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Thread: Our very dear friend, Ed Bunk, is now climbing higher mountains

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Our very dear friend, Ed Bunk (#3052W), is now climbing higher mountains

    ED BUNK Jr., an avid outdoorsman who loved to hike, bike, canoe,
    and snowshoe, died on Monday, February 23, 2009. He was 56 years old.


    Ed grew up in the Voorheesville area. After four years of travel with
    the Air Force, he returned to Voorheesville where he settled down with
    his wife, Cindy, and accepted a position with the U.S. Postal Services
    where he worked for 30+ years as a maintenance mechanic. He was a
    skilled jack-of-all trades, fixing anything for anyone and always
    available to lend a helping hand.


    No hiking trail or biking destination was too steep, too long or too
    challenging for Ed. While a young man in his 20’s, he rode his bicycle
    from New York to the California coast in just over a month’s time,
    taking great pride in achieving his goal to climb the Grand Tetons
    without a single stop during that upward trek.. Ed greatly enjoyed
    spending time at the beautiful camp in the Adirondacks that he and Cindy
    built, and he became a well-known “Forty-Sixer”, climbing all 46 of the
    high peaks multiple times, once doing all 46 in 11 days using
    exclusively foot-power to travel to & up each mountain. He was the
    “Huff” part of the “Huff & Puff” title given to Cindy & Ed by some folks
    who saw them out on one of their many tandem bike rides in the
    Helderbergs.


    Ed loved to be surrounded by friends of all ages. He always had a story
    to tell and he made it his mission to turn strangers into new friends by
    asking question upon question. He had a mind that honed in on the
    minutest of details, and he was fascinated by people and their lives.


    Ed is survived by Cindy, his wife of over 30 years, his brother Jay of
    Florida, his brother Larry & family of New Hampshire, and many other
    loving family members and friends.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………


    A walk-through service will be held at Reilly’s Funeral Home located at
    9 Voorheesville Avenue, Voorheesville, NY 12186 on Friday, February
    27th, from 4-7PM.


    Directions: Take I-87/Northway to the very end. Take a right onto
    route 20. At the first light tak a left onto Church Road. Take a left
    at the end of Church onto Johnston Rd (although it may be called
    Normanskill Rd - - roads around here change name depending on where on
    the road you are). At the light at the end of Johnson/Normaskill, go
    straight across onto Voorheesville Avenue. When you come to the stop
    sign by Stewarts, bear left & the funeral home is the last house on the
    left.
    Last edited by BlackSpruce; 02-26-2009 at 07:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
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    Sad story, sounds like a wonderful guy. I was never an ADK hiker when the trailless peaks had actual canisters but really wish I was.

    RIP.

    Jay
    You must go and you must ramble
    Through every briar and bramble
    Till your life is in a shambles
    Maybe then you will know
    -"You Must Go" - John Hiatt

  3. #3
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    I had a great hike with Ed back in 2002; seems like only yesterday. I had heard of Ed's winter 46 accomplishents when I was working on my winter round in 1996 and 1997, I even ran into him out there once or twice those winters, folks I was hiking with knew him and I didn't as of yet so a greeting and smile was all we exchanged.

    In July of 2002, to celebrate Neal Andrew's 40th Birthday, I agreed to do a little day hike with Neal and a few others up 9 High Peaks. I remember driving through Saranac Lake and noticed the bars were still open, as we agreed on a 2 am start from the Route 73 bridge with our first peak being Grace via the slide. I met Neal and a few of Neal's college age friends, and Ed also came along for the fun.

    We heard thunder and saw lightning and the skies opened up and we were all quite wet before we got to the slide, but that didn't stop us. The slide was too wet and slick to climb so we fought our way in the dark through the woods. Neal was in a hurry so we never did stop anywhere along the hike to chat, but Ed talked to me pretty much the entire time we spent climbing the five Dixes. Then down into Hunter's Pass and a bushwhack up to the Dial/Nippletop trail to summit Dial and then Nippletop. Ed kept talking the entire time, mostly about hiking and the times he had guiding folks to Allen.

