Scott loaned me The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, saying “It’ll change your life.” I’m pretty sure he said that because the subtitle is “A Book That Changes Lives.” Whatever. I’m about fifty pages in right now. I’ll let you know what I think when I’m done. Millman definitely writes like an athlete.
I mailed off my tally sheet for the Catskill 3500 Club this afternoon, along with my “Aspiring 46er” form. It looks like the Adirondack 46ers will be the next step. I picked up the Adirondack Mountain Club’s map of the trails of the Adirondack High Peaks Region yesterday. Haven’t really been able to look at it, except to note that the format differs from the NY/NJ Trail Conference maps considerably. Magnetic North is denoted in the legend (a difference of 13 degrees to the east), but the map doesn’t contain any other indications (there are lines on the NY/NJ TC maps). This means additional compass calculations. The scale is different as well – the Adk MC’s map is more zoomed-in – no easy 1″=1 mile this time.
The Adirondacks are between 2.5 and 4 hours from me. Four hours up and four hours back is a long time in the car to climb a mountain. This will require more planning than the Catskills. I’m giving some serious thought to buying a tent and getting comfortable camping. I figure I can drive up Friday night, sleep out, hike into the woods on Saturday morning to a “base camp” kind of setup (where I can leave the heavy gear and whatnot), climb a mountain or two during the day on Saturday, sleep out again, and climb another mountain before driving home on Sunday. That’ll be 2-4 mountains per weekend.
I haven’t been camping all that much – at least, not since I was pretty young. The last camp-out Scott and I did, we basically just unrolled our sleeping bags in the middle of the woods, with a small tarp over our boots, packs, and heads. It rained and hailed on us that night. Not a whole lot of fun.
I don’t think the camping itself will be too much of a problem; but it’ll take some getting used to. Right now, I’m used to a hot shower and a cozy bed pretty much immediately after hiking. I don’t know how much fun breaking myself of that habit is going to be.
Survey says: more research!
I need more information on the 46 high peaks in the ‘dacks – so that I can set up a plan as to which ones I’m going to tackle first. I believe that 27 of them are trailless peaks – which means bushwacking (yay). I don’t think any of them are required to be hiked in the winter (as with the Catskill 3500 Club) – which is good, because I have no desire to camp out in the winter.
Speaking of winter, I think I’m going to spend this winter’s hikes on the Catskills again – there’s a separate subgroup of the 3500 Club for people who have climbed all the peaks in the winter (December 22 – March 22).
Back to the bushwacks in the ‘dacks: I think I read somewhere that there aren’t canisters at the summits anymore (ugh). Definitely more research is needed. I also need to see if there’s a website similar to CatskillHiker.com for the Adirondacks. I should probably invest in a SPOT Satellite Messenger (GPS tracking device) like the one Scott bought – especially if I’m going to be doing these hikes alone. Maybe I should look at GPS units as well. Call me hardcore, but I kind of consider GPS devices cheating. I’m a map-and-compass kind of guy.
That said, I also have no sense of direction (though it appears that I’m ok at woods navigation), and oft-worried family members. As much as I often think they’re a bunch of wusses with too little faith in me, there’s really no reason why I shouldn’t add another safety precaution to my repetoire if it will make them more comfortable. How can I put a price on my family’s peace-of-mind?
So yeah, that’s it. Goals on which to begin working. I’m taking my buddy Jack hiking this weekend. He says he’s up for something relatively strenuous, so we’ll probably do a mountain or two in the Catskills or Shawangunks. I don’t have to start worrying about the 46ers until next week.