April 1, 2013
Brian Baston, 46r
I was interested in hiking to lose weight to overcome my diabetes, and to get into better physical condition. I was already walking 3 miles a day and lost 30 lbs, getting my diabetes under control with diet and exercise.
I started hiking and paddling with ADK Laurentian Chapter. After hearing about the 46 high peaks, I climbed Esther Mountain, my first high peak at age 63, on October 4th, 2009, with John Barron (trip leader) and succeeded with great physical pain and exhaustion. It took me three days to be able to walk without holding onto furniture, countertop, or door frames. One week later, I was able to make it to the summit of Lyon Mountain with no problem.
One month later, on November 2009, I attempted to climb Cliff Mountain with Mike McLean (trip leader), I failed as it was much longer and I ran out of energy. In summer 2010, I made another attempt to climb Seymour Mountain with John Barron and failed again! Much too long.
After that second failure, I pretty much gave up, but I kept looking for a shorter mountain. Then on June 5, 2011, Dana Chudzinski scheduled Giant Mountain at 2.8 miles one way. That was what I had been looking for.
It was ironic that Toni Towle and Peter Blood were on my first and second high peaks, twenty months apart. They introduced me to camping which made it much easier on the long climbs. Also I found that I could climb with other chapters. That increased my high peak climbs.
After 20 months of being a 1er, I was able to climb 45 high peaks in 15 months, including 10 winter climbs. I finished the 46 high peaks on Basin Mountain, September 21, 2012 at the age of 65. Many times when climbing an exhausting high peak, I would ask myself, “why am I doing this again?” Then I would reach the summit with those breathtaking views. It was all worth it.
Apr 1, 2013: Brian Baston, 46r