Overcrowding and problems resulting from human impact on the High Peaks has been well-chronicled, and it's not an easy problem to solve. Many have been trying for years to steer hikers to any of the dozens of other non-4,000-foot peaks around the park, but the popular penchant for peakbagging continues to draw hikers to the High Peaks.
A group of hikers who are hoping to draw new interest in non-High Peak hikes have gotten some good traction on the creation of a new challenge, similar in theory to completing the 46 High Peaks. This challenge, though, focuses on some of the less-traveled peaks around the Adirondack Park, dubbing it the Adirondack 29er.
Many of the mountains are in our backyard in the southern Adirondacks, including several of the mountains overlooking Lake George and popular local peaks like Hadley Mountain, Crane Mountain and Goodnow Mountain. It's not all easy hikes either, with big mountains like Hurricane, Wright Peak and Blue Mountain on the list.
Many of them are good peaks to walk this spring, when mud season is an issue to the north as snow cover lingers.
Those who complete 29 of them can achieve a patch, pin, sticker, or all three. Going through the list, I've done 25 of them, so I hope to finish it up this spring and summer.
-- Don Lehman