View Full Version : Finising and Starting the 46

09-21-2004, 03:35 PM
I did this spreadsheet up to compare what peaks are started and finished on most. I was mostly interested in peaks that no one has finished on yet. Here are some results.

Peaks no one has started on:

Every peak has a finisher

Anyway, here is a nifty graph.


and a link to the spreadsheet (graph is on sheet2)
Spreadsheet (http://percious.com/other/maps/peaks.xls)

What peak did you choose for start/finish and WHY!?

I started on Marcy because I am a sheep. Tallest in New York! Woo hoo! sheesh. If only I had known, I woulda started with Marshall.

I await the growth of my son's little legs to finish on his namesake, Colden.


09-21-2004, 04:03 PM
My first was Algonquin, chosen for its low mileage a long time ago when I still thought noon was a good time to start a hike (wearing bluejeans). I made the mistake of leaving Esther for my last. Its been 3 years since I finished number 45 (Blake, I think) and I can't seem to get motivated to finish up on Esther.

09-21-2004, 04:12 PM
Esther is probably a pretty easy one to finish on. Just grab a band of White-faced finishers, and start their celebration early!


09-21-2004, 05:20 PM
Started on Cascade (cause I didn't know any better), Finished on Whiteface (1- so my non-climbing family could join me, and 2- I'd been there in a car and wanted to climb the rest first)

Knowing what I know now, I'd have started on Emmons and finished on Donaldson ;)

09-21-2004, 05:27 PM
Started on Marcy (yes, another sheep!). Finished on Haystack.

09-21-2004, 05:42 PM
Woo-hoo! Your spreadsheet has only 7 for starting on Nye and that's where I started.

Why? Because that's where people were hiking that -26F day at the Gathering last winter, and I was too beat to head out to Street first...

09-21-2004, 05:51 PM
my first was Marcy, but i think Nye last winter would have been a great first.
and my last was Redfield, very nice mt. to finish on.

09-21-2004, 06:07 PM
Whiteface was my first winter 46er. Wow, it was cold. -30 at the summit, with 40mph wind. At least it warmed up after our failed Marcy attempt...


09-21-2004, 06:09 PM
Our start and finish were for social reasons.

Started on Dial, because my sister introduced us to the Peaks, and Bear Den, Dial and Nippletop was the hike she was doing. The morning view of the range from the now burned "View, 54 Steps" sold us on climbing them all.

Finished on Esther, because friends of ours, with whom we were finishing together, had Whiteface and Esther left. And we didn't want to finish in a crowd of people who drove up.

I didn't keep track of the start and finish the second time around.


09-21-2004, 06:21 PM
I wonder what this sheet would look like if it were winter 46ers. Too bad the data is not available...


Mark Schaefer
09-21-2004, 06:54 PM
Started: Lower Wolf Jaws. I was trying to pick off as many as possible on my first hike and LWJ was in a convenient place.
Ended: Allen. I was always trying to pick off as many as possible on every 46 hike, and that left Allen out there all by its lonesome. As the numbers show Allen is the most frequent #46, perhaps in part for the same reason.

At one time I planned on saving Marcy for #46. But on the hike I intended to climb Tabletop and Phelps I somehow absent mindedly flew by Indian Falls and was well over a mile up the trail before I realized my mistake. Rather than waste the time and elevation I decided to do Marcy that day.

09-21-2004, 07:35 PM
Nobody starting on Donaldson will be changing, now that Calkin's Brook is becoming popular. The traditional route made it very hard to begin there.

I started on Marcy as a kid in the 60's. Two oldest sons started on Algonquin, youngest started on Phelps (at age 4... see why Phelps?)

Two older sons & I finished on Rocky Peak Ridge. We were three quarters the way through before we even thought about which one to finish on.

Youngest wanted to finish on Whiteface, but accidentally climbed it before he was done (a winter ski trip). He then finished on Marcy.

I finished my winter 46 on Sawteeth. I wanted an easy peak that I was pretty sure I would finish on.

09-21-2004, 07:43 PM
I started on Phelps over 10 years ago and now I have about 16 left. Not sure where I will finish yet but I was thinking about Giant.

