Adirondack Peeks Winter 2023

MAGAZINE OF THE ADIRONDACK FORTY-SIXERS WINTER 2023 Vol. LXI No. 2 PEEKS Adirondack

CONTENTS 2 President's Report | Laurie Rankin #5525WV 4 Editors' Ramble | Kim Morse #11497 with Sherry Roulston #12512 5 TALKING POINTS A Conversation with Suzanne Lance | Sherry Roulston #12512 with Suzanne Lance #1802WV 16 POEM Forty-Six—But Who’s Counting? | Bill McKibben 17 With Your Help | Bill McKibben 18 A Recount with Bill McKibben | Sherry Rouston #12512 19 FROM THE VAULT First Trip | William H. Lance 22 "Hitch-up, Matilda!" | S. R. Stoddard 26 MOUNTAIN VIGNETTES MacNaughton #47 | Chris Martin #12391W #47—Sat. July 20, 1985 | Ralph J. Ferrusi #2023 46er for Life | Brian D’Amour #3292 Then and Now | Marcia Wentworth #2231 The Mountain of God | Jim Coyne #3815V Five Decades and the New England 111 | Dan Ladue #2694 No Title | Corinn Julow #14073 First Mountain | Christopher S. Hughes #2791 The Trees by the Trail | John Swanson III #14369 Mt. Marcy | Maria Aldrich ff fi Almost Cli and Red eld: June 17. 2023 | Ron Kirschbaum #14955 ff and Redfield: June 17. 2023 | Ron Kirschbaum #14955 The American Dream Hike | Ray O’Conor #6909 Mom Triumphant | Ben Christenson #11223 Unlikely Occurance | Jim Cooper #1605 48 CLUB NEWS 59 IN THE PACK 60 IN MEMORIAM 61 POEM At the Split of Street and Nye | Tim Hoppey #ASP26342 62 LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Front cover photo credit: Janet Marie Photography (Janet Thomas #10198) Inside cover photo credit: Sébastien Provost #14679

AdirondackPEEKS Volume LXI No. 2, Winter 2023 OFFICERS Laurie Rankin, President Brian Sutherland, Vice President Siobhán Carney-Nesbitt, Immediate Past President DIRECTORS Carla Denn, Winn Rea, Brant Schneider, Greg Sodaro, Becky Swem, Sheila Young APPOINTED OFFICERS Treasurer Philip Corell Recording Secretary Bill Lundy Outdoor Skills Workshop Coordinators Bill Lundy, Dan Auwarter Office of the Historian Lee Nesbitt, Siobhán Carney-Nesbitt Archivist Jane Meader Nye Trailmasters Michele Mccall, Brian Hoody, Mary Lamb, Mark Simpson, Curt Snyder, Doug Varney Website Liaison and Content Manager Joe Ryan Merchandising Dave Freeman Special Orders Coordinator Wendy Kurlowicz Membership Jim Houghtaling Editors Kim Morse Sherry Roulston Editorial Offices Manuscript and photographic submissions for PEEKS should be mailed to Sherry Roulston at 24 Layman Lane, Plattsburgh, NY 12901 or emailed to peeks@adk46er.org. Orders and Payments Jim Houghtaling, Membership Coordinator, P.O. Box 4383, Queensbury, NY 12804 E-mail: treasurer@adk46er.org Outdoor Skills Workshop osw@adk46er.org Volunteer Trailwork adk46ertrailwork@gmail.com For additional information on club activities and to register to become a 46er visit the club’s website, adk46er.org, or send an email to officeofthehistorian46@gmail.com. Adirondack PEEKS is published twice a year by the Adirondack Forty-Sixers, Inc., a nonprofit organization. PEEKS is free to members in good standing. To receive a copy, register to become an Aspiring/Contributing member of the 46ers by creating a website account at adk46er.org. Adirondack PEEKS is printed by Walsworth As we wrap up our seventy-fifth year as an organization, it is difficult to put into words all that this amazing organization and all of its members have done in the past 75 years. Between May of 1948, when that small group of 20 climbers who loved the Adirondack mountains organized their passion into a fledgling organization known as the Adirondack 46ers today, and today, when we have over 15,000 members, much has occurred. Much has changed, and yet much has remained constant. Our love of the mountains, our desire to sustain them and care for them has remained constant. Our connections to our history and traditions have remained through our policies and our publications. Our connections to one another and our desire to support one another have remained through our educational programs and our generous donations to other community organizations. We continue to utilize the experience of those who have gone before us to help guide us to the future. Our commitment to the club’s mission of conservation and education includes constantly striving to keep up with the current needs of our climbers. As the organization has grown, it has been challenging at times to try to remain an all-volunteer organization. But our commitment to utilizing donations and volunteer strength and time for the good of the mountains and the organization remains strong. We have managed to avoid spending money on hiring staff, office spaces, and other overhead in large part because we have skilled volunteers who have stepped forward to give their time and experience. Our very generous volunteers use their own homes, computers, and resources to conduct the day-today business of the organization. By being wise with our funds and the tremendous support of our membership, we have continued to support other organizations throughout the Adirondack communities. We have always made it a goal to keep our annual dues low so that we do not exclude members due to financial constraints. We have continued to develop programs that meet the changing needs of the community, the mountains, and our members. As you read through this current issue of PEEKS and read about the history and the passion of our members both past and present, we want to thank you for your generosity! Your contributions, no matter how large or small honor our organization and the things we have stood for over the last 75 years. We greatly appreciate your support. As we hike forward into the next 75 years, we must keep all of these things in mind as we shape our ever-changing future. To honor our organization’s past, our members, and the mountains we all love, we must continue to support the needs of our members and the mountains. We can continue to do so with your help, both in terms of financial support and in terms of volunteer support. As we have throughout our history, we wish you Good Climbing. Laurie Rankin, #5525WV PRESIDENT'S REPORT 2 | ADIRONDACK PEEKS Our original logo was designed by Ed Hudowalski, #6, in 1948. Our logo for the 75th year, was created by Director Winn Rea, #9903V, in 2023.

