Erik Schlimmer, member of Team RailRiders and founder of the Trans Adirondack Route, has completed a monumental task: hiking the 100 highest peaks in the Adirondacks, all during winter. Already an accomplished 46er (the term for those who hike all 46 of the Adirondack’s High Peaks), the accomplishment adds to the startling numbers of Schlimmer’s outdoor experience! He is only the 5th person to complete the Adirondack 100 in winter, and he now continues towards his goal of hiking every one of the 592 peaks in the ‘Dacks over 2,500 feet in elevation.
Along the way, Schlimmer photographed his experience and selected 12 to share with everyone! Enjoy the images, all taken in Adirondack State Park, the Continental United States’ largest land preserve.
- 4,867-foot Whiteface Mountain as seen from Scotts Cobble. The 5th highest mountain in New York, other side Whiteface is the biggest ski resort in the Adirondacks. It’s 3,166 feet of vertical give it more top-to-bottom than any other U.S. Ski Resort east of the Mississippi!
- In the Sawtooth Mountains, topped by 3,855-foot Sawtooth No. 1. The Sawtooth Mountains contain five of the Adirondack 100 and is the largest trail-less mountainous area east of the Rockies.
- Trail and bridge on the way to 3,547-foot Fishing Brook Mountain. Fishing Brook Mountain is one of the great Adirondack Hikes not a part of the 46 High Peaks, making it less crowded and more serene than its more famous neighbors.
- Thaw along Hoffman Notch Brook below 3,704-foot Hoffman Mountain. Winter can be brutal and cold in the Adirondacks, often boasting some of the continental U.S.’s coldest temperatures each winter!
- 3,983-foot MacNaughton Mountain from Wallface Ponds. Most of the Adirondack’s waterways feed into two major water sheds: The St. Lawrence River and the Hudson River Watersheds.
- The MacIntyre Mountains, topped by 5,115-foot Algonquin Peak. Algonquin is the second highest peak in New York, behind only Mount Marcy (5,344 feet) and is legendary for some of the best backcountry skiing in the Adirondacks.
- Alpenglow on the Sentinel Range and 3,881-foot Kilburn Mountain. Kilburn Mountain is the highest point in the Sentinel Range Wilderness Area which is one of the less-treaded places in the Adirondack Park.
- High Peaks Wilderness Area camp below the Great Range. Winter camping in the Adirondacks can be dangerous. Extreme cold and sudden storms can make any night unpleasant. Make sure you are well-prepared if you are planning a trip!
- Wakely Pond on the way towards 3,632-foot Little Moose Mountain. The Adirondack Park boasts over 3,000 lakes and ponds and over 300,000 miles of river and streams.
- Moose poop on 3,766-foot Wakely Mountain. Moose are the biggest animals that live in the Adirondack Park, although they are not seen often. The park used to contain wolves and elk, but both were hunted to extinction in the area.
- Hoar frost on branch, somewhere. Hoar frost is a weather phenomenon that looks like snow but usually forms on cold, clear nights when moisture being released by organisms freezes immediately instead of evaporating.
- Outlet of remote Beaver Pond below the Sawtooth Mountains. The Adirondacks has so many ponds and streams that many of them are unnamed.
- Climbing the highest peak in New York, 5,344-foot Mount Marcy. Snow can get heavy in the upper elevations. Marcy is a mountain with a “summit cone,” a summit that rises above the treeline in all directions, making it a popular spot for backcountry skiiers during winter!
- Rugged and thick bushwhacking, Sawtooth Mountains. Most of the peaks in the Adirondacks don’t have official trails to the summit, and are instead summitted by bushwhacking, following deer paths, or following trails that have been long used by humans but little maintained. It is some of the gnarliest hiking in the country.
- The climber, somewhere cold. Erik loves his Therma Wool Top on cold hiking days; it makes the best best layer because it is warm, breathable, and wonderfully soft. During summer he loves our Bushwhacker Weatherpants to tear through the densest off-trail areas.
Erik Schlimmer, an author and Team RailRiders member, is now working on climbing the Adirondacks’ 217 mountains above 3,000 feet during winter. When he’s not playing in the snow, he’s overseeing the Trans Adirondack Route. More info can be found at transadk.com. Erik has also authored several place-name books about the Adirondacks, as well as a collection of personal stories from his years in the woods. They are available on transadk.com. He is currently working on the “Capital Cobblestone Project” as well, a place-name history of Albany’s streets.