks for reading.