50 Peaks is a side project for my 30’s with a simple objective: visit the high point in each of the 50 states.
I’m honestly not sure where the idea came from (probably from watching too many Cody Townsend and Ben Gravy videos) but I’m excited to have a fun diversion as I cruise around the states in my minivan.
I’m not going for time, but it’d be cool to finish this decade (and before I turn 40).
As I’ve started to unpack the challenge, it’s proving to be what I was hoping for: an excuse to wander off the interstate and see each state’s wilderness on foot. I’m finding that a simple, focused objective is the perfect motivator to push a couple extra hours on the road and then leave with a feeling of accomplishment as I set sail for the next one.
#1: NEW YORK - MT. MARCY
Kicking off a new project to visit each state's high point. This was my first objective, Mt. Marcy in northern New York's Adirondack Mountains.
My day off work in late March lined up perfectly with deep snow and good weather, so I made a push for it. I started in Charlotte, Vermont - my hometown - and took the ferry across Lake Champlain to Essex, N.Y., driving west to Lake Placid and the Van Hoevenberg Trail.
The trip ended up being just over 14 miles, starting at 9:30a, summiting around 1:00p, and finishing at around 3:30p (6 hours total). There was with a clean, packed down track on the way up and good snow coverage throughout, making for a quick journey.
As you'll see in the video (7:44), conditions can get a bit slick on the last 1/4 mile toward the summit. I would have strapped on crampons after ditching my skis if I had packed them. The ice axe was nice to have.