This upcoming July (like most Julys), I am heading to the Adirondacks in Lake Placid, Upstate NY. I am competing in the Whiteface Sky Race, a US Sky Runner Series footrace containing 7,500 feet of vertical gain along its 15.5-mile technical mountain route.


My custom-enhanced, luxurious red Ford Ranger will be my fortress for the first two weeks of stay. I will be alone, truck camping, running a ton of mountain peak trails, making coffee, and drinking beer. Fun stuff.


Along with my normal routine, I will be a passenger on an Adirondack touring train that routes through the mountains, learning more about the geography of this ancient, intriguing, inspiring area.

Coupled with the train ride, I’ll be using some notes and my experience to write a piece for the LOCALadk Magazine, specifically detailing the Whiteface Sky Race. Lake Placid is well known for its past and current Olympic history and its annual Ironman Triathlon. However, the Sky Race also attracts elite athletes and happens to be apart of a major trail running series, taking place on a major mountain. Along with Trail Runner Magazine and the RDs, I would love to provide more coverage for the entire race weekend, with viewpoints from a competitor, rather than an outsider.

Here on my site, I will also be posting about: trail running / trail guide/safety, the local business scene, brewery reviews, coffeehouse reviews, and a humorous perspective from an Indiana boy far away from home.


For the final week of stay, my hometown friends and “family” are arriving in NY, as usual. We will all stay in a sweet cabin, bordering the southwest shore of Lake Placid.

In the ‘dacks, the opportunities are endless.


For fun (and for record-keeping sake), below is a list of the 46 High Peaks in the 6-million-acred Adirondack Park region, noting the primary trail route that I will use to run / power-hike to the summit (and reverse course). Some routes may be shorter but I plan to take the road more traveled. All the Peaks are listed in elevational (not sure that’s a word?) order. Enjoy a sneak peek photo below each description:


