View Full Version : Are you a 47r?

01-10-2004, 02:29 PM
The recent thread on whether or not to be a 46r got me thinking. When I was working on the 46, I heard about MacNaughton - sometimes otherwise known as 'the 47th peak.' I was surprised that it was higher than some of the 46 but not necessary to become a 46r. I understand and have no problem with the 46rs' decision to not add it to an already existing list, but decided for myself that I wanted to climb it. I just figured that I would rather just climb the mountain than explain to people that I climbed every mountain in the adks that's over 4K feet - except that there's one that's 4K feet but not included in the 46 . . .

Iím not trying to be controversial or start an argument about whether or not the 46rs should become the 47rs - I feel that's their choice. Iím just wondering how many of you 46rs decided to climb MacNaughton and why.

01-10-2004, 02:56 PM
If you want to be like that, there are other changes. First of all, there are 3 or four that are not 4K.. Then Yard probably should be added to the list, since it is far enough from Big Slide to consider it another peak...

Back when the 1953 maps came out, and showed that the original survey data was wrong, they decided that the 46 would remain the same 46 that the Marshal brothers climbed.

01-10-2004, 03:15 PM
maybe if it was really 4000' the fourtysixers would make you climb it and still call you a 46er - - the 111 club makes you climb 115 peaks to join the 111ers - - i find macnaughton on the topo to be3983'... not 4000' - if it was 4000' it would be reqiired for the northeast 115 /(111)

01-10-2004, 03:16 PM
I'm not looking for any changes. I'm just curious how many people decided to climb MacNaughton informally and I think it's an interesting topic.

01-10-2004, 04:49 PM
Mommabear, what's the story with MacNaughton. Is it a 4K? I thought I only had 45 more to go to be a 46'r (I usually head for the White's and not the ADK's), but personally I'm thrilled that there's now 47. I thought most of our mountains (except for the Tetons) were shrinking, so I'm happy to hear we grew another one so close to home.

01-10-2004, 06:00 PM

It's funny you say the mountains are growing because I think MacNaughton just didn't make the original 46r list because of less accurate measures. But, Barbara McMartin's book on the High Peaks says that the Adirondacks are growing and that Cliff has actually shrunk 58 feet. The original list of 46 was put together years ago. The 46rs started shortly afterwards. It wasn't until I think the 1960's that they realized that MacNaughton was actually 4,000 feet. My understanding is that the 46rs decided to keep the traditional list which is fine with me. If you want more information on MacNaughton, there's a short write-up I found at

At the same time, either way, you still only need to climb 46 peaks to be a 46r. I just decided on my own to climb MacNaughton. It actually has a pretty decent view and was a fun climb. Some people going for the 46 decide to go ahead and climb this one too, for whatever reason.

I think Ken's info is interesting too about the 111's and MacNaugton. At one point, I heard some people going for the 111 were joking that if they kept changing the requirements, they would never get done. So I guess there's still controversial info on MacNaugton. Anybody else know any info about it?

01-10-2004, 06:20 PM
The early 1900's survey listed MacNaughton as just under 4000 feet, the 1953 map listed it as 4000 feet, and the most recent map lists it as 3983 feet. I climbed it after I finished my 46 because Grace said it was a good idea. That's enough reason for me. My avatar was taken on the MacNaughton summit when the canister was still there.

01-10-2004, 07:26 PM
The surveyed peak of MacNaughton is 3983 feet. However, when there is just a coutour line, the elevation could be anwwhere from the hight of the line to just a smidgen under the next line.

The new metric map has the northwest beak with a coutour of 1210 meters, which means it could be up to 1220 meters less a smidgen. 1220 meters is 4001 feet.

Is a foot more or less than a smidgen? It MIGHT be 4000 feet.

01-10-2004, 09:25 PM
since the last ice age the adirondacks are still recovering from all the weight of the snow - it is said that they are still rising about 1/4" each year - if we wait long enough macnaughton will qualify along with a few others.

01-10-2004, 11:20 PM
see, the adirondacks ARE growing. No finer authority than Pete Hickey relates that it's grown 1,000 feet...to 4983. a 4k for sure! Now I know why I climbed it last year. (although it sure didn't seem as high as Haystack....)

01-10-2004, 11:49 PM
And here I was just beginning to think that I had to wait till I hit about 100 years old before MacNaughton actually qualified as a 4k.:)

Actually, I noticed Pete's post too but I figured that since his first response started out with, "if you want to be like that" that maybe I better not point it out.

So, at least two people answered my original question - and it's good to hear that Grace says the same thing as I do - it's good to climb the mountain.

Thanks for your responses.

