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The ADK 46 Bragging thread
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It's all relative Mr. Soul
“Did I miss something here? Since when is Trenton, NJ close to the Adirondacks???
- Trenton is closer than Ohio!
CONGRATS on bagging your first ADK summits, Mr. Soul, and a nice pair of summits at that!
Of course you just had to bag Redfield because that's one of the peaks I have remaining, you nudge!”
“Catskhiker, you don't have to tell me twice. I live less than 5 miles south of the blue line. The impact thing I was referring to the high peaks. The central and southern regions are where I do most of my bushwhacks, though very few up mountains. I tend to stay to the streams and ponds there in search of brook trout.”
“Tomorrow I go "hiking" with my grandson at the bronx zoo. I've never been there before & I'm sure he will wear me out.”
“46er at 82
46er in peak condition at 82
PAUL POST , The Saratogian 08/30/2004
MOREAU -- Al Laubinger owes the Adirondack Mountains for getting him in the most peak physical condition of his life -- at 82 years and counting.
Laubinger recently became the oldest person to join the Adirondack 46ers, a select group of people who have climbed all of the park's 46 mountains with an elevation of 4,000 feet or higher.
'My only claim to fame is my age,' he said. 'I started when I was 76. I always did a lot of fishing and hunting, but I never went on a hike, period. Now I couldn't bear to be taken away from the mountains.'
Laubinger's odyssey started with a New Year's resolution to get in better shape. He bought exercise equipment and worked out several times a week in his basement. He'd always been athletic, even competing in international badminton at a younger age, so there was some foundation for his renewed interest in conditioning.
Then a friend from Seattle, a serious mountaineer who's twice climbed Denali (Mount McKinley), told him about the 46ers. The idea fascinated Laubinger, but his daughter and son in-law, Jennifer and Mike Stelzer, had doubts about their father climbing mountains at an age when many people are resigned to rocking chairs.
Knowing his determination, they agreed to accompany him up Cascade Mountain, one of the easier Adirondack trails. Without saying so, they hoped the experience would discourage Laubinger once and for all.
'They damn near killed me,' he said with a chuckle. 'I wasn't in the shape I am today.'
Rather than deter him, the outing gave him new enthusiasm to tackle the pursuit head-on.
'Nothing gets you in shape for climbing like climbing,' Laubinger said. 'They say exercise promotes strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. With climbing, you get every single one of these.'
On Saturday, Aug. 7, Laubinger reached his goal by scaling Esther and nearby Whiteface Mountain. Friends and family members were there to congratulate him, having driven up Veterans Memorial Highway, which goes to the summit.
'So I didn't have to carry the champagne,' he joked.
Laubinger estimates that he hiked more than 500 miles en route to becoming a 46er. In addition, he climbed many smaller mountains for conditioning and recreation, bringing his grand total to more than 1,000 miles.
Though he's originally from Ogdensburg, along the St. Lawrence River and near the foothills of the Adirondacks, he never even thought about hiking. Now, he wonders what took him so long.
'I was always working,' Laubinger said. During his career, he was chief executive officer of Playskool, a division of Milton-Bradley. After retiring, he became a business consultant, which led him to Moreau, where he handled special projects for a Glens Falls firm.
'I thought it was for a short period of time,' he said. 'It turned out to be six years. Then I retired again.'
With time on his hands, Laubinger was able to pursue hiking and climbing full time. In 2002 alone he reached 52 peaks, including most of those surrounding Lake George, such as Prospect, Black and Pilot Knob, that aren't on the 46er list.
'I worked out all winter and came out rarin' to go,' he said.
Knee surgery sidelined him last June, but after recuperating, Laubinger began hitting the trail again.
'It's quite a feat, quite a goal,' said his wife, Diane. 'I couldn't do it.'
Laubinger does most hikes with a trusty and dedicated trio of friends: Jim McCauley of Hadley and Frank Pusateri and Tim Kupetz of Saratoga Springs. McCauley needs six more mountains to become a 46er, and Laubinger plans to help him accomplish the feat. Kupetz will need plenty of encouragement because his list includes 4,340-foot Allen Mountain, one of the Adirondacks' toughest hikes.
'It's 16 or 17 miles,' Laubinger said. 'It's a long, long way in. That's the trouble with some of these mountains. You have to hike so far just to reach them.'
'On Allen, the last 1,950 feet of vertical ascent is 1.4 miles. It's straight up. It's a brutal climb for one day.'
Laubinger reached almost every summit in a single day, leaving home at 4:30 a.m., then driving two hours to his destination before starting to climb. On one occasion, the group he was with ventured out to do Mount Marshall two days after Hurricane Floyd had swept through the Adirondacks.
There was deadfall everywhere, forcing hikers to walk around huge trees at every bend in the trail, consuming quite a bit of extra time. By 8 p.m., they'd run out of daylight and resorted to headlamps, fortunately stumbling upon a lean-to where they spent a chilly night in the woods.
The experience made Laubinger appreciate his well-thought-out preparations. He always carries extra underwear, a fleece, rain gear, headlamp, food, water and first-aid kit.
'I can do everything but heart surgery,' he said with a laugh.
His favorite summits are Haystack and Mount Marcy, New York state's tallest mountain. 'When you get up on some of these big mountains with open summits, that's what it's all about,' he said. 'You can take pictures of it, but it's not the same.'
Having recently completed his long-awaited goal, Laubinger has no plans of letting up.
'I've got to stay in shape,' he said. 'That's my motivation now, my health. It does wonders for your wind, legs and heart -- everything.'
