Friday, June 13, 2014

East Dix Renamed In Honor Of Grace Hudowalski

Grace HudowalskiFor years, Adirondack Forty-Sixers have been referring to East Dix as Grace Peak, but now the name change is official.

On Thursday, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names voted to rename the 4,012-foot peak after Grace Hudowalski, the first woman to climb all forty-six of the High Peaks and the longtime historian of the Forty-Sixers organization.

Doug Arnold, chairman of the group’s Grace Peak Committee, worked twelve years to get support from local and state officials for the name change.

“Mountain naming is not a frivolous thing,” he said. “Ultimately, she was proven worthy, and I think that is a testament to the Forty-Sixers.”

Grace Hudowalski, who was born in 1906, climbed all of the High Peaks between 1922 and 1937, making her the ninth person to complete the round. In later years, as the Forty-Sixers historian, she corresponded with countless others who aspired to climb the peaks, encouraging them not to give up. There are now nearly nine thousand people (and a few dogs) who have hiked the Forty-Six.

Arnold said a movie about Hudowalski, The Mountains Will Wait for You, which was released last year, helped persuade officials to back the name change. The film is narrated by Johnny Cash. Hudowalski was interviewed for the movie in the 1990s. She died in 2004.

The Forty-Sixers have also proposed renaming South Dix as Carson Peak, after Russell M.L. Carson, the author of Peaks and People of the Adirondacks, a history of the High Peaks.

Arnold said he doesn’t plan to pursue the Carson Peak campaign right away.

“We’re going to wait a while,” he said. “We’re going to celebrate Grace Peak and take a deep breath.”

Photo of Grace Hudowalski courtesy of Adirondack Forty-Sixers.

Phil Brown

Phil Brown

Since 1999, Phil Brown has been Editor of the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack.

Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing.

He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.

Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.


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6 Responses

  1. Jim S. says:

    hurrah!!!

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  2. Congrats, Doug! You put many years of work into this project. It’s nice to see it finally come to fruition.

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  3. Bob Meyer says:

    long overdue !

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  4. […] East Dix Renamed Grace Peak […]

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  5. Mary Eury says:

    Great exhibit about Grace at the Adirondack History Center in Elizabethtown. It’s about time!

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