WINTER 2023 | 3 Photo credit: Janet Marie Photography (Janet Thomas, #10198)

4 | ADIRONDACK PEEKS EDITORS' RAMBLE Kim Morse, #11497, with Sherry Roulston, #12512 As we embark on our second issue as PEEKS coeditors, Sherry and I wish to express gratitude for your support—that of our readers (those who reach out with ideas, questions, and submissions), the membership at large, and our board of directors. We are thrilled to have received your positive thoughts, insightful suggestions, and words of encouragement. And we hope to share that light with you! We see each issue of PEEKS as one of the largest group hugs you could participate in. Where else will you find uplifting stories of family and friends working together to achieve what is, for all, a monumental task of hiking thousands of feet of elevation gain over hundreds of miles and, for many, a practice of regular movement against terrifying, sometimes immobilizing adversity manifesting in injury, loss, or other catastrophe? Yet, here we gather twice a year to celebrate having conquered our adversities or reflect on times when stepping back was either pragmatic or necessary—but regardless of our reasons for sitting down with this magazine, we join one another in recognizing our shared love for the Adirondacks and the power we have as a passionate group to share that love in meaningful, respectful, and impactful ways with others—for generations to come. As we look across the heartfelt written work of those published in this issue, Sherry and I have identified a common bond—family—spreading across each page and weaving its way within each person’s words. While we recognize the usual definitions of the word— such as a group of people related by blood or marriage or a group of related things or all the descendants of a common ancestor—it’s also clear from the stories our authors tell that their most meaningful relationships, those that move with them from decade to decade or affect them profoundly, may include people who fall outside of these traditional definitions. Those we identify as family play integral roles in the story of our lives; and while people in those roles may shift over time, the impact of each relationship leaves an indelible mark on us. Specifically, we see the vitality that hiking across generations has brought our authors as they recount significant experiences they’ve shared with loved ones as they relate to their own lives across time. From the lighthearted—for example S. R. Stoddard’s tale of how the Hitch-Up Matildas got their name—to Dan Ladue’s personal retelling of his adventures across the NE 111 in which he leans on steadfast friendship and recognizes transient romance for its place in his journey, each piece elicits something essential to what binds us all as hikers of this special place on Earth. In Talking Points, Sherry and I sit down with Suzanne Lance, who discusses her time as coeditor of PEEKS (her editorship, it is thematically appropriate to point out, spanned almost two decades), achievements with the Writers Institute in Albany, and reflections on her grandmother’s diary and father’s letters during WWII. We also feature American environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, whose extensive advocacy for the protection of our planet resonates with the mission of the Forty-Sixers. In this issue we share a poem and newsletter by McKibben as well as a discussion he has with Sherry in which he calls the Adirondacks a “second chance Eden” where, despite climate change elsewhere in the world, “the wild is getting deeper.” We thank our readers for this issue’s selection of Mountain Vignettes, which include genuine stories told by you both in essay and verse form, reflecting on the many aspects of life hiking in the Adirondacks calls into play—from invoking the path toward the American Dream through the eyes of first- and second-generation immigrants (“The American Dream Hike”) to a candid look back at the differences between hiking the high peaks now in comparison to the 1980s (“Then and Now”), you’re sure to find meaningful connections with our authors’ heartfelt recounting of their experiences. Personally, I’m still dipping my toes into the world of winter hiking in the high peaks, but there is an aspect of hiking in the winter that, for me, stirs up yearning for connection and reconnection among loved ones—and that’s the coming home. Whether I’m staying in a small, local motel or hostel or travelling the hours’ drive back home, after a winter stint, nothing feels as warm or comforting or needed as the first step through the doorway. There’s something about stripping away the gear that kept me safe in the cold and stepping back into the familiar that inspires gratitude for the bonds I have with those whom I hold dear. May this issue offer you a connection or reconnection—whether relational or situational—that elicits a fond memory or the motivation to plan that next hike. Or, perhaps, you’ll be struck by the humanity found across the generations of hiking recorded here and connect with us to volunteer your time. Indeed, the mountains need you, today, to keep our wild deep for the future. Ramble on, Kim and Sherry