'If you don't keep at it, you go downhill quickly. I haven't been out for two weeks and I can feel it already.'
Laubinger hopes that others will follow in his footsteps and enjoy all that the Adirondacks have to offer.
For beginners, there are many rewarding yet less strenuous hikes in the area. Moreau Lake State Park, for example, has miles of marked trails, and Lake George is surrounded by peaks with magnificent views and relatively easy climbs.
If nothing else, Laubinger is proof that it's never too late to get started.
©The Saratogian 2004”
“Cool story, lumberzac. Thanks for sharing it.”
“That's AWESOME. He's a trooper. It just goes to show it's never too late to start backpacking or getting in shape. Kudos to him.”
I hope I get me last two done before I'm 82!
“I thought you had bagged those two, gremlin! Do you have a target date set up two bag them last two pesky peaks?”
“Whoo Hoo! I climbed my 35th high peak, Panther Peak this weekend. I also rehiked Couchsachraga Peak and Santanoni Peak. What fun!
“I was there!!!
I got home at about 9:30 tonight.”
“Did you finally digest all that grub from the Long Lake Diner.”
“Congrats! Only 11 more to go!”
I've Done 18 Now
“Today it's MarkO's day to brag since he just did his first of many high peaks in the Daks.
I got home a half hour behind you MarkO. And I didn't have any dinner as it took me the WHOLE way home to digest that great tasting meal.”
“Hats off to MarkO for wading through the mud, hiking up streambeds, scrambling up rocks, and pushing through the scrub brush, all to get his first 3 High Peaks. Now when ever someone asks him, "What was your fist High Peak?"
He can say, "Couchsachraga."
When that person walks away they will mumble to themselves, "Who the hell starts with Couchsachraga?"
Yeah, We Busted Those Peaks !!!
“Only a crazy fool such as ME!!!
The breakfast at Long Lake was good, I was tempted to lick the plate.
For some odd reason the traffic between Binghamton, New York and Baltimore moved right along.”
“That was the worst dang trail I have ever hiked.
“"That was the worst dang trail I have ever hiked.
ignore this user
Want to go back?”
I'll go back with Gremlin.
Maybe I'll knock out some different peaks before I go back to THAT stinker.
“I see you have succumbed to the illness.”
“I'm a sick bastard.”
“So am I. I hiked over the whole range just so I could climb the one that was only .25mi from Time Square.
And I'll be back to get that view off of Panther.”
“Number 4-oh for me!
Great Hikin witcha guys!!!
Gruesome Trail, Gruesome Company!!!
Even in ugliness, there is beauty...
MISSED YA GREMLIN :(
- pics comin' up later this afternnon.”
“Get with the pictures, Bobo!!”
I love this trail.
“I'll post the picture link if someone starts the Trip Thread. Or is this the trip thread?”
“I was waiting for Buddur to put up a trip thread.”
“Congrats to Mark-O as well. It'll be a fun ride!
Man, I'm going to have to start a White Mountains 48-er thread. By the end of this month, I should have close to 10.”
“Dang, ya mean I gotta get a buncha White Mountains too?”
“"Congrats to Mark-O as well. It'll be a fun ride!
Man, I'm going to have to start a White Mountains 48-er thread. By the end of this month, I should have close to 10."
ignore this user
Maybe a NE 111er thread and get all the 4000+'ers in the north east covered.”
“I am impressed by your epic and moved that you'd do it again with me.
I've taken three weeks off work to heal and will ask for another 3 for convalescence. I'll see how it goes.
Then it's the Whites with Artex, I guess.
A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.”
“Well there's nothing like waiting until the last minute, but I managed to bag one new peak (Street) in 2005, on December 31. Only 7 left.”
“Dude, I got FOUR!!!
Forty Two mo' to go!!”
“I only got 46 to go!”
“LMAO CP! lol I have 11 46ers, it's an uphill climb to 46!
Congrats to Bobo, Pennsy, Zac and Mark on getting Street!”
“I've probably done most of the high peaks more then once long ago. Now I prefer the trailess, less-traveled hills & mountains.
Never did Marcy though.”
“Marcy kind of sucks. The views are nice, but it's always crowded on the summit. I prefer Marcy's neighbors, Haystack or Skylight. Of course if you want some real solitude, there is always the Sawtooth Range. If there are others on the peaks with you, just walk 10’ and you will never see them.”
“"Never did Marcy though."
"Marcy kind of sucks."
Maybe she needs more experience.”
“...or the Santanonis...”
“From what I've heard, the Sawtooth range makes the Sananonis look like child’s play. There isn't anything that even resembles a herd path there.”
“Dang Zac, I didn't think there was any place in the Adirondacks where you ain't been!!
Let's get crackin'!!”
“The park is about 6 million acres (roughly the same size as Denali National Park), there are a lot of places I haven't been to.
last edited: 1/05/06 7:03:44 AM”
“I think I got three?”
““I think I got three?”
ignore this user
I think you have 5. I remeber seeing you on Lower Wolfjaw, Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong, Gothics, and Wright.”
“LMAO, I knew you would know better than me! I was just following you that weekend! Good stuff!
OK, I think I have five! ;-)
last edited: 1/05/06 7:35:24 AM”
“At some point I want to try that hike again, only with good weather. I don't know if I would want to see ENS slide down Gothics again. 80”
“No, that was kinda scary, lets put in our request for a sunny weekend early this time huh?”
“How many do I have Zen Master Zac???”
“My cristal ball says 4.”
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