01-11-2004, 02:04 AM
I seem to recall that the Forty-Sixers' application form asks if you've climbed MacNaughton.

When we did Big Slide we went over Yard, but the highest point seemed to be in the midst of impenetrable scrub, so I don't think many people really bag it. There'd be a well-worn path, otherwise. Ditto Wildcat C ó or was it B? Whichever one's high point was to the south of the trail.

ralph ryndak
01-11-2004, 07:28 AM
I climbed it with my correspondent after I finished the 46.Some other folks that I hiked with over the years went along too. It seems if it was on my list , I should climb it.But then again I climb many other mountains below 4000k that are not on any list and enjoy them also.It was listed on the 1995 list,but not required.

01-11-2004, 08:17 AM

Actually the Robertson's once told me that the NE111 club
uses whatever standard the ADK46ers use, plus the two Catskill 4Kers for the New York peaks. This is why you have to climb Couch, Nye, etc for the NE111(115 now).


01-11-2004, 08:54 AM
>>This is why you have to climb Couch, Nye, etc for the NE111(115 now).<<

but the new youk ones (couch, nye, etc.) aren't the reason it increased from 111 to 115 - they found 2 more in n.h. and 2 more in me. that were actually higher to add to the list - they decided too keep the new york ones that "shrunk" in order to keep with the 46ers "tradition" - - - the 46ers ask about macnaughton... the 111/115ers ask about mont jacques cartier (at least macnaughton is in the same area as the others) mt. j.c. is hundreds of miles north in canada's gaspe peninsula (and a very nice mountain if you do a traverse to get away from the tourists) but it doesn't count for a patch any more than mcnaughton (but i do believe that the 46ers will put a mention of macnaughton on your certificate if you climb it before the certificates are handed out).

01-11-2004, 09:35 AM
Hi Momma Bear - IOn answer to your original Q,

I climbed MacNaughton when I was around halfway done with my 46. My reason, fourfold:

1. I had FLOWN via helicopter into Scott's pond, landed and hiked Wallface mountain (Well OK, It was actually SAR, but coimbing a mountain back and forth for 8 hours still qualifies as a hike IMHO) and wanted to HIKE in this time and check out the area.

2. I had heard that this really could be a true BW as the Herd path is difficult to find, and wanted to give it a twirl (and we ended up just taking a bearing and going for it - We marked the ridge where we entered, so we could be sure to exit the same spot.

3. I was with friends who were as spirited as I about climbing MacNaughton.

4. I knew I would get an asterick next to my climb number.

I'll neve forget the beaver at the as we crossed the outlet of Wallface Pond, - We were standing on a bit of a bluff, only 10 feet above the water as it came through the outlet - The wate was the tannic clear brown and we watched as a beaver swam under water back and forth in the outlet 20-30 yards each way with twigs - for what seemed like 3-4 minutes before it came up for air - It was absolutely breathetaking. A moment I will never forget.

As they say, hike your own hike and do it if only you want.


ALGonquin Bob
01-11-2004, 12:38 PM
MommaBear, I understand your original question. Later this year, I expect to complete my first round of the "traditional" 46 Adirondack summits. Eventually I want to climb up MacNaughton as well, but it's not a big deal or a high priority.

MacNaughton is so close to 4000 feet, that I should climb it in case it gets promoted again! I would like to be able to say that I climbed ALL of the 4K's in New York, so I guess I'll also do the 4K peaks in the Catskills, but I've never been to that area.

I'm anxious to finish the peakbagging phase of my hiking so I can get back on the water and enjoy some canoe trips. I'd also like to hike up some of my favorite "46" peaks without having to reach the summit if I just want to enjoy the climb, look at some of the waterfalls that I've blown by, or just take photographs.

Puma concolor
01-12-2004, 01:54 PM
When the 111ers were formed, there were 46 NH peaks believed to be over 4K by their standards; the 46Rs; 2 in the Catskills; 5 in Vermont and 12 in Maine. Since that time, 2 have been added in the Whites and the recent 2 newbies in Maine for the 115. Interestingly, all the changes have brought the 111Rs back to 111 true 4K peaks. The 111ers has no rules of its own ... its list reflects the 46Rs and New England 4K lists (plus Catskills). As for MacNaughton (#112 or 116), who knows if its really a 4K peak ... however, the last "summit" survery had it a 4K even so until there's another summit survery (not a contour), I think we have to go with that. Personally, I've climbed it, but not JC. Bottom line though ... neither count.

