Big Finish on a Little Mountain

Dean Tunnel

Roughly a century ago, when the first aspiring 46ers were climbing the peaks and determining the highest Adirondack mountains, they somehow settled on Couchsachraga, in the Santanoni 15_pigott4605range, as one of the 4000-footers.

They were wrong.  “Couchy” misses the mark in height by a wide margin— It’s actually 3,793 feet in elevation, according to the most recent survey.  However, the 46ers, in keeping with tradition, have stuck with the original list. So, hikers who want to be a 46er must still climb this unpopular, remote hill without a view (The name of the mountain is a native American translation, meaning “dismal wilderness”).

And that is exactly what attracted Dean to it.  The Senior section camper finished his 46 Monday.  “I wanted to finish on ‘Couchy’ because it’s about the mountains.  I’m not gonna do a mountain for the view, I’m gonna do a mountain because I love the wilderness.  And besides,” Dean continued, “I knew people would say, ‘Hey, that’s pretty cool!’”

Dean, who began hiking as a Pioneer in 2010, becomes the 386th all-time camp Forty-Sixer, but the first to finish on Couchsachraga in 22 years.  “About the end of four weeks last year, I15_pigott4604 felt like I could finish, so I made a push for it.”

The summit feast, carried up the mountain by campers, staff and Dean’s dad Joseph, included the usual scrumptious fare.  “I liked the food on top.  We had Fritos, we had Cool Ranch Doritos, we had flavored pretzel bites, my dad brought me a bunch of chips.  Plus, Mountain Dew.”

Even the baby food was a hit.  “Banana flavored,  when I smelled it, it was horrible.  It was like sour bananas.  But, when I tasted it, it was pretty good, so I chugged it pretty fast.”

The long day on the Santanoni range began with a 3:30am wakeup at camp, and was the culmination of a very long weekend for Dean.  I was on Noah’s finish (Friday) and Adam’s finish (Sunday).  So, I’m pretty tired!”

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Pok-O-MacCready Camps
1391 Reber Road, Willsboro, NY 12996

Located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains

[email protected]

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