LAKE PLACID,NY - The beauty of the Adirondack region of NY State is undeniable. From it's sparkling lakes to it's acres of deep forest, it is truly a unique place. The mountains are what draw most people here. Majestic peaks span for miles, almost surreal in their vast grandeur.
The call of these mountains are strong, compelling those who hear it to scale these giants.Even now, with relatively well trails to the top the climb is still not easy. There are 46 mountains towering over four thousand feet here, and there's a dedicated and growing roster of people who have hiked all forty six ! Begun in 1925 and officially chartered in 1948, the club is appropriately named " The Adirondack 46ers". Phil Corell is Treasurer of the Adirondack 46ers." Since 1948, we have over eight thousand registered 46ers, we've actually logged in 1126 new 46ers in the last three years, the interest by the general population is overwhelming."
It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and so it is at the trailhead of every mountain. But some people take that first step at a very young age, Corell is a fine example." My parents sent me to a summer camp in the Adirondacks, there I was introduced, my first peak was Giant Mountain, and the bug bit me right away, by the age of sixteen I had finished my first round. Then my sons were born, I got to share that, and they finished their 46 at nine and eleven with my wife."
Then there are those who have completed their initial forty six and go on to complete the challenge in new and intriguing ways.
" There was a fellow bushwacker who climbed all 46 peaks off trail,did not use an established route for any of the peaks." Corell explains." There's someone who has skiied all 46 peaks, on back country skiis, never taking them off. Everyone has their challenge, their reason for being out here, but it's just a beautiful sense of accomplishment."
Corell says the Adirondack 46ers are not all about the climb. They also give much back to the environment they love so much. Their volunteers work hard to maintain trails, provide environmental education, and support other groups working toward the same goal. " We're trying to give money back to help the environment, to improve the conditions to make the Adirondacks a better place to hike in, and to minimize human impact."
The 46ers give that back gratefully to the mountains that have given them so much. Corell tells 2 The Outdoors that the group wants to make sure that these mountains are for many generations to come. " People have to become stewards, they have to give back. The critical thing is if you enjoy this area and you've gotten something out of the experience, then how about paying something back ? Do some volunteer trail work, if you can't do trailwork, then contribute to some of the organizations that do. "