Below is a brief timeline of some of the noteworthy moments and events in the history of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers.
August 1, 1918 — Robert and George Marshall and Herbert Clark climb Whiteface Mt., their first Adirondack High Peak. 1922 — Robert Marshall publishes “The Adirondack High Peaks,” a small booklet printed by the Adirondack Mountain Club that recounts the trio’s climbs of 42 of the 46 High Peaks.
June 10, 1925 — Robert and George Marshall and Herbert Clark finish the 46 with a climb of Mt. Emmons.
July 1932 — Edward Hudowalski leads his Sunday school class on their first hike – a backpacking trip to climb Marcy, Basin, and Saddleback.
September 13, 1936 — Edward Hudowalski and the Rev Ernest Ryder complete the 46 on Dix Mt.
August 26, 1937 — Grace Hudowalski becomes the first woman to complete the 46 with a climb of Esther Mt.February 1937 — The hiking club called the Forty-Sixers of Troy is formed, comprised mainly of Edward Hudowalski’s Sunday school class, and Ed designs the 46er patch.
July 29 & 30, 1939 — The Forty-Sixers of Troy host the Esther Centennial, a two-day celebration commemorating the first recorded ascent of Mt. Esther and place a plaque on Esther’s summit rock.
October 1940/May 1941 — The Forty-Sixers of Troy submit petitions to the State Board of Geographic Names for the official and permanent naming of Blake’s Peak, Couchsachraga, Mount Marshall, Mount Phelps, Mount Emmons, Gray Peak, Mount Wright, Mount Algonquin, and Mount Boundary.
May 30, 1948 — The inaugural meeting of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers is held at Adirondak Loj.
August 20, 1949 — The Adirondack Forty-Sixers host a Haystack Centennial hike to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the first documented ascent of the peak by Adirondack guide Orson S. “Old Mountain” Phelps, along with two companions Almeron Oliver and George Estey.
September 3, 1950 — The first official canister and register log is placed on the summit of Mount Emmons. Over the next several years the 46ers place canister and register logs on all of the summits of the trailless peaks.
1951 — The first 46er emblem items are offered for sale to club members – lapel pins, tie clasps, and cuff links.
1958 — The club publishes its first book, the 147-page The Adirondack Forty-Sixers. Fall/Winter 1963-64 — The club begins publication of its newsletter, “Adirondack PEEKS” which is mailed to members.
1970 — The club published its second book, The Adirondack High Peaks and the Forty-Sixers. May 19, 1971 — Grace Hudowalski and current 46er president Glenn Fish meet with representatives of the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to discuss the club’s proposals for conservation and education projects.
May 20 & 21, 1972 — Forty-Sixer volunteers participate in summit seeding projects on the summits of Algonquin, Wright and Colden, organized by Dr. Edwin Ketchledge (#507) , a botanist who studied trail erosion and the degradation of the alpine summits due to recreational use and developed methods to correct the ecological damage.
May 14, 1972 — The first 46er Wilderness Leadership Workshop is held a t Marcy Dam to provide youth group leaders with information on planning successful and environmentally responsible hiking and camping trips. Now called the Outdoor Skills Workshop and open to all hiking and camping enthusiasts, this annual event continues to be one of the club’s major educational programs.
Summer 1973 — Plastic litter bags designed and purchases by the 46ers are distributed at select trailheads for the first time to help alleviate litter issues in the High Peaks.
May 25, 1974 — Forty-Sixer volunteers participate in the DEC-sponsored “Clean-up Day” in the High Peaks to pack out litter found on the trails and around camp sites.
Summer 1977 — The first all-46er volunteer trail maintenance crew spends four days working on drainage to eliminate swampy sections of the Lake Arnold Crossover trail.
September 1978 — The club’s volunteer trail maintenance program is formalized and Jim Goodwin is appointed Trailmaster of the 46ers to coordinate the club’s trail improvement projects.
1985 — The club sponsors programs in conjunction with the state’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Forest Preserve.
1990 — The club extends recognition for those hikers who climb all of the 46 High Peaks in winter with a “W” after their climbing number and a specially designed winter rocker patch.
June 1991 — The club publishes its third book, Of the Summits, Of the Forests.
