Posted on August 15th, 2012 Add a comment >>
I’m looking forward to gathering with fellow writers for a book signing at the Mountaineer in Keene Valley on Thursday, though I may feel a little out of place among the likes of Russell Banks, Chase Twitchell, Bill McKibben, and Jerry Jenkins.
The Mountaineer recently expanded its book department and hopes that Thursday’s book signing will become an annual event.
Check out this story in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise for more details and a complete list of the authors who will be there.
I will be signing copies of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks: Writings of Pioneering Peak-Bagger, Pond-Hopper and Wilderness Preservationist. I collected and published Marshall’s writings in 2006. Marshall, his brother George, and their guide, Herb Clark, were the first to climb all forty-six of the High Peaks.
Unfortunately, my new book, Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, will come out a few weeks too late for the signing, but I hope to have a flier available, and of course I will be able to answer questions about the book. You can order the book from the Adirondack Mountain Club by clicking here.
If you do stop at the Mountaineer, check out the Mountaineer’s own publication, Adirondack High Peaks Summit Journal. Drew Haas, one of the shop’s employees, put it together this year. It’s a spiral-bound journal for those climbing the forty-six High Peaks. It fits in your pocket and sells for just $9.95.
There are two lined pages for each peak, with space allotted for the date of ascent, the hiker’s companions, weather, and other basic information. There also is a check list of the peaks, ranked by elevation, and list of emergency numbers.
It’s a pretty nifty little book. I bet Bob Marshall would have liked one.
Posted on January 5th, 2010 Add a comment >>
Bob Marshall was one of the original Adirondack Forty-Sixers, but he thought he was born too late. He would have preferred to have lived in the nineteenth century, before the Adirondacks were overrun by civilization.
Well, Bob is now part of the twenty-first century.
John Warren, the guy behind the Adirondack Almanack, reports in his blog that a number of old Adirondack books have been digitized and put online. Among them is Marshall’s 1922 booklet The High Peaks of the Adirondacks. It can be read online or downloaded for free.
Marshall wrote the booklet after he and his younger brother, George, and their guide, Herb Clark, climbed all the peaks in the Adirondacks that surpass four thousand feet–or so they thought. At the time, they believed there were forty-two such peaks, but they later discovered they had missed four and climbed them as well. Subsequent surveys revealed that four of these forty-six peaks are less than four thousand feet, but peak-baggers still adhere to the traditional list established by the Marshalls and Clark.
Marshall’s booklet was the first publication of the fledgling Adirondack Mountain Club and, in effect, its first guidebook. In it, he briefly describes how they climbed each mountain, and he rates the view from each. His favorite view was from Mount Haystack: “It’s a great thing these days to leave civilization for a while and return to nature. From Haystack you can look over thousands and thousands of acres, unblemished by the works of man, perfect as made by nature.”
The Marshalls and Clark were hiking at a time when the scars from logging and forest fires were a common sight in the High Peaks, and these influenced his ratings. He complained about the slash and burned territory on Rocky Peak Ridge and proclaimed the view “hardly worth the trouble to obtain.” Today, the hike to this summit from New Russia is thought by some to be one of the best in the Adirondack Park.
Physical copies of The High Peaks of the Adirondacks are rare today, but it was reprinted in Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks: Writings of a Pioneering Peak-Bagger, Pond-Hopper and Wilderness Preservationist, which I edited and published in 2006.
Marshall was a student at the New York State College of Forestry when he wrote his booklet. He went on to work for the U.S. Forest Service, explore arctic Alaska, and help found the Wilderness Society. He died in 1939 at age thirty-eight. The following year, the federal government established the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana in his honor. One of the Adirondack High Peaks, Mount Marshall, is also named after him.
Posted on November 25th, 2009 1 comment - Add a comment >>
You might think climbing the forty-six High Peaks is no big deal. After all, more than 6,200 hikers have done it.
But I’ve got news for you: those peaks are as big as they were when Bob and George Marshall and their guide, Herb Clark, climbed them. The Marshall brothers and Clark completed the first round of the forty-six in 1925, inaugurating an Adirondack tradition.
What’s more, no matter how many people preceded you, when you climb the High Peaks for the first time, you see the mountains fresh, just as the Marshalls and Clark did.
I was reminded of this when Seth Lang, a Crown Point photographer, sent me images of his recent hike up Mount Haystack with his brother, Kyle, and Thomas Tubbs. Seth, who is twenty-seven, and Kyle, who is thirty, were finishing their forty-six. They had climbed their first High Peak, Cascade Mountain, in 1994 but didn’t start seriously pursuing all the peaks until 2004.
“My personal feeling was one of pride and accomplishment,” Seth e-mailed me after his round. “Not only do I feel a deeper connection with nature, but also with my family back home. I feel that I am far better at solving problems now. I would argue that climbing the forty-six has as much to do with mental fortitude as anything else—maybe more.”
Why did he finish on Haystack?
“I was told by a very wise man that it had the best view,” Seth said.
He didn’t reveal the identity of the wise man, but it’s interesting to note that Bob Marshall also prized Haystack’s view as the best in the High Peaks.
“It’s a great thing these days to leave civilization for a while and return to nature,” Marshall once wrote with this view in mind. “From Haystack you can look over thousands and thousands of acres, unblemished by the works of man, perfect as made by nature.”
That holds true today just as it did in 1925.
Incidentally, you can see more of Seth Lang’s excellent photography on his website.