  1. Mount Marcy (5,344′), named after 19th century Gov. of NY, William L. Marcy, who authorized the first environmental survey in the area…15 miles RT via Loj…3,166′ ascentmarcy
  2. Algonquin Peak (5,114′), named after the informal boundary (on the Algonquin’s side) between the Algonquin and Iroquois tribes…8.6 miles RT via Loj…2,986′ ascentalgonq
  3. Mount Haystack (4,960′), named after its conical peak that resembles a haystack…17.6 miles RT via Garden…3,570′ ascenthay
  4. Mount Skylight (4,920′), named after its bare, open, relatively flat summit…17 miles RT via Loj…sky
  5. Whiteface Mountain (4,867′), named after its eastern face which contains Olympic ski slopes for winter sports…7.8 miles RT via AS Research Center Rd…2,535′ ascentwhite
  6. Dix Mountain (4,857′), named after the 1837 Sec. of State, John Dix…13.6 miles RT via Round Pond…2,800′ ascentdix_mountain
  7. Gray Peak (4,840′), named after Asa Gray, arguably the most important American botanist of the 19th century…17 miles RT via Loj…gray
  8. Iroquois Peak (4,840′), named after the informal boundary (on the Iroquois’ side) between the Algonquin and Iroquois tribes…10 miles RT via Loj…2,936′ ascentiroq
  9. Basin Mountain (4,827′), named after several basins formed between knobs on its slopes…14 miles RT via Garden…basin-1
  10. Gothics (4,736′), named after its large rock slides’ resemblance to Gothics architecture…12.4 miles RT via St. Huberts…3,050′ ascentgoth
  11. Mount Colden (4,714′), named after David S. Colden, an investor in the McIntyre Iron Works…12 miles RT via Loj…2,850′ ascentcolden
  12. Giant Mountain (4,627′), named after its imposing, prominent rock slides on its steep western face…6 miles RT via Chapel Pond…3,050′ ascentgiant
  13. Nippletop (4,620′), named after its summit’s resemblance to the actual human body part…13.4 miles RT via St. Huberts…nip
  14. Santanoni Peak (4,607′), named after an Abenaki derivative of “Saint Anthony,” the first French fur trader and missionary in the area…9.6 miles RT via Tahawus Rd…san
  15. Mount Redfield (4,606′), named after William C. Redfield, organizer and member of the first expedition up Mount Marcy…18 miles RT via Loj…3,225′ ascentred
  16. Wright Peak (4,580′), named after Gov. of NY, Silas Wright…6.3 miles RT via Loj…2,420′ ascentwright
  17. Saddleback Mountain (4,515′), named after its long summit ridge that has peaks at each end with a pronounced dip between, giving it a “saddle” profile…14.2 miles RT via Garden…sad
  18. Panther Peak (4,442′), named after panthers that inhabited the land in the 1800s…12.5 miles RT via Tahawus Rd…3,762′ ascentpanther
  19. Table Top Mountain (4,427′), named after its three summits, forming a table shape…9 miles RT via Loj…2,270′ ascenttable-top-mountain-new-york-0-jpg-910x580_q95_crop-top
  20. Rocky Peak Ridge (4,420′), named after its geology, a rocky ridge on its eastern side…8.2 miles RT via Chapel Pond…rocky-peak-ridge_3
  21. Macomb Mountain (4,405′), named after Maj. Gen. Alexander Macomb, who won the Battle of Plattsburgh during the War of 1812…8 miles RT via Elk Lake Rd…2,344′ ascentmacomb
  22. Armstrong Mountain (4,400′), named after Thomas Armstrong, a local pioneer/lumberman…11.6 miles RT via St. Huberts…armstrong-mountain-1-jpg-910x580_q95_crop-top
  23. Hough Peak (4,400′), named after Franklin B. Hough, the “father of American forestry…”12.5 miles RT via Elk Lake Rd…3,200′ ascenthoughpeakss
  24. Seward Mountain (4,361′), named after Gov. of NY and Sec. of State, William H. Seward…13 miles RT via Corey’s Rd…2,600′ ascentsew
  25. Mount Marshall (4,360′), named after wilderness activist, Bob Marshall…18 miles RT via Loj…2,575′ ascentmarsh
  26. Allen Mountain (4,340′), named after Frederick B. Allen…18 miles RT via Tahawus Rd…2,540′ ascentallen_mountain_from_redfield_2_23_percent
  27. Big Slide Mountain (4,240′), named after the prominent steep cliff that rises to its summit…8 miles RT via Garden…2,800′ ascentbig-slide-mountain-new-york-2011-10-11-0-jpg-910x680_q95_upscale-false
  28. Esther Mountain (4,240′), named after Esther McComb, who, when she was 15, made the first recorded climb to the summit in 1839…7.8 miles RT via AS Research Center Rd…3,020′ ascentesther
  29. Upper Wolfjaw Mountain (4,185′), named by a landscape artist for its appearance in profile…12 miles RT…upper_wolfjaw_mountain
  30. Lower Wolfjaw Mountain (4,175′), named by a landscape artist for its appearance in profile…9.6 miles RT via St. Huberts…lower-wolfjaw-mountain_9
  31. Street Mountain (4,166′), named after Alfred Billings Street, a poet and NY State Librarian…7.3 miles RT via Loj…1,973′ ascentstreet-mountain-2016-06-16-2-jpg-910x680_q95_upscale-false
  32. Phelps Mountain (4,161′), named after Orson Schofield “Old Mountain” Phelps, who cut the first trail up Mount Marcy…8.2 miles RT via Loj…2,010′ ascentphelps-mountain-new-york-2011-08-27-0-jpg-910x580_q95_crop-top
  33. Donaldson Mountain (4,140′), named after Alfred Lee Donaldson, author of A History of the Adirondacks…12 miles via Corey’s Rd…2,360′ ascentdonny
  34. Seymour Mountain (4,120′), named after Gov. of NY, Horatio Seymour…8 miles RT via Corey’s Rd…sey
  35. Sawteeth (4,100′), named after the serrated appearance of its summit ridge…13.8 miles RT via St. Huberts…2,975′ ascentsawteeth_13
  36. Cascade Mountain (4,098′), named after a series of waterfalls on a brook near the mountain’s base…4.8 miles RT via Rte. 73…1,940′ ascentcascade-mountain
  37. South Dix (4,060′), named after Sec. of State, John A. Dix…17 miles RT via Elk Lake Rd…3,050′ ascentsouth-dix-carson-peak_3
  38. Porter Mountain (4,059′), named after Noah Porter, one of the first to climb it and former president of Yale University…5.6 miles RT via Rte. 73…2,700′ ascentporter
  39. Mount Colvin (4,057′), named after Verplanck Colvin, an Adirondack explorer and the director of the survey which mapped the entire region…12.5 miles RT via St. Huberts…Colvin, Blake and Sawteeth
  40. Mount Emmons (4,040′), named after Ebenezer Emmons, a geologist who named the Adirondack Mountains and led the first recorded ascent of Mount Marcy in 1837…via Corey’s  Rd…emm
  41. Dial Mountain (4,020′), named after the constant changing of its names over the years…10.1 miles RT via St. Huberts…dial
  42. Grace Peak (4,012′), named after Grace Hudowalski, who, in 1937, became the first woman to climb all 46 of the High Peaks…10 miles RT via Boquet River…grace
  43. Blake Peak (3,960′), named after Mills Blake, Verplanck Colvin’s chief assistant during the Adirondack Survey…15.5 miles RT via St. Huberts…blake-peak-0-jpg-910x580_q95_crop-top
  44. Cliff Mountain (3,960′), named after its cliffs that drain into the Opalescent River, which is a tributary of the Hudson River…16 miles RT via Loj…2,160′ ascentcliff-mountain-new-york-0-jpg-910x580_q95_crop-top
  45. Nye Mountain (3,895′), named after William B. Nye, an Adirondack mountain guide…via Loj…nye
  46. Couchsachraga Peak (3,820′), named after an Algonquin or Huron name for the area, meaning “dismal wilderness…”via Tahawus Rd…couch


*Note: Photos are not my own.



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