09-21-2004, 07:47 PM
My friend jen started on Donaldson this past summer. I needed Emmons, and we went up the calkins brook route. We met a hiker from Chicago up there named Willie, and he said"who the hell starts on Donaldson". She has hiked some more of the traditional starters since then. She didn't enjoy the trap dyke too much though...

09-21-2004, 08:09 PM
Started with Basin via the Chicken Coop in January of 98' one week after the ice storm. Finished on Gray 16 months later. Most of my climbing has been done in winter, that is until this year. I hope to hit 40+ summits before winter season starts. Then try for all 46 again in winter season.

09-21-2004, 08:12 PM
Very illuminating graph!
My first was the little jaunt to Cascade...first mt. for my 10 and 12 year old daughters, and they made their Dad proud. Bagged the adjacent Porter afterward. Next year we camped at Lillian Brook and added Dix. Alas, their number still stands at three. The old man continued on...I'd planned to finish on Allen, so I could sign in to the canister with "#46!!", but ended up finishing on Colden on advice from others who said there'd be many there to celebrate with me.
I summitted to find only a Pennsylvanian, chain smoking, gazing at Algonquin, wondering if it was Marcy...he'd never heard of the 46...oh well. I didn't really need the adulation of others at that point....

09-21-2004, 08:21 PM
I started on Marcy, like many others, in 2002 and will finish on Haystack next summer with two of my boys. I want to finish on Haystack because I want them to see the great views. Besides, it'll be their first and who knows where they'll go from there!

09-21-2004, 10:32 PM
BigAl, if your time is flexible, and it's the views you want, keep a CLOSE eye on the weather before you go. We finished on Haystack and thought we had a nice day for it. Summit fog rolled in at the last minute, giving us zero views, though it remained sunny back at camp all day!

09-22-2004, 07:09 AM
I started on Algonquin. Finished on Emmons. Didn't really think about where to finish and that was what I was left with. For winter I plan to finish on Haystack but who knows how that will work out. As long as it is not Emmons again!

09-22-2004, 07:13 AM
I started on Dix via the slide next to the Rt 73 trail. I'm not sure which mountain I'll finish on, but I guess it would have to be Redfield, TableTop, Macomb, Hough, Allen, Street, Phelps, South Dix, Cliff, or Nye.

I have been with two hikers as they started the 46 on Couchsachraga.

09-22-2004, 07:18 AM
I guess I should give this some thought since I'll comtemplating the 111/115. Hmmmmm.

09-22-2004, 07:50 AM
Has anyone ever started or finished on S. Dix or Emmons? Now that would be a hardcore way to start off....

09-22-2004, 08:03 AM
Started on Street at -24 at winter Gathering 6.5. Had attempted to start on Seymour, but that seems to be another swimming story ;). I am planning to complete both the 46 and 111/115 on Haystack. Why? Because I saw it from Marcy. That's all it took.

09-22-2004, 08:22 AM
Started on Dix in 1980 because I thought it was easier than Marcy. Finished on Allen because it was the only one left. Started Winter 46 on Porter, finished on Iroquois.

09-22-2004, 08:26 AM
Originally posted by SherpaKroto
I am planning to complete both the 46 and 111/115 on Haystack. Why? Because I saw it from Marcy. That's all it took.

And that would be a nice finish. Haystack is/was one of my favorite hikes. :)

Started on Cascade as a winter hike last March ('03). Been hooked since.

Hopefully October 9th I will climb Phelps for #46.

09-22-2004, 08:28 AM
Started on Gothics... I think. That whole trip was a blur. Started fresh a decade later on Algonquin (winter). Marcy will be my last, because "everyone else" does it first!

09-22-2004, 12:46 PM
I started on Wright in 1976 carrying a backpack up and over the MacIntyres to Lake Colden and eventually over the range. It makes me tired thinking about it.I finished last year on Redfield with my brother Willie (already a 46er) and my son Eric.

I took Willie to his first peak - Cascade - and he was hooked. The same threesome that finished with me also was together when Willie finshed on Seymour.

My son Eric started on Esther as a nine year old two years ago. He is now a 21er. I wonder which mountain will be his 46th?

