Local men become ‘Forty-Sixers’

Ray-and-Ed Dan-KruegerSome local mountain climbers have earned their membership in the Adirondack Forty-Sixers.

Dan Krueger #7633, Edward Vladyka #7766 and Ray Cooper #7767 have completed hiking all of the 46 high peaks and were awarded their climbing numbers and certificates of accomplishment at the 2013 ADK 46-R gathering in Lake Placid in May.

The Adirondack Forty-Sixers were created in 1948 as a small group of hikers whose common bond was having climbed the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks, most of which are at an elevation of 4,000 feet or higher.

Twenty of the 46 mountains in the high peaks do not have marked and maintained trails, but all have summit signs. Hikers must make a climbing report detailing their hike with what they have seen, their time, weather observations and what they liked about the hike. These reports are then sent to an assigned correspondent, who logs in their complete summits and answers questions.

“Surprised and challenged by weather, steep trails and trying circumstances, we learned that hiking is hard and that killer backpack you’re carrying with stuff you don’t need gets lighter on each progressive hike,” the local climbers said.

“There is a lot more to hiking than just the hike: learning more about yourself and knowing that you can place yourself outside your comfort zone and succeed increases your confidence to challenge your ability even further. When you make it to the summit you think, ‘I did it,’” the men said, explaining that during the hike back down they think about the hamburger and cold drink they have coming as a reward, while wanting to climb another High Peak.

All three climbers started their journey in 2009 and finished in the last months of 2012.

Krueger finished his 46th peak on Whiteface Mountain at 4,867 feet, and Vladyka and Cooper finished on Basin Mountain at 4,827. They averaged 325 miles to complete, depending on number of attempts and trails taken.

“The Adirondack High Peaks are beautiful and unique. The vegetations are as fragile as the rock is durable. We Forty-Sixers take pride as conservationists and promote safe hiking to help those wanting to experience the high peaks,” the men said.

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