WINTER 2023 | 5 It’s Tuesday, August 1, and Kim and I are driving to Schroon Lake to meet up with Suzanne Lance #1802WV at her camp, Boulders Edge. I am anxious and excited! I’m anxious because Suzanne’s list of accomplishments is long, and I’m hoping that my research has been thorough. I’m excited because I get the chance to see her property which, as its name implies, abuts Grace and Ed Hudowalski’s camp, Boulders! Pulling off the Northway, I take a few rights and a left when my GPS informs me that I am on Suzanne’s road with five miles to go! The road travels upward, weaving around tight corners and over a wooden bridge, and although the speed limit is 35 mph, I am at 25, tight fisted and expecting a deer, turkey, truck, or trailhead around each bend. Wooden placards of all shapes and sizes adorn the road announcing names of camps and families while driveways shoot off in all directions, some plunging downward to the lake’s edge. With all the heavy rain this summer, it is a miracle traveling on this bright, clear, cool day. Sixty-four degrees in August! Up we go, around one more bend, when we are greeted by a large yellow 46er flag billowing in the wind. We pull in past the rustic twig sign announcing “Boulders Edge,” and Suzanne greets us on the porch steps. She is dressed in long pants and a blue, lightweight, long-sleeve button down. She leads us up the open, front porch that overlooks a vista of treetops and the lake below. Inside we are greeted by her husband, George Sloan #2651WV. Smells of pine and cinnamon mingle in the air. George was the president of the 46ers club from 1997 to 2000 and today, he appears to be manning the kitchen and preparing our lunch. A mutual friend of theirs introduced them over 35 years ago, believing they would hit it off based on their love for hiking. They were married in 1988 and spent their honeymoon at the Adirondack Loj while climbing Street and Nye. Their first quarrel transpired on their way down Street Mountain. Having decided to take a different route and eventually meet back up with the trail, they disputed on which direction to go. Although George was using a compass, Suzanne was already a 46er and remembered her father telling her about the iron ore rocks on Street Mountain that could impair a compass’s accuracy. A Conversation with Suzanne Lance, #1802WV TALKING POINTS Sherry Roulston, #12512, with Suzanne Lance, #1802WV All photos courtesy of Suzanne Lance. It is easier to become a Forty-Sixer than to be one. The art of being is to keep one’s sense of wonder after the excitement of the game is over. —Paul F. Jamieson, #146, in The Adirondack High Peaks

In Heaven Up-h’isted-ness!, the history of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers and the high peaks of the Adirondacks, Suzanne is quoted: “My new husband displayed great faith in his new wife by disregarding his compass reading and following me down the mountain and back to the Loj. Had we gone his way we would have wound up at Wanika Falls” (p. 329). Many of you know Suzanne as the editor of PEEKS magazine. She held this role with her brother, David Lance, #1801V, from 1985 to 2003. Others recognize her from her role as author of “The History of the Adirondack FortySixers,” a chapter in Heaven Up-h’isted-ness!. Kim and I met Suzanne when we interviewed for the editor position for PEEKS, and I had only known what I had read about her. She served as the associate director at the NYS Writers Institute at the University at Albany from 1989 to 2018. Prior to the Writers Institute she was the special projects officer for Toni Morrison in her position as Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities at UAlbany. Suzanne co-edited Bootlegger of the Soul: The Literary Legacy of William Kennedy (2018). She helped to create a digital archive from the thousands of hours of individual recordings documenting Writers Institute visits by more than 2,000 writers and was featured in Albany Times Union article titled "Digging Deep to Digitize: Writers Institute Works to Make Immense Archive Publicly Accessible." The instant comradery between 46ers kicks in and soon we are sitting on the screened-in side porch off the living room, looking out over Schroon Lake from its eastern side. The long ridge of Hoffman Mountain is directly across the lake and in the distance to the north, the Dix Range. Suzanne points out where Grace and Ed’s camp was located further down the property toward the lake’s edge. The footprint of the camp is still there; however, it has been refurbished by a new owner. Suzanne shows Kim and me a few pictures of the original Boulders Camp with its red cedar logs and wide, spacious, wraparound roofed porch. Ed and Grace bought the camp in 1954. Ed passed in 1966 at 62, three days before his official retirement from the Department of Public Works, where he was an electrical engineer for the canal system. Today, I’m interested in finding out what motivated Suzanne to volunteer for 18 years as the PEEKS editor, not to mention her participation in trail maintenance projects that earned her a Conservation Service Award for accumulating over 546 hours of volunteer service. Let it be noted that PEEKS editor’s volunteer hours are exempt from this award. The point is: 18 years is a long time and 546 hours is a lot of volunteering. How did she maintain the passion over the years while working a full-time job? * * * SR (Sherry Roulston): You climbed your first high peak when you were eight years old. What mountain was it and what do you remember from that hike? SL (Suzanne Lance): It was Cascade during the summer of 1962. It was a family outing with my mom, dad, and two 6 | ADIRONDACK PEEKS Grace's house