01-19-2004, 03:36 PM
We did MacNaughton a couple of years ago. We came in from the Henderson Lake side and came out via the backside of Wallface.
Heres the video of the trip (be warned: there is some FOWL language!!) MacNaughton Video (http://www.birdheadstudios.com/html/fake/video.htm)

01-19-2004, 04:45 PM
Yes, I climbed it. But then again I climb them all. Also, I'm working on the ADK 100 highest, which MacNaughton is a part of.

I wouldn't be upset if they added the 47th peak, but they should keep their name the same. The NE111 added 4 new peaks and now have 115 to complete there list, but they kept their name the same. But in turn this may again upset the 111ers list and raise that to 116 total peaks, that could creat a new mess, with the aspiring and the already finished. I do believe those who finished before the 111er change was grandfathered in, but another change could be a mess of paperwork.

Puma concolor
01-19-2004, 10:51 PM
Yeah, like the White Mtn 48 and New England 4K, any 111er who finished the list before the last round of changes didn't have to climb Spaulding, Redington and Wildcat D. But I don't think any self-respecting 111er didn't "update" his or her credentials if still young enough to do so. I finished the 111ers in 1997 and after the changes, the patch just felt tainted every time I looked at it until I finished the additions. Redington took me three damn tries and cost me a truck (blew the head gasket on attempt #2 ... got a lower end knock after it was fixed ... curtains) before I finally topped out. Of course, that didn't beat my personal record of FOUR attempts on MacNaughton (the first three were attempted as winter day hikes and there just ain't enough daylight).

Pete moss
01-20-2004, 12:11 PM
I've always found the lists/peakbagging a funny thing.
I see both sides of the issue, but is it blasphemous in this forum to question
why we're climbing in the first place: for a nice view, to get a workout, to escape, to accomplish a goal - complete a list. The down side is the exclusion
of otherwise worthy mountains, for instance, someone has said to me "that one doesn't count"(!). The up side is getting people on less popular mountains, a sense of community, accomplishment, etc. Personally I'm not working on a list.

01-20-2004, 03:21 PM
Why did I climb MacNaughton? I'm not sure I remember. I knew that for a time it was believed to be exactly 4,000', but the next survey, supposedly more accurate, dropped it down a bit. I thought I'd do it just in case it was 4,000', although why bother because it's probably not, or maybe because it's traditional, or maybe because it's higher than others on the list. Or maybe don't do it because the others it's higher than aren't 4K anyway, etc. Then I took a self-conscious look at myself trying to decide whether to do it or not, making a decision, then reversing it. I realized I was getting tangled up in arbitrary criteria and traditions, and "finally" decided to not climb it on principle.
When I first heard of the 46, I thought that 46 was a meaningless, arbitrary number, based on 4,000', which though nice and round, was also arbitrary. And it's only round in feet, not in meters, leagues, or cubits. What Meaning does a unit of measure hold for me? What personal meaning does one/ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the north pole along a meridian through Paris hold for me? For you? How about 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of orange-red light, in a vacuum, emitted from a krypton-86 lamp? Or the length of some medieval king's smelly foot? [Mommabear, now are you glad you asked?:D ]
So I decided to break away from the bondage of arbitrary numbers and just do the highest 50 Peaks in the Adirondacks. (Now there's a meaningful number! Fifty states in these here United States) And MacNaughton was one of them. But there was a tie for 50th; Moose and Snowy are tied at 3899 on the list I was looking at. So I did the 51 highest, except that Couchie is tied for 59th, so I'm back to exactly 50. I love it when things work out so perfectly! Except I lie awake at night worrying what to do if Puerto Rico becomes a state.
Anyway, I reversed my final decision to not climb MacNaughton and I've been up it 4x. And the views are pretty nice, especially in winter.
In the end I've developed the attitude that arbitrary lists can be good if used to motivate oneself to explore new places and get lots of fresh air and exercise. And the number 46 is no longer meaningless to me. It has changed my life, even if it is really 47, or 50,... or eventually cincuenta y uno.

01-20-2004, 04:54 PM
I, too, consider MacNaughton as being one of the required peaks to complete my "46er" list. The 46 required peaks are traditional ones, even if over time some were found to be less then 4k feet. MacNaughton is shown to be 4K on one version of the topographic maps, and a smidgen less so on the other. I climbed it one spring and felt that my own list would not be complete until I also climbed it in the winter as I had the other 46 peaks. I finally did so last March as a solo project and a bushwhacke up from Indian Brook. I will post a trip report on this as it was a beautiful bushwhacke, under near perfect conditions. I only regret that I did not do this before they removed the cannisters. It is the only trailless peak that I climbed and did not sign in. Cheers

01-21-2004, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by MarkL

In the end I've developed the attitude that arbitrary lists can be good if used to motivate oneself to explore new places and get lots of fresh air and exercise. And the number 46 is no longer meaningless to me. It has changed my life, even if it is really 47, or 50,... or eventually cincuenta y uno.