    The Dixes were wet and the bushwhack was even wetter. The sun came out on the trail between Dian and Nippletop and it turned into a bit muggy but a very nice day. I bagged the hike after seven peaks, the chaffing from wet shorts was a very good reason for me to call it a day.

    The group continued on to Colvin and Blake, Ed was still smiling and chatting
    to Neal and his friends.

    It was a pleasure to know you Ed. Good Climbing.

    Mike

  4. #4
    Senior Member Roxi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSpruce View Post
    ED BUNK Jr., an avid outdoorsman who loved to hike, bike, canoe,
    and snowshoe, died on Monday, February 23, 2009. He was 56 years old.
    Too young.
    Nature is proof that magic still exists.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    I have been blessed with meeting many great athletes, business men and scholars but know of few who had more of my all around respect than Ed Bunk.

    Back in ’04 I was told by a friend that I “needed” to meet two of his friends, Sharpy and Ed Bunk. He told me some stories of Sharpy who along with Ed Palen held the ADK speed record for about 25 years before CaveDog came along and how Ed and his buddy Jim K had done the ADK thru hike of all 46 self supported.

    He also told me they usually spend at least a week a year not counting there other random trips camping in the Sewards by the old lumber camps and that we would help them pack in there gear for the week. Sounded darn good to me, so one fall day the trip began. We pulled into the parking area early and Ed was already there with gear all laid out organized. My buddy Paul made the introductions and I remember the hand shake and look because it was genuine. I went back over to the car to grab my gear while Paul and him talked and when I came back I was sure their conversation had a few winks in it because the first thing Ed asked me was, “you got a strong back, Cory”, I replied, “I like to think so”. So Ed went to the truck and took out a pack that looked more to me like a tent and a 5 gallon bucket, then he stuffed the bucket into the pack and started to fill it, me noticing that he was searching for the heaviest stuff he could find. Once the rest of the group, Sharpy and 4 others arrived I shouldered the pack trying to act like no big deal, hiding the groans, knowing I was being tested. And so our day began.

    We all started off casually hiking along until I got the notion that I was going to give a little back in the game so to speak and said I was going ahead to the leanto and drop of the pack and come back. So I did then jogged back about a mile and took the pack of Paul our elder statesman of the group to carry until we got back to the leanto.

    I started to hear some great stories already and then Ed asked me if I liked to bushwhack. I told him yeah, as a matter of fact I had bushwhacked Emmons from the Cold River side going up the slide and over and down Boulder brook the month before. With a big grin of satisfaction on his face I think we became friends right there and he informed me that we were going to bushwhack up through Ouluska and over to the old camp.

    We just hiked along and then all the sudden they were like, “ok, right here” I looked for anything that marked the spot and saw nothing. We hiked up through the woods those guys chatting casually away, not seemingly even paying attention to where we were going. I had those, “do we know where we’re going” thoughts going on but didn’t say anything. All the sudden I hear one of them say ‘were near the rock”, me in my mind, “WTF”. Then not 100ft later Ed points out this rock that wasn’t even 12” off the ground and these 3 even wear marks on the rock and starts to go into detail about this being an old logging spot were they would use the metal hauling cables to tow the logs. He went into so much detail, the kind that would bore a librarian, but he spoke with such passion about it that me and a few others were captivated.

    So on through the pass we went them still never seeming to pay that much attention and no navigation tools out. I at some point I asked Sharpy how many times he had gone through the pass and he thought for a moment and said at last count he was at bout 75! I think I had about 1 round of the 46 at the time so that was totally unfathomable to me, hell, it still is. Sharpy also goes about 6’5” and is a impressive figure and while I was having trouble going through the stream crossing areas of the pass I noticed he was wearing a pair of worn out New Balance sneakers that he said he had to wear because not much else fit his feet but he handled them like crampons on crunchy snow, lol!