09-22-2004, 01:08 PM
First mountain was Cascade 12 years ago with boys aged 3 and 5. Second was Marcy 3 years ago. Didn't know what a 46er was until 2 years ago. 18 mountains left and planning to finish on Rocky some day soon. Reason: I've heard great things about the hike and can't wait to do it so that should get me moving on the other mountains.

09-22-2004, 05:31 PM
Started on Giant in 1981. Had hiked the Presidentials in college and enjoyed it. Since I lived about 1.5 hours away from the ADKs it was easy to start. Went with a friend.

Finished on Allen in 2004. Went a number of years without climbing due to family. Got back into it again via a friend inviting me to climb Mt Washington in the winter of 2002.

So the Whites have been my inspiration to hike the 46!!!


09-22-2004, 08:50 PM
rhihn...yes, I'm very aware of the "fleeting" views! My time is very flexible (retired this past spring), but my sons' will not be. I'm currently sitting at 39 peaks...next summer, after bug season, I'll hike the 5 Dixes and Sawteeth, leaving Haystack as my last. About all I'll be able to do is schedule a weekend in September which will be suitable for them and hope for the best! I love September hiking; I seem to have better weather then than any other month, on average.

ALGonquin Bob
09-22-2004, 10:43 PM
First peak was Cascade in 2000, on recommendation of a paddling friend. Foggy and no views; didn't like it. Didn't hike another peak until Haystack over a year later. LOVED it! Just finished this past June on Emmons. I chose June 10th on Emmons to honor the original 3 46-Rs (Clark, Marshall & Marshall) who did their 46th peak on Emmons, June 10, 1925.

09-23-2004, 08:56 AM
Didn't realize that Clark and the Marshall's finished on Emmons. Makes me feel better that I finished there too! Thanks for the scoop.

09-25-2004, 10:00 AM
First was Giant, in 1983. Number Two was Cascade, 15 years later; did Giant again the following day. Finished on Whiteface on the 19th anniversary of that first Giant climb.

Finished the White Mountain Fours (on West Bond) two days before the 25th anniversary of my first (Washington) in New Hampshire, 79 days after finishing the Adirondack High Peaks.

Recently finished the 115 on Camel's Hump, on September 11, almost 27 years after that initial Washington climb.

Thanks, Percious, for doing all that work. I'd been thinking of compiling such a list myself, and you saved me a lot of work. I wonder how people managed to start on Hough or South Dix. They must have intentionally bypassed summits on the way.

Do you remember noticing if the six people who started on Couchsachraga all ended on Marcy (as if they'd worked their way up the list in order by elevation)?

09-25-2004, 02:56 PM
Raymond, congratulations on your 115!

I was also wondering about the two who did Emmons as their first hike without having done Donaldson.

09-25-2004, 05:59 PM
Much like KZKlimber, I started on Giant,in 1992, because my friend Charlie Scott Knew I would like the open approach. Finished on Allen because I think I wanted to do the toughest one last. I'm a procrastinator!

Doc McPeak
09-25-2004, 07:40 PM
My first "unofficially" was Marcy on a Chingakook summer camping trip, circa 1975. It was fun being loud and crazy at Marcy Dam with everyone (my, how your perspective changes!!!) but Marcy was an endless slog through drizzle and fog to reach a summit with 20 foot views. Hated every second of it.

My second was the following year when we did Algonquin from Lake Colden. That was awesome. Great day, though the route was rugged with a full pack. I did about a dozen before I decided I wanted to do the 46. So, I started counting from that date forward, which was 1998, on a traverse of Cascade and Porter from Cascade Lakes to Marcy Airport.

After that rough first outing on Marcy I decided to save it for last. It was tough, but also fun to sit for an hour on Gray, and then 3 hours on Skylight and stare at it, knowing I could run up and grab it without any effort. Seymour was my 45, or official "unofficial" 46th.

Winter I started on Phelps, and will finish on Giant and Colden for personal reasons. I will also finish both my Solo46, and EverySeason46 on another Cascade to Porter to Marcy Airport traverse for sentimental reasons as well.

I love hearing of people saving last peaks for special reasons. I saved Marcy and was treated with having the busiest peak in the ADKs all to myself for over an hour, and got to bid her goodnight as I left the summit.