Mark, I couldn't agree with you more. When I first considered going for the 46, I thought about my motivations for doing so and wasn't really sure exactly why. But as I neared the end, I was really glad I did it. In order to complete the list, I climbed mountains that I otherwise never would have and saw such a variety of mountains that I appreciated the whole Adirondacks more - and felt more at home there.

To answer the question that you asked earlier in your post - Yes, I am glad I asked. My decision-making process is just a little different than yours.:)

I climbed MacNaughton on a hot summer day so we were greeted by lots of bugs at the summit. I hiked in with a group through Henderson and back out the same way. Of all the ADK bushwacks, it ranked up there pretty high in the 'you better be carrying your compass' category, but it was a great climb! I'm sure when it was found that MacNaughton was (possibly) 4K feet that there was a fair amount of discussion within the 46er ranks and I respect the decision they made. I do remember when I completed the 46, they asked if I climbed it, but there's no asterisk next to my number. That's OK. I think it's still an interesting topic of discussion today. Thanks everybody for your responses.

01-21-2004, 10:05 PM
I skipped the replies because my response doesn't require input or discussion...

I hope, by the end of my life, to have tackled enough peaks in the world for the thought of Mcwhatever mountain to be moot ;)

01-22-2004, 12:23 AM
It's funny you say the mountains are growing because I think MacNaughton just didn't make the original 46r list because of less accurate measures. But, Barbara McMartin's book on the High Peaks says that the Adirondacks are growing and that Cliff has actually shrunk 58 feet.

There is actually a very detailed book on Adirondacks Geology called (what else) Geology of the Adirondack High Peaks by Howard & Elizabeth Jaffe. It's out of print, but many libraries carry it. I found it in the Monroe County Library system.

It explains that the High peaks (for the most part) is still rising at a fairly brisk 1-3 milimeters per year. Unlike the rest of the Eastern mountains which are older and eroding. If things remain the same (and no-one knows if they will) Marcy should surpase Mt. Washington in just shy of 300'000 years.

I have not climbed McNaughton yet, but I've not finished my 46 either (still 8 shy). I will someday, but not to legitimize my 46er feat. I'll probably climb it, cuz by many accounts I've been given, it is a worthy trek, and after all, that is the primary reason I hike.

Mike BIRD Mammy
01-22-2004, 08:51 PM
Head and I hiked that SOB, one spring and got eaten alive!!! We have a video of the ill-fated trip.. Check it out on Birdhead, but be forwarned, it contains FOWL language! :eek:
By far the worst trip I ever went on.. No wonder no one wants to be 47r's! MIKE (BIRD) MAMMY
:D :) :D

BirdHead Studios (http://www.birdheadstudios.com)

01-23-2004, 03:31 PM
Since the ADK 46ers was founded to bring together those who had climbed the same 46 peaks climbed by the Marshalls and Herb Clark, it has been resolved that the climbing of these same 46 peaks, (to exclude MacNaughton) (to include Couchie, Nye, Blake & Cliff) regardless of their corrected elevations shall still be considered a prerequisite for membership in the 46er organization. Also, like mentioned in other post "Grace says, most 46ers do it." She always called it "the Bonus Mountain." It's worth the climb, and I always loved the unique red canister verses the standard white ones.

Papa Bear
01-23-2004, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by Mike BIRD Mammy
Head and I hiked that SOB, one spring and got eaten alive!!! We have a video of the ill-fated trip.. Check it out on Birdhead, but be forwarned, it contains FOWL language! :eek:
By far the worst trip I ever went on.. No wonder no one wants to be 47r's! MIKE (BIRD) MAMMY
:D :) :D

Really cool video. Sounds like a lot of fun :D


01-28-2004, 11:12 PM
>the ADK 46ers was founded to bring together those who had climbed the same 46 peaks climbed by the Marshalls and Herb Clark,<<

did the marshalls ever climb macnaughton (before or after the 4000 footers)?

01-29-2004, 02:15 PM
I am sorry that some members of this website report having a negative experience when climbing MacNaughton.
I, too, have had close encounters of the insect kind that have made some trips less then pleasurable, and a few times I have gotten ill from allergic reactions.
I have also been on bushwhacks, and not a few trail hikes, that were very difficult. But never do I blame the mountains- they are, afterall, indifferent to our suffering, as they are to our desires to climb. But still I say...

Every mountain is a blessing, just to be out in the wild is a joy.

As a fellow bushwhacker said one more then one ocassion-"Where would you rather be, then right here and right now"