WINTER 2023 | 7 SL: We finished on Haystack after doing Saddleback and Basin. We backpacked into a lean-to that, as I recall, was near Chicken Coop Brook. It rained cats and dogs during the night and then the temperature dropped. In the morning it was quite chilly and windy. The summits were covered with clouds. We took the Shorey Short Cut to the Range Trail, climbed Basin and Saddleback and then back over Basin. I remember just running across the summit of Basin because it was so windy. No time to take photos—there were no views anyway. On the summit cone of Haystack, the winds were even stronger. We had to crouch down behind rocks, wait for a wind gust to die down before running to the next rock. We did that all the way to the summit. We had a small bottle of champagne with us, and I think we took photos of each other sitting on the summit while holding the bottle. But it was too windy to celebrate, and since there were no views we turned around and left. On the way down we ran into a lone hiker with a young puppy. He had decided not to summit and was heading down. He was oblivious to the fact that his dog was very scared and couldn’t or wouldn’t navigate the steep, rocky terrain on the way down. We coaxed the dog over the worst spots with some beef stick, but it took so long to get the dog down every obstacle. So, David finally picked up the dog and carried it down to the junction with the Range Trail. The owner kept yelling for the dog. The poor thing would look toward where the call was coming from and then look back at us, as if asking “Can I please stay with you?” The owner finally came back up the trail to get his dog. I’ve often wondered if the dog made it down safely. We finally drank our champagne at the lean-to to celebrate. The next day our parents met us at the Garden when we came out and we had a picnic lunch at Chapel Pond to continue the celebration. SR: Chapel Pond, that sounds like a great way to celebrate! I finished on Haystack, too! Although, it was sunny, hot, and there were no winds; however, I’ve been up there with a brothers, Philip and David. I honestly don’t remember anything about the hike. But I do have vivid memories of another family hike. That was a climb of Colden on a beautiful day during the summer of 1963. My dad, who had climbed in the High Peaks during the 1930s decided that we would do the loop trip—go up the Lake Arnold trail and down through Avalanche Pass. I remember my brother David being so disappointed when we reached Lake Arnold. He was expecting to see a real lake, not a small, shallow pond. The trip down to Avalanche Lake was hard for my mother. She had arthritic knees, and the steep terrain really aggravated them. She was using my father’s camera unipod as a pole. The trip through Avalanche Pass was slow. The Hitch-up Matildas were not the sturdy, wellconstructed bridges that they are today. They were random logs strung together with wire, and I have no idea what was supporting them. The logs had rotted, and, in some places, they were two to three inches underwater. I remember thinking we were all going to die trying to make our way across them. But save for some wet feet, we all made it. My mom was walking very slowly so it took us a long time to reach the end of Avalanche Lake. By the time we got to Marcy Dam it was dark and my mom had had enough. She decided she was just going to find a nice tree to rest by and wait for the sun to come up. We convinced her to continue slowly, aided by the one flashlight we had with us. But as its batteries were dying, we thought that waiting it out until sunrise wasn’t such a bad idea. When our morale was at its lowest, suddenly, the sky brightened, and we could see the trail without a flashlight. It took us a few seconds to realize that it was the aurora borealis that was lighting our way. The light show continued until we made it back to the Loj parking lot before slowly fading away. A miracle? A stroke of luck? Just a happy coincidence? I don’t know what to call it. But I’ve never seen the aurora borealis again . . . SR: Wow, that’s a great memory! The 46er’s records show you finished your first round of the 46 high peaks on September 18, 1982, with your brother, David Lance #1801V. Did you hike all the high peaks with David? SL: Almost all. We hiked 43 peaks together—34 with just the two of us and nine with other hiking friends along. He had hiked three of the peaks before, so I hiked those with other people. Although, I sometimes say I hiked the 46 solo. David was tall and athletic, and I couldn’t keep up with him. He was always way ahead of me. He says he always kept me in sight though. SR: Tell us about your final climb and how you celebrated your forty-sixth? Family hike of Cascade, July 1983

friend when the winds knocked us around at 40 mph! I was afraid of blowing off the mountain! Your father, William H. Lance, was a member of the 46ers of Troy, the predecessor to the Adirondack 46ers and a member of Ed Hudowalski’s Sunday school class that came up to the Adirondacks in 1932 on the first hiking trip. How was this trip perceived by your father? Was he aware of its significance at the time? SL: I asked my father to write an article about that first trip for PEEKS, and I’m happy to see it reprinted in this issue. I think it gives an amazing depiction of what hiking was like in those early days. In the article he recounts his impressions when reaching the summit of Marcy when he was sixteen years old. He says: “Being a city boy with more interest in tennis courts than mountains, I was overwhelmed by the expansive vista so magnificently stretched out before me no matter which way I turned. . . . I was elated and impressed and had forgotten all about the mud, wet shoes, and all the misgivings I had on my first trip to the mountains.” So, he had that same initial reaction that all of us who climb have experienced: one of awe, exhilaration, and bliss when seeing the beauty that surrounded him. I doubt that any of the boys on that first trip could have imagined that they were among the pioneers in the evolution of recreational hiking in the Adirondack High Peaks. SR: You’ve credited your father as being the person who instilled the love of the mountains and pushed you to become a 46er. What was his relationship with the mountains and how did he strive to foster this relationship in you? SL: Dad never finished the 46. He was a 36er. As often happens, life got in the way, so to speak. He served in the Army during World War II, got married, had kids, etc., and he never found the time to finish. But he did take us on hikes of some of the smaller Adirondack peaks when we were young. The first hike was Poke-o-Moonshine, which my mother climbed in a dress and saddle shoes, and then the hikes of Cascade and Colden that I’ve already mentioned. There was one other person who encouraged David and me to climb the 46: Orville Gowie, 46er #8. He was on that first hike in 1932. I think he and Ed Hudowalski were the only ones of that initial group to actually finish the 46. Orville was a good friend of both my parents. He always spent Christmas Eve at our house. I remember talking to him about a few of the climbs that David and I had taken. And I can still see him looking me in the eye and saying, “You really should finish.” So we did. SR: Do you have a favorite high peak, and why? SL: Oh, picking a favorite is hard. There are a few that I have returned to more than others. Gothics—from the Ausable Lake Road/Beaver Meadow Falls trail. It’s a pretty trail. I like crossing the old slide despite those aggravating ladders. The views from the long summit ridge are spectacular and varied. And then we usually continue over Pyramid, which I think has one of the best views in the Adirondacks. Haystack is another one that I like for the fabulous views from the summit of Marcy and Panther Gorge, and the view from the trail of Little Haystack and Haystack. And I still have a warm place in my heart for Colden with its gorgeous views down into Avalanche Lake and the Flowed Lands. SR: Soon after becoming 46ers, you and your brother, David, became the editors of PEEKS magazine. Tell us how this transpired and your motivation for taking on this endeavor? SL: It was a totally spur-of-the-moment decision. We were at one of the annual meetings when Ditt Dittmar, #31, the club’s long-time secretary/treasurer, announced that the current editor of PEEKS, Joseph P. Turon #1016, was retiring. Ditt said if anyone was interested in taking over the job, they should speak with him after the meeting. David and I looked at each other and said, “Do you want to do it?” We both shrugged and said, “Sure, why not?” We both did a fair amount of writing and had some experience with print production at our jobs, so we knew the basics. After the meeting, we approached Ditt about our interest in the position and our qualifications. Our interview lasted about two minutes and we became the new PEEKS editors. David and I looked at each other and said, “Do you want to do it?” We both shrugged and said, “Sure, why not?” [ . . . ] Our interview lasted about two minutes and we became the new PEEKS editors. 8 | ADIRONDACK PEEKS Family hike, October 1965, likely the caretaker cabin at Marcy Dam