    After getting to the camp and sharing more stories, and those guys sinking a six pack in the creek, Ed and Sharpy guided the rest of us over to the base of the Emmons slide. The base has really grown in since Floyd they said but again they guided like it was there back yard. At one point it was real thick spruce and I see Sharpy all the sudden look kinda up and around like he heard an over flying plane or something and then he kept on going. I thought to myself I know he is 6’5” but what the hell is he seeing? Then not long after he takes his big arms and parts these thick trees, ahead laid the big break off boulder that is at the very base tip of the slide. I was blown away and turned and saw a big grin on Eds face and he goes, “what” with a knowing smile. As we left them and the rest of us hiked out I thought to myself, I don’t know what I just watched today but I found out the hiker I want to be.

    The vivid memories of this hike and later emails with Ed about his thru hike and the Cold River area and the crossing from the Sewards to the Santas is the reason I use the screen name ColdRiverRun on VFTT and ADKforum.

    I have more to share later but wanted to get this one story out now since I have relived it many times the last few days.

    Cory D
    Last edited by ColdRiverRun; 02-26-2009 at 07:53 PM. Reason: spacing
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Skyclimber's Avatar
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    I met Ed through Grace in the Winter of 1994 when I was trying to finish my First Round of the Winter Forty Six. She had given me his phone number and we had talked several times on the telephone.

    I didn't know many climbers like I do now and I went on to try and do my Four Season Round. I didn't have too many others I could depend on to go hiking with me to reach my goals. Ed in the Spring of 1995 helped me to get the Trailless Dix Range and the Santanoni Range that Season, so I could finish my Four Seasons in the Fall of 1995 on Couchsachraga.

    We then one Winter had made plans to climb Colvin and Blake with a few others. We were to go up the Bypass Trail to Colvin and come down the Carry Trail. However our communication was crossed and Ed had gone ahead to find the rest of the group and he went up the Carry Trail (breaking the whole route himself) instead of our planned route of coming down it.... so needless to say, "we didn't meet up with Ed again until we were going over Colvin to get down to Blake."

    Another time in Winter we had planned to do Street and Nye a few of us. Ed was late and my partner and I continued on ahead without him. He ended up meeting us on Nye, in like record time from the car and we all go together to get to Street Summit. On the way back getting to the col where the old vly was, Ed claimed he had a shortcut off of the Mountain to avoid the reclimb back to Nye. (Back then we had to cross a vly and return back to Nye before descending to Indian Pass Brook.) This shortcut brought us back rejoining our tracks in a very short time.

    He really was a special person and I'll never forget the great climbs we shared together.
    Last edited by Skyclimber; 02-26-2009 at 06:59 PM.
    "It is easier to become a Forty Sixer than to be one. The art of the being is to keep one's sense of wonder after the excitement of the game is over."

    Paul Jamieson Class of '58

  7. #7
    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    Since it usually takes a little while to join VFTT I asked Ed's neighbor who posted on ADKhighpeaks if I could cross post on some wonderful thoughts and memories he had of Ed.

    "I was Ed’s neighbor and considered him a very good friend. Over the last couple of years, I had been putting an addition on my house. He was very generous with his help. At times, Ed would come over every morning to help on the project. If there was a construction problem, he would help me work out the solution. He loved to problem solve. We had been cutting firewood together for a few years as well and he strived to do things as efficiently as possible.

    Ed often stopped by in the morning for coffee (we both worked the evening shift). He would always talk about his hiking trips. I know he very often hiked Giant and Rocky Peak just to stay in shape. He would time himself to judge his performance. He wasn’t much of a drinker, but I could get him to have a beer with me from time to time.

    I remember him talking about the trips to the logging camps in the Sawtooths. Every aspect of the trip was precisely organized from who carried what, to the route traveled and more. The 11-day hike was a big thing too. I think he celebrated his 50th birthday on that hike. Jim, he always praised you as an outstanding athlete.

    I made two hiking excursions with Ed. The first was to Allen on August 7th, 2001. It was one of those timed hikes. Get up and get back. The normal route from the Tahawus Road was impassable because of blow down. However, Ed found an “alternative” route. On our way up, we ran into another group who had actually crawled over all the blow down and was struggling along. We helped them out of the woods that day on the “alternative” route.

