On August 1, 1918, brothers Robert and George Marshall along with their guide, Herbert Clark, climbed Whiteface Mountain. Nearly seven years later, on June 10, 1925, the three finished climbing the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks and became the first three members of “The Adirondack Forty-Sixers.”
It would take another eight years for the fourth person to complete the climbs.
The hundredth person to do so finished in 1955, but more and more hikers join the ranks every year. Last year 735 hikers became 46ers and there will probably be another 800 this year.
Much has changed over the last one hundred years at Whiteface Mountain Now you can drive to the top, and hundreds of people do so on nice weekend days. There is a cafe and gift shop just below the summit and a weather station on top of the mountain overlooking the ski resort carved into the forest below it.
There are bike and snowmobile trails at the base of the mountain and observation decks with binoculars at the top.
In the summer of 2014, I decided to climb the Forty-Six. I started with Porter and Cascade and my plan was to save Whiteface Mountain for last and to finish on August 1, 2018, one hundred years after the first climb by the first of the Forty-Sixers.
When that anniversary came I was in Baltimore sitting next to Kathy as she started a new round of chemotherapy. When you fight cancer you do what can be done. And when someone you love has cancer you do not let her fight it alone.
Which is why on August 25, 2018, brothers Matt and Alex Hoskins, along with me their guide, climbed Whiteface Mountain.
And Kathy met us at the top.