WINTER 2023 | 9 SR: Wow, that’s a bit different from the three-panel interview that Kim and I went through! You and David remained editors for the next 18 years, producing 33 issues of PEEKS magazine. How did this venture impact your life and your relationship with each other and with the mountains? SL: Well, it took a lot of time away from hiking that’s for sure. I don’t remember having any major disagreements about content or design over the years. I think that was mostly because we split the duties into mutually exclusive tasks. I chose the content and edited the material. David did the layout and photo editing. There was some back and forth for the first several years because of the way publications were put together during the dark ages before digital files and desktop publishing. SR: What were your goals as editors? SL: Our initial goal as we stated in our first issue (Fall/Winter 1985–86) was to “create a newsletter that is informative, interesting, and entertaining.” PEEKS had always been referred to as a “newsletter,” but we thought much of its content was more like a magazine, so we started calling it that with the Spring/Summer 1989 issue. As we continued with the magazine, I think we tried to present the 46er experience as something more than just receiving a patch and a number by highlighting the club’s service projects. SR: With technology growing exponentially, how did the editing process change and what were some of the challenges you faced along the way? SL: When we started nothing was digital. We received handwritten or typed submissions from hikers, and it all had to be retyped and edited before sending it out to be typeset. It came back on a heavy paper stock we then cut to fit our rough design and we would glue it onto a light blue grid paper. Those pages were then sent to the printer. Since we only printed in black and white at the beginning, any color prints or slides people sent in had to be sent out and converted to black and white prints. Also, David used an Apple/Mac computer, and I had a PC. So initially we had a compatibility problem until Apple came out with Macs that could read PC files. It was a cumbersome, labor-intensive process initially. We were right on the cusp of major technological changes in the print production industry though, and as technology advanced, we learned new software and publishing methods. That part was welcomed as it made our jobs much easier. Another challenge was simply gathering enough material for each issue. Hikers were writing thousands of letters to Grace about their hiking adventures, but they weren’t sending their stories to PEEKS. Sometimes Grace would pass along a letter that she thought was a good story for the magazine. Somehow, we always managed to have enough interesting items to fill each issue. SR: During these editing years, and the busy period of early adulthood, you were also busy in a career at University at Albany serving as the Writers Institute associate director. Prior to this long-term role, you were the special projects officer for Toni Morrison. This must have been an exciting period in that Toni Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, Beloved, in 1988. What was it like to work for Toni Morrison? SL: Oh, wow. It was an incredible experience and an example of being in the right place at the right time. She came to the University at Albany at the same time as the grant program I was working on was coming to an end. So, I moved about three doors down the hall to Toni’s new office and started to work with her on projects and programs that she initiated. I admit I was a bit intimidated by her at first, especially since I knew my position was going to require me to do a lot of writing. I thought, oh my gosh, I’m going to be edited by Toni Morrison. But she had a very light touch—a comma here and a change of a word there. You knew you were in the presence of a strong, independent, resolute, talented woman, but at the same time she liked to laugh and engage in a bit of gossip now and then. She was also fiercely protective of her staff. The day it was announced that she had won the Pulitzer Prize was so crazy. The phone was ringing off the hook with reporters looking for comments from her. It was exciting and fun. A few days later the University hosted a reception in her honor. Her only request was that they serve champagne and strawberries. SR: As the associate director of the Writers Institute, the list of amazing literary figures that visited is amazing. Writers such as Shelby Foote, Edward Albee, Margaret Atwood, Saul Bellow, Bill Bryson, Don DeLillo, Jennifer Egan, Jon Krakauer . . . the list just goes on and on. How did this exposure impact you and your writing as well as your role as editor of PEEKS? SL: Hmm. I don’t think I was influenced, per se, by the award-winning writers who visited the Institute. However, after listening to them talk about their craft and writing techniques for years, perhaps, something sunk in. I only wrote a few pieces that appeared in PEEKS. I mostly edited the material that was submitted to us for publication. I think the more you write the better you get at it. SR: As a person who has been dubbed an “archivist” by Paul Grondahl, the director of the New York State Writers Institute, and someone who has spent several years digitalizing the Writers Institute’s vast library of literary You knew you were in the presence of a strong, independent, resolute, talented woman, but at the same time [Toni Morrison] liked to laugh and engage in a bit of gossip now and then.

