The highest mountain may not necessarily be the hardest. My winter hiking partner Ralph Gibbs and I made seven attempts before we reached the summit of Nye, one of the smallest of the Adirondack 46s.
One cloudy day we saw a peak in the distance. After climbing up steep cliffs, we finally reached a high point. There was no canister and no place any higher; we realized that it was not the summit of Nye. We were on the wrong mountain!
The next day, back in the valley, we met someone who was sure he knew the way. The hike went very well. We quickly were on top of a mountain. There were snowshoe tracks partly buried in new snow – ours from the day before! This time the weather was clear. We could see Street and Nye a ways off, but it was too late to climb them.
On another attempt, we could not get across Indian Pass Brook near the beginning of the hike. Other times we met other problems. We tried so many times that whenever we went into the Hikers’ Building, someone would ask “You’re climbing Nye again?”
Finally we decided to take our time and go partway up and camp. The next day we reached the summit after a surprisingly easy hike.
(A longer version of this with somewhat different wording was previously published in Women with Altitude.)