As for Emmons as a first peak, I'm sure that happened years ago when Emmons was hiked from the East side via the NPT. That used to be the usual route to her. I wonder if they hiked it with the Hermit as their guide? I know Doc Phelps did the Sewards with The Hermit (Noah John Rondeau) and it was that trip that got made her want to complete the mission. Which she did as #47.

09-26-2004, 07:51 AM
My first was Marcy during summer camp at Chingakook as well, in the mid 80's.
But I did it again with my wife in 96, and started counting from there.
Finished on Marshall.

09-26-2004, 08:44 PM
I started on Algonquin and ended on Sawteeth like AlpineSummit. I suppose great minds think alike. But the underlying direction of this thread is starting on milk and ending on heroin. The other way around is man bites dog. Redoing the Great Range then Sawteeth is a great way to finish. And Algonquin is a fine start. I could see Wright as a starter as it is easy to do as you ascend Algonquin. They are all great.

09-27-2004, 05:15 AM
I stared on Nippletop (on Saturday 9-25-04!!!)

This weekend was my first time hiking in the Adirondacks and I can just say.................I'll be back! The Fall Foliage is absoultely beautiful over there right now!!

ALGonquin Bob
09-27-2004, 07:03 AM
Way to go Michelle! How about some winter peaks, since snow comes early up there. Lots of us want to do the peaks in Winter, so you'll be sure to have company. -ALGonquin Bob

When I tell my non-hiker coworkers about my treks in the Adirondacks, ol' Nippletop seems to be their favorite...

09-27-2004, 08:35 AM
I started on Porter and am planning on finishing with Big Slide.

I started in October 2002 with my wife. At that time I had no idea what a 46er was. In fact our first peak was Hurricane. My wife's knees get pretty sore now on the big hikes so I'm hoping Big Slide fits the bill.

Just finished #23 last weekend up on Emmons. What a battle that was. Finished back at Blueberry Leanto at midnight.


10-05-2004, 04:45 AM
I just noticed that the figures for the First Summit and Last Summit don't jibe, nor do they agree with the total.

The First Summits add up to 5317, the Last Summits total just 5315.

There are six First Summits described as "unknown," but (naturally) no Last Summits are unnamed.

The total number of registered Forty-Sixers through 2003 is 5327, so it appears that there are 12 Last Summits and four First Summits somehow missing from the figures.

I discovered this when I was trying to rearrange the figures from the spreadsheet to make two additional lists, one with the mountains listed in order from Most- to Least-Frequently Started On and the other showing Most- to Least-Frequently Finished On. I don't really understand Microsoft Excel, but I noticed the figures sometimes changed when I rearranged the rows. I started over from scratch, with a fresh spreadsheet, and began by adding the figures to make sure I had them correct, then discovered the discrepancies.

I also noticed that there was one 2002 finisher whose First Summit was originally listed as unknown, but now says Cascade. Not sure what that's all about.

10-05-2004, 06:08 AM
Loved the graph...

The Adirondacks were my first "high peaks" and with the first (Gothics) it was just a hike with my ADK chapter. I had no idea it would be the first of 46. Then I started picking away at the list, trying to do the easiest ones.

Of course that left all the tough ones for last. Then someone asked if I had given any thought as to which one I would do last. (I had never thought about it, just thought I would keep doing them til they were done.) Well, I'm glad I was able to "save" Sawteeth for last. A lovely gem, which I was able to share with friends and family.

10-05-2004, 04:14 PM
I thought I would add a few more interesting notes, as requested by other VFTTers.

I did some analysis on the date of completion data. Here are some interesting figures:

Average Time to Completion:
9.33 years

Miniumum Completion:
5 Days
Michael F. Lonergan

(I know Cave Dog has done it faster, but that was his second !at least! round)

Maximum Completion:
64.17 years
Doreen Smethurst
Way to keep with it Doreen!

The second number has not been verified, in fact a lot of the data from 46er.org is kind of bad, so I had to fudge some of the numbers, assuming typos and what not. Since there is such a large body of data, it is easy for the small errors to be averaged out when determining factors. It would be interesting to do a plot to see if it takes people less time to complete now, or to see how 46ering has increased. Is it exponential? Probably. I can look at it later and post another graph.