history as well as documenting the life works of Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy in Bootlegger of the Soul, what are your hopes for preserving the history of the Adirondack 46ers? SL: A large piece of the 46ers’ archive is safely stored and catalogued in the New York State Library’s archives. That material includes hiker correspondence with Grace Hudowalski, hiker finishing questionnaires, Winter 46er records, the summit log books, and some historical records. However, it doesn’t include the club’s administrative records—minutes from the Executive Committee meetings, financial records, committee reports, correspondence, etc. That’s the material that really tells the club’s story. Boxes of the administrative documents used to be passed along from club president to club president. Now much of it is in a storage locker. The problem with all archives these days is that so much of an organization’s business is conducted via email and through texts and social media. It is possible to download information from all social media platforms, but how do we get everyone who is conducting 46er business to do that? How and where would you store all those digital files? What part of an organization’s history is important to preserve? Is it worth it to keep it all? I don’t have answers to those questions. SR: Well, it’s wonderful that we have so much archived at the New York State Library. I read an article in a 1997 issue of PEEKS by Fred Johnson #1788 titled “Quest for Ideas—Safeguarding the Past.” Apparently, Grace thought of the idea to contact the curators at the New York State Library who were very receptive of her idea to make [it] the repository for all the past records of the 46ers. Fred describes the initial box loads that were brought to the library: eighty-two boxes, of which 65 were correspondence with hikers. He writes, “As I write this article, Grace’s dining room table is overflowing with a mountain of paperwork from the latest group of climbers.” Grace asked Fred to write the article to inform hikers and researchers exactly how to go about accessing these documents. It’s pretty easy, all you have to do is go to the NYS library website at: www.nysl. nysed.gov and type Adirondack 46er or Grace Hudowalski in the search bar and all sorts of references come up. If you want to look at your own climbing file the recommended procedure is to call the library first, to make a review appointment. SL: The history chapters in all the past 46er books are valuable resources for those interested in the club’s history. Future projects for the club might be to digitize some of the administrative material and make it available for researchers. I’m not volunteering for that task. The club has been posting questions about the 46er history on its Facebook page, “Throwback Thursday.” That’s a great way to educate current hikers and keep 46er history alive. The “From the Vault” section that you have started in PEEKS where you reprint something from a past issue is also a great way to highlight 46er history and the people who have had major impacts on the direction the club has taken to embrace responsible and sustainable recreation in the High Peaks. SR: You wrote the chapter on the history of the Adirondack 46ers in its book Heaven Up-h’isted-ness! as well as the preface to the 2022 Centennial Edition of Robert Marshall’s The High Peaks of the Adirondacks. In Uph’isted-ness! “Part V: The 1990s—End of an Era,” you write in great detail of the internal and external turmoil the 46er organization faced that threatened to weaken the core of its foundation—the club’s response to the High Peaks Unit Management Plan (HPUMP) and the need for an internal succession plan, which eventually took the name of the “Grace Committee.” As a volunteer member of the Grace Committee, can you speak about that period and of the changes that took place to help advance the organization into the next generation of growth? SL: There were a number of issues that came to the forefront during the 1990s. The club’s membership was increasing at a rate where the resulting workload was becoming unmanageable for the club’s two stalwarts, Executive Secretary/ Treasurer Ditt Dittmar and Historian Grace Hudowalski. These two people had held their positions with the club since its founding in 1948—more than 50 years. How to help Grace and Ditt lessen their workload became a priority. The Executive Committee managed to convince Ditt that a computer would make things easier for him. He wasn’t wild about entering the computer age, but at the age of 76 10 | ADIRONDACK PEEKS Suzanne and George's winter finish on Macomb

