Honoring the Life and Legacy of an Adirondack Original
Grace Dolbeck Leach Hudowalski
Adirondack Native - 46er No. 9 - New York's Super Saleswoman
PO Box 217
Adirondack, New York 12808
Tel. (518) 209-9930
Grace Hudowalski's life is the story of Adirondack mountain climbing. On August 26, 1937 Grace Hudowalski did something no other woman had ever done; something only 8 men had done before her. As 31 year old Grace Hudowalski, a child of the Adirondacks, pushed her way through the cripplebrush guarding the summit of 4270 foot Esther Mountain and set her foot firmly on its peak, she entered the annals of New York State and Adirondack history, the first woman and the ninth person to accomplish that feat. Thousands have followed in her footsteps in the ensuring 77 years.
Grace Hudowalski was a founding member of the 46rs of Troy, the precursor to the modern day Adirondack Forty-Sixers, Inc., served as the modern club's first president and only official historian until her death in 2004. Grace corresponded for more than 60 years with aspiring 46ers, writing thousands of letters each year, and guiding many thousands of climbers on their Adirondack adventure.
Grace's finish on Esther's summit was a moment that defined her life and career and would come to symbolize the Adirondack Experience. She became the champion of New York State and her native Adirondacks, committing every once of energy to touting New York State, the Adirondacks and the high peaks, encouraging tourism, promoting New York history and folklore, and guiding sixty years of mountain enthusiasts to find their own heaven up h'istedness.
On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names granted the petition of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers, Inc. and approved the official renaming of East Dix "Grace Peak" to commemorate Grace's distinguished career, her inspirational public service to the people of the State and her native Adirondacks, and her legacy. "Grace Peak" is the second of the of the 46 high peaks honoring the historic achievement of a woman.
Gracepeak.infois a public service information page provided by the Adirondack 46R Conservation Trust, an endowment created by Grace Hudowalski and supported by public contributions, tasked by Grace Hudowalski to promote the responsible recreational use of the Adirondack wilderness and provide education to the public concerning wilderness conservation, and efforts to enhance public understanding, knowledge and appreciation of the Adirondacks and NY State history and folklore.
Within the pages of this site the reader will find a brief biography of Grace L. Hudowalski, a history of the summit proposed for official permanent designation as "Grace Peak", information about the process for naming natural features, information about the documentary The Mountains Will Wait For You, directed and produced by Fred Schwoebel and narrated by Johnny Cash, and other information to assist the public understand and stay informed about this historic petition and the work of the Trust.
The Adirondack 46R Conservation Trust wishes to express appreciation to Carl Heilman II , who graciously granted the Trust permission to use his photographs of the inaugural Grace Peak Climb and the post-approval re-climb (June 21, 2014). To see more of Carl's Adirondack photography, go to www.carlheilman.com.
Black and white photographs from the collection of Grace Hudowalski, as well as the writings and likeness of Grace L. Hudowalski, are privately owned. Requests for permission to use, reproduce or duplicate this site, its contents or the Hudowalski Collection should be directed to the Trustee. All rights are reserved.
Grace with the staff of the Adirondack 46R Conservation Trust.
Grace on Chimney. Photo by Fred Johnson