Here is a new spreadsheet to play with:

Peaks 2 (http://percious.com/peaks2.xls)


10-05-2004, 04:34 PM
Percious, that xls file is amazing! BTW have you ever heard of the adk 46er-B category? Supposedly there's only one person to ever have achieved that.

10-05-2004, 04:46 PM
Thanks for the complement. I couldn't help myself with the graphs. The distribution is interesting! Almost Exponential.
?Poission? In large terms of years, but a nice bell curve for 1-10 years. Most people finish in 4-5 years.




10-05-2004, 04:47 PM
what is 46er-B?

10-05-2004, 04:50 PM
what is 46er-B?

I just heard of this category on sunday from Hillman1. I'll let him explain what it is.

10-05-2004, 05:39 PM
ok, last graph for a while.


It seems like there is a polynomial growth over the decades, but this last decade is completely random. I wonder what other factors influence people's finish dates.


10-05-2004, 05:51 PM
What does polynomial signify?

10-05-2004, 05:57 PM
Polynomial is not as "bad" as exponential, but it means that it grows at a powered factor each decade. That is to say... If you have X people completing this decade, the next decade you will have X^n people finishing, where n>1. So, if n = 2 then every decade, the number of people would double. You can see how this would add up over time, 2x2 = 4. 4x2 = 8 8x2= 16, and so forth. This is not the case. N is somewhere between 1 and 2. I would have to analyze the data further to figure out the exact number. Anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong, its been a few years since probablity.


10-05-2004, 10:24 PM
Exponential kinda makes sense. One guy climbs the 46 tells a few buddies... etc. etc. etc.


10-06-2004, 01:37 AM
Just a guess but...................

The decline in 2000 and 2001 might have had something to do with the damage from Floyd. Some areas, like Allen for one, had pretty significant damage. Not that they couldn't be climbed, but might have had just enough of an impact to limit finishers slightly.

Other than those two years, and the spike in 96, I'd say the graph looks pretty symetrical.

This is pure speculation on my part, I'm sure there is a reason and someone smarter then me, might be able to share.

10-06-2004, 02:31 AM
46er-B must be the Bushwhacker category, awarded to John Winkler some years ago, after he bushwhacked each of the High Peaks.

10-06-2004, 02:35 AM
Are you sure you have the correct figures for 2002? That's the year I finished, and I thought it was something like 281 new Forty-Sixers that year, not 170 or whatever you have there.

10-06-2004, 07:52 AM
wow, you guys are quick! I did in fact have a slight min-nomer in my graphs. I fixed the graphs to make more sense.

Mavs. I agree with the thought that people didnt finish because of floyd. I you can see that people finished up in the next two years, because there is a spike.

Oh, and 214 46ers in 2002 according to adk46er.org .


10-06-2004, 08:51 AM
There is a spike in '96. This was (I beleive) the year of Grace's retirement. A lot of people rushed to finish that year for her. The spring meeting at the Holiday Inn was REALLY packed that year.

10-06-2004, 09:19 AM
Oh, and 214 46ers in 2002 according to adk46er.org .


I checked my notes and the "Class of 2002" was 221 46ers. That includes all new 46ers recorded that year, which includes a few that finished in previous years but did not submit their paperwork until 2002. When 46ers submit paperwork late, their numbers are included in that year's group rather than being moved to the correct chronological spot in the roster. I compile the annual Peeks Sketches in Adirondack Peeks and I will soon be compiling a roster for the upcoming 46er book. The roster will have the same format as the 1991 book and its supplement, which has the person's name, first peak and date, last peak and date. The 46ers hope that having all 46ers' names in the book will be a good selling point.

10-07-2004, 04:31 AM
I noticed that six of the Forty-Sixers are dogs, but there haven't been any canines recorded since Schuss in 1974 (#1151). Are they no longer accepted for membership, or have they just not been labeled as dogs in the last thirty years?

10-07-2004, 07:00 AM
Originally posted by Raymond
I Are they no longer accepted for membership, or have they just not been labeled as dogs in the last thirty years?

No. Since the land re-orginization around the ausable lakes, and the no-dog rule in that area, they've stopped accepting dogs as members.

Yes, I know it is possible for a dog to do all 46 peaks without going through AMR land.

10-07-2004, 09:26 AM
I checked my notes and the "Class of 2002" was 221 46ers.