WINTER 2023 | 11 he learned how to use a computer and it did help to streamline some of his responsibilities. Ditt had also prepared a manual that outlined his duties and responsibilities so that someone could take over when necessary. Grace on the other hand didn’t want anything to do with computers. She liked answering the close to 1,000 letters a year she received from climbers on her portable electric typewriter. And she refused to use form letters of any kind, preferring the personal touch. In addition, no one knew anything about Grace’s process. So, the Grace Committee was formed to try to document her responsibilities and organizational structure and then find ways to lighten her load. Initially there was a lot of handwringing about how to approach Grace on the need to develop a succession plan. But Grace was very pragmatic. She understood that she could no longer handle the workload by herself and that to maintain personal correspondence with hikers she would need help. The committee had several meetings with her to review her process and eventually created an operation manual for the Historian’s Office that subsequent volunteers could use as a guide. The club solicited volunteers to handle specific tasks, particularly making sure that the 46er tradition of corresponding with hikers continued. Also, during the 1990s, the club had to deal with recommendations from the DEC’s High Peaks Unit Management Plan on several issues. The first was a proposal to mark the herd paths on the trailless peaks to keep people on the main paths and stop the proliferation of false herd paths. The Unit Management Plan also called for the removal of the canisters and logbooks that the 46ers had placed on the trailless peaks back in the 1950s. There was also a suggestion from within the club to stop issuing numbers and patches for those who climbed the 46 peaks and focus instead on hiker education and trail work programs. It would take too long to explain the outcomes of all this turmoil, but if anyone is interested in how it all turned out read “Part IV: the 1990s” in the history chapter of Heaven Up-h’isted-ness!. SR: You can order a copy of the book on the Adirondack 46er website for only $38.50! We all should know the history and the book is such a great read! Grace believed hiking the 46 was life altering and therefore an introspective experience and encouraged new 46ers to write about their journeys. Did you correspond with Grace as a young hiker? SL: Yes, I did. As I’m sure is the case with most climbers who corresponded with Grace, I still have her letters. I remember the anticipation of receiving a reply from Grace after sending in a report on new climbs. Finding her response in the mailbox was a special event. SR: I would love to have members send in copies of their correspondence with Grace and talk about their interactions with her. That would make a fun story. How did Grace influence you as a 46er? SL: I think those of us who knew Grace feel a responsibility to keep her memory alive and continue to tell the story of the Adirondack 46ers. SR: Has your writing been inspired by Grace? SL: In some ways I think so. Grace loved folklore and telling stories about people. She was interested in hearing hikers’ stories: what happened, what they experienced, and how they felt about it. When I write history, I try to focus on people's stories to make the material come alive. It’s still necessary to include names, places, dates, and context, all the things that some people find boring about history. But if you can tie the history you are writing about to people and how it affected them, or how a particular person impacted the course of history, then you have a story. SR: Do you know how Grace and Ed came up with the name for their camp? SL: That’s easy. All you have to do is look at the shoreline of the property to know where the name came from. It is strewn with huge boulders, compliments of the glaciers I suppose. SR: And hence the “Boulder” report which Grace wrote up until the Spring of 1997. As an active volunteer of the 46ers, could you talk about your experiences as a Trail Maintenance member? SL: After David and I finished the 46, we wanted to “give something back.” That’s a bit of a trite phrase that gets used a lot to encourage people to get involved with the educational and conservation programs of the 46ers. But it’s appropriate. We enjoyed the

quest to become a 46er so much. It was such a rewarding experience that we felt it was now time to get our hands dirty, literally, to help maintain the trails that we walked on. My husband, George, joined in while he was still working on the 46. We were “regulars” on the trail work crews for several years, accumulating enough hours to receive the 546-hour patch. As special as finishing the 46 was, I think the time we spent doing trail maintenance was even better. The Behr family—Chris G. #1453V, and June #1455V, and their son Chris M. #1454V—were the trail masters at that time. They were so friendly and welcoming and just encouraged those who came out to do what they could. There was always something to do that matched a person’s skill level and abilities. We laughed and joked a lot, we always got dirty, and we had a great sense of accomplishment at the day’s end. And the next time we walked on the trail that we had worked on there was such a sense of pride to see the improvement. SR: You became a winter 46er in 2007. What inspired you to climb these giants in the winter? SL: I climbed a couple of the easier high peaks during the winter just to try to keep the hiking muscles in shape and I enjoyed it. I had no intention of becoming a Winter 46er. I couldn’t fathom climbing Redfield, or Allen, or Couchie, or the Sewards in the winter. But then some of our hiking friends were working on their Winter 46 so George and I joined them on a few hikes. Then before we knew it, we had done 30 peaks and we just kept going. We never would have finished if it hadn’t been for the support and encouragement of those we hiked with. Winter can be more of a challenge for a lot of reasons, but on a clear, crisp day, with snow-covered tree limbs glistening in the sun, it’s magical. And if the trail happens to be broken it can be easier than hiking in the summer. After the muddy, wet, bug-infested trails of the past summer season, I can’t wait for it to snow. SR: What inspired you to become a Northeast 111-er? SL: After George finished his 46 in 1989, we just wanted to continue hiking, so we decided to start working on the 111, now the 115. Plus, we found that it was a great way to explore places where we had never been before. SR: Did you have a strategy for 12 | ADIRONDACK PEEKS completing them all? SL: No real strategy. We did, however, make use of the huts and the shuttle system in the Whites as much as possible. It was a wonderful way to climb multiple mountains in one trip. SR: What was your biggest challenge? SL: The biggest challenge was just the drive over to New Hampshire and Maine from the Albany, NY, area. SR: Any advice for others who are thinking about doing them? SL: I would say, if you have the time, just do it. The scenery is beautiful, and there is much less mud on the trails— at least that was the case 30 years ago. SR: How did the other Northeast 115 mountains compare to the Adirondacks? SL: People who have done the 115 all say that the Adirondack trails are the wildest and hardest. The trails in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine tend to have more switchbacks and less mud. And the trailheads are closer to the peaks so the approaches to the summits are not as long as many are in the Adirondacks. There are some exceptions of course. SR: Of the Northeast 115, other than the high peaks, did you have a favorite climb and why? SL: I really enjoyed the Presidential and Franconia Ranges—mostly because they offer long ridge walks above tree line, which the Adirondacks don’t have. We have some open summits, but not much exposed ridge walking. The open ridges in the Whites are spectacular. Just make sure the weather forecast is for sunny skies and light winds. George and I were on the Franconia Ridge when the remains of Hurricane Bob blew through in 1991. Not an experience we would like to repeat. SR: A friend gave me the book Where You’ll Find Me by Ty Gagne, which is Suzanne and George on Kathadin, 1993