    The second hike was on August 8th, 2002. We hiked the four Seward peaks. This was another timed hike. The route was Donaldson, Emmons, back over Donaldson to Seward and then Seymour. You all probably know that the standard route to Seymour from Seward is to walk down the herd path back to the marked trail, walk down the trail a ways, and then climb the herd path to Seymour. Well, Ed and I came up with this plan to hike the col between Seward and Seymour and avoid the loss of elevation from the standard route. I think Ed knew that this would be trouble but was willing to give it a try. There was more blow down in that col than one could ever imagine. We were tangled in that mess for quite some time, but finally managed to make it to Seymour. Ed always enjoyed the challenges in whatever he did.

    Ed was a good friend that was always there when I needed him.

    I will miss him.

    Christopher Albright"
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Skyclimber's Avatar
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    Ed made the canisters for the Adirondack "trailless" peaks. He also had poles he put up, on the trees of the summits of Panther and Gray, so Winter Climbers could find the buried canisters in the Wintertime. These two peaks were famous for the buried treasures underneath. One would have to dig down a few feet to get the canister to sign the log book. At one point he started putting stripes of red and blue on some of the canisters, as they were white and blended into the Winter Wonderland of snow. He made it easier for Winter Climbers to record their ascents of signing in.

    When the canisters were taken down off all the peaks in 2001, Ed made makeshift canisters for the Adirondack Forty Sixers to sell.

    He was a caring person and was a genuine Forty Sixer in so many ways.
    "It is easier to become a Forty Sixer than to be one. The art of the being is to keep one's sense of wonder after the excitement of the game is over."

    Paul Jamieson Class of '58

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    More about Ed, written by his dear friend Phil Corell (224W):

    "Ed finished his first round of the “46” in winter on January 5, 1992 earning both membership in the organization and his winter “W.” He went on to complete three winter rounds while setting the speed record in January of 1997 by completing a winter round in 18 days. In the summer of 2002, Ed and hiking companion, Jim Kobak, completed their “High Peaks Project.” In eleven days, using no motorized support, they traversed all 46 peaks. Ed and Jim teamed up again the next summer for the “Goren Krupp Memorial Project.” Goren was a famous Dane who bicycled from Denmark to Nepal, hiked to the summit of Mt. Everest, and biked home. Ed and Jim biked from Voorheesville to the Upper Works, climbed Mt. Marcy, and biked home. Ed loved to push the envelope while hiking in the High Peaks. He and Jason Fiegl managed a successful ascent of the infamous “Circle of Doom,” conquering 13 peaks in a single day trip. Ed’s favorite climb was Giant and rocky. On more than one occasion, he climbed the pair, returned to his truck, got a bite to eat and went up again! Ed loved the challenge of pushing himself in the mountains.
    Ed was passionate about everything he did. He thrived on a challenge but he was always humble about his accomplishments and quick to praise the deeds of others. He loved to assist aspiring climbers who required his help in “bagging” a difficult summit. He spent weeks in the Seward Range helping Sharp Swan with his logging research and many days volunteering his services with various trail maintenance projects. If it was mechanical and might break down, you were in good hands if Ed was there! Each year he attended Camp O’Brien with his closest hiking companions – “the CHUMPS.” If any of the gas lights were broken or a stove burner wasn’t functioning Ed knew exactly what to do.
    He was also known as “Botanical Bunk.” On several summer trips Ed would fascinate companions with the names of various plants and specific information on each. Ed revered the late 46er Historian, Grace Hudowalski. During her last years in a nearby Nursing Home, Grace’s health started to fail. Ed made weekly visits, each time bringing Grace flowers and some snack that wasn’t on her “official dietary plan” in an effort to build her strength. They spent her final years sharing stories of the Adirondacks, past and present.
    Ed always had a way of making new climbers feel accepted and part of the group. He would walk with them on the trail, asking many questions, getting to know them personally, and showing sincere interest. The Forty-Sixers and the mountains have lost a valuable friend. He will be missed by all who knew him."
    Last edited by BlackSpruce; 02-27-2009 at 11:18 AM.

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