September 4, 1994 — The club celebrates its 46th anniversary at the fall meeting with the theme, “Adirondack 46ers: Hiking Partners, Mountain Stewards.”
1995 — Grace Hudowalski establishes the Adirondack 46R Conservation Trust to provide funding support for educational and conservation projects aimed at preserving the “forever wild” character of the Adirondack Park.
May 25, 1996 — At the spring meeting the Club hosted a surprise birthday party for Grace Hudowalski, who turned 90 on February 25.
1996 — The 46er trail maintenance program joins with the ADK and DEC in establishing the Trailless Peaks Committee to develop plans for sound and environmentally suitable paths on the trailless peaks and to provide minimal maintenance to prevent further environmental damage.
1996 — Grace Hudowalski retires as club historian, a position she has held since the club’s creation in 1949. A team of volunteers take over her duties, including hiker correspondence.
June 2001 — Club members replace the summit canisters on most of the trailless peaks with wooden signs approved by the DEC in order to comply with the state’s High Peaks Unit Management Plan, which identified the canisters as “non-conforming” structures and called for their removal.
2001 — Ditt Dittmar retires after 53 years of faithful service as the club’s Executive Secretary/Treasurer.
Fall 2001 — The Executive Committee votes to increase member dues from $5 to $8 per person. The Executive Committee also forms a committee to investigate the feasibility of renaming South Dix “Carson Peak” in honor of Russell Carson, author of the book Peaks and People of the Adirondacks, and East Dix, “Grace Peak” to honor Grace Hudowalski, #9.
Fall 2002 — The DEC formalizes its trailwork arrangement with the 46ers with a contractual agreement, Adopt a Natural Resource, officially assigning stewardship duties for a five-year period for the club’s regular maintenance of trails in the Dix Mountain, Giant Mountain, High Peaks Wilderness area, and the Wilmington Wild Forest.
2006 — The club establishes the Founders Award to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions in service to the 46ers.
2011 — The club publishes its fourth and most ambitious book, Heaven Up-h’isted-ness! The History of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers and the High Peaks of the Adirondacks.
October 2011 — The club donates $15,000 for the disaster relief effort in the towns of Keene and Jay due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Irene.
2012 — The club enters into a financial support agreement with Lean-to Rescue, a group of volunteers that works with the DEC to rehabilitate and replace lean-to’s within the Adirondack Park.
2012 — The club changes the name of the Outdoor Leadership Workshop to the Outdoor Skills Workshop to more accurately describe the focus of the annual educational workshop.
May 2013 — Summit Pictures, LLC and director Fred Schoewbel release The Mountains Will Wait for You, a documentary on Grace Hudowalski and the 46ers.
Spring 2013 — Due to the tremendous increase in the number of hikers climbing the 46 resulting in an overwhelming amount of work for the Office of the Historian, the club suspends the long-time requirement that hikers correspond with an assigned club member to report their climbs. Members of the Executive Committee start to explore the possibility of developing a web-based reporting system.
May 2013 — The club places a permanent memorial marker at the grave of Herb Clark that identifies him as 46er #1, and holds a special ceremony to honor him.
June 2014 — After a 12-year campaign by the 46ers, led by Douglas Arnold #4693W, the United States Board of Geographic Names approves the club’s petition for the naming of Grace Peak in honor of Grace Hudowalski.
June 20, 2015 — The 46ers and the Town of North Hudson host a day-long celebration of the naming of Grace Peak.
Summer 2015 — The 46ers go live with a new electronic version of the 46er Correspondence Program, which allows hikers to log their hikes, post pictures, and use the messaging system to communicate with an assigned and personal 46er correspondent.
August 2015 — “The 46ers,” a documentary feature by filmmaker Blake Cortright about the men and women who hike the 46 High Peaks, is released. The filmmaker set out to answer the question, “what transforms ordinary men and women into the legendary mountaineers known as the 46ers?”
Summer 2017 — The 46ers collaborate with the ADK and DEC to establish the 46er Trailhead Steward Program. On weekends throughout the summer 46er volunteers greeted hikers at the Cascade trailhead and shared information on DEC rules and regulations, “leave no trace” principles, and provided safety and preparedness suggestions.