After David and I finished the 46, we wanted to “give something back.” That’s a bit of a trite phrase [ . . . ]. But it’s appropriate. [ . . . ] As special as finishing the 46 was, I think the time [George and I] spent doing trail maintenance was even better. WINTER 2023 | 13 the story of mountaineer Kate Matrosova’s death during a winter traverse of the Northern Presidential Range in 2015 when the weather conditions deteriorated quickly. The Whites are a beltway of some of the worst weather due to three major storm tracks that converge there. The book was a great read and has stayed with me for years. Throughout your life you have committed yourself to the 46ers and have helped to share the history of the organization. What writing projects are you working on or hope to begin in the future? SL: I plan to continue writing nonfiction, history-related pieces that tell a story, hopefully, for the “Trail Tidbits” page of the 46er website. Also, during COVID, when we were all looking for things to do, I pulled out the old family photos as well as my grandmother’s diaries from the 1930s up to the 1960s. She wrote two or three sentences a day about what she did, or something about what was going on in Troy, NY, where she lived, and I transcribed these little handwritten books. Now, I’m thinking about what I want to do with it. It’s historical and provides a glimpse into the life of a working-class family during the Depression. I also have all the letters my father wrote to my mother when he was overseas during World War II. I’ve had them for some time but never had the courage to read them, until recently. It’s fascinating, you can see where the stories overlap; my grandmother’s talking about my father going overseas and he's providing details on things that are happening there. Really cool. SR: How meaningful to have that kind of written history about your family. My mother journals and has documented almost every day of her life, which of course includes mine. It’s a blessing to have these journals and letters within your family. I believe you hiked Big Slide this weekend. How often do you hike the high peaks these days and how do the trails compare to your first round of the 46? SL: Now that George and I are retired, we have the time to hike more on a regular basis. Plus, we have the flexibility to hike when the weather is nice instead of taking whatever the weekend weather is. We hiked more than we ever had during the COVID years, as I’m sure many people did. We were out two, sometimes three times a week, and we were doing hikes that we swore we would never do again. Regarding the condition of the trails, I’d say it’s mixed. The trailless peak paths have deteriorated considerably as so many more people are hiking them. The herd paths in the 1970s were not as well defined as they are now. David and I often lost the path and just continued by the “rule of up.” Now the herd paths are much easier to follow and most have an adopter who does minimal trail clearing to keep people on the main path. All the work that’s been done on the marked trails by the Adirondack Mountain Club’s paid crew and the 46er volunteer trail crew has improved some trails considerably over the years. As an example, I think the trails from the Adirondack Loj to Marcy and Algonquin are better than they used to be. Sections of the Calamity Brook trail and the Bradley Pond trail that the 46ers have worked on recently are much better. Of course, there are still trails that need a lot of attention. But mud is not new to the Adirondacks. Even my father mentioned the mud on that first trip to Marcy in 1932. SR: As you noted the 46er Trail Crew members are volunteers as are all the roles within this organization. It’s amazing to me the level of contributions the 46er organization makes Suzanne on Mt. Washington, 1990

14 | ADIRONDACK PEEKS in the way of economic, physical labor, and historical. You’ve volunteered with the 46ers since you became one. What keeps you fueled, inspired, and committed to the 46ers? SL: Hiking is a huge part of my life and I love the Adirondacks. The mountains are like an addiction; I get really cranky if I’m away from them too long. I’m endlessly captivated by Adirondack history and enjoy learning more about the mountains, the early hikers, and the evolution of the Adirondack 46ers. I’m also inspired by all the people who have done so much for the club and for the Adirondack wilderness. Although the club has gone through some growing pains, the dedicated service of countless volunteers has made it possible for hikers to continue to enjoy the rewarding and often lifechanging experience of becoming a 46er. I’d like to give a shout out to all the volunteers who, over the years, have worked tirelessly in service to the club. But if I start mentioning names, I’m bound to leave someone out. The vision and dedication of so many people have reshaped the club’s core mission from simply registering those who climb the 46 to the higher calling of improving the environmental health of the high peaks region. I find myself coming back to that phrase “giving something back.” Every 46er has gained something from the experience—a sense of accomplishment, lasting friendships, the joy that comes from spending time surrounded by nature. The list is endless and specific to each climber. We all owe the mountains a big thank you. What better way to express our appreciation than by volunteering some time with the 46ers service programs to help ensure that the wilderness experience of climbing the 46 remains available for future generations to enjoy. * * * A bell rings from the kitchen. It’s lunchtime, and George literally calls us to lunch with a dinner bell! “Come and get it!” You don’t have to call Kim and me twice—we are up and moving Suzanne, Sally, and Barb on Street Family on Poke-O-Moonshine hike, 1962 Sue signing Nye log book

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy OTk3MQ==