My data is not perfect, because the format for the dates is somewhat skewed. I have done my best to fix the formatting of the data, but with 5K data points, it would take a lot of time to fix everything. My spreadsheet is just for rough statistical analysis.


Dennis C.
10-07-2004, 10:01 AM
Pete Hickey quote: "Nobody starting on Donaldson will be changing, now that Calkin's Brook is becoming popular. The traditional route made it very hard to begin there."

That's interesting Pete. When we went up Calkin's in the winter of 1990, we arrived at Donalson first, then went for the other two to complete one long day hike from a lower level tent base camp. What exactly was the "traditional route" that you refer to?

I started NY climbing on Lower Wolfjaw (group decision) and chose Whiteface to finish on so I could celebrate with a ski down the auto road.

10-07-2004, 10:07 AM
The traditional route is up the red marked path to Blueberry lean-to, just past the leanto there is a cairn by a bridge. I believe that is the traditional route.

From what I understand Caulkins was an illegally cut trail that became extremely popular and might even become the new "official route".


10-10-2004, 01:49 AM
Of the first 2859 Forty-Sixers almost all went up the Sewards from the Blueberry Lean-to route. However, at least one person started on Donaldson. Each summit has had somebody start and finish on it. The trick is to find a combination of first and last no one has done. For me I began on Algonquin and finished on Skylight. At the time of publication of the last 46R book only one person had done that. Perhaps with a little research a combination can be found that was not done. Perhaps Start on Emmons and finish on Donaldson? Is there an available list compiled where one could search first and last? Many new 46Rs have been added since the 2859 listed in the book.

10-11-2004, 12:08 AM
If you can't open percious's spreadsheet, go to the Forty-Sixers' Web site:


There are one thousand on each page.

10-11-2004, 12:30 PM
Okay, so now it's official.

Started on Cascade 3/15/04, ended on Phelps 10/9/04. What a ride! :p

10-11-2004, 12:49 PM
nice job kevin. Congrats. Did you know you would do all 46 when you summited Cascade? What was the journey like? What is next?


10-11-2004, 07:18 PM
If you did the 46 twice in the same order would you have begun and ended on each one of the peaks?????


10-21-2004, 03:17 PM
For my first round of the Summer 46 I started on Marcy on September 1,1990 and finished on Dix on September 1, 1991.
For my first round of the Winter 46 I started on Colden back in January 1992, finishing on Seward on March 13, 1994.
Chose Marcy for everyone else's reason, the highest in NYS, then got addicted to hiking.

10-22-2004, 03:22 PM
I suppose everyone has his/her personal reasons for the first and last ADK-46's. Here are mine.

While I live in Connecticut, and a backpacker for decades, I had for years defaulted to the "real mountains of the west". For example, in July 2002, I trekked through the Desolation Wilderness just west of Lake Tahoe with my two 20-something daughters, both of whom who live in Califofornia. That was a fantastic trip that included snow fields on July 4th, and some spectacular views of Lake Tahoe coming down from 9400-foot Dicks Pass.

When I returned to Connecticut, I decided to find some "real mountains" in the Northeast to tackle. Via an Internet search, I discovered to my delight first the Adirondacks, and then the ADK46R web site. As a "proof of concept" and a mid-level challenge, I tackled Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge in June 2003. I was hooked. From there, I completed 16 peaks between June - October 2003. In October 2003, I decided that Esther and Whiteface would be my last two peaks, and for these reasons. First, I would invite my two daughters to climb with me. Second, my wife would meet the three of us on top with the camera and champagne.

Between June - September 2004, I completed 28 more peaks. On September 18, 2004, my two daughters flew in from California and joined me for the trek up Esther and Whiteface. My wife met us on top with the camera, encouraging waves, and a truly great bottle of champagne. I am now a proud ADK46R, No. 5xxx to be determined.

My next quest is the Top 100 in the Northeast. Any thoughts on how best to approach this goal?

10-22-2004, 09:15 PM
Just get the 111ers' list of 115 and check off the top 100.


The address on there is incorrect, though; Priscilla Robertson has retired, it's Gene Daniell's bailiwick now.

03-04-2007, 10:19 AM
Good research by Percious.