WILMINGTON - Jerry Levine is the oldest person to become an Adirondack 46er after he climbed Esther and Whiteface mountains Saturday.
Levine, who lives in Cortlandt Manor in Westchester County, will turn 83 years old in September.
"It was a tough hike climbing, but I was determined to do it and I feel great right now," Levine said shortly after finishing Saturday. "If someone told me I had to do another leg, I'd still want to do it."
Jerry Levine, 82, became the oldest person to become an Adirondack 46er Saturday when he climbed Esther and Whiteface mountains. To his side is his wife, Sondra.
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)
Levine climbed the mountains with a group that included his sons, Gary and Peter, their wives and several grandchildren. Friend Phil Corell, a member of the 46er organization, also joined him.
The group actually climbed the mountains in reverse. They drove up Whiteface Mountain, hiked down the mountain to Esther, then continued to the trailhead near the atmospheric research station. From there, the group hiked back uphill to the summit of Whiteface.
Levine wanted to hike the mountains in reverse so he could finish with friends and family. He was met at the top by his wife Sondra and more than 100 supporters, many of them associated with the Pok-O-MacCready Camps in Willsboro.
Levine's hike was a fundraiser for the Adirondack Scholarship Foundation, which provides funding for children to attend Pok-O-MacCready Camps. Both of Levine's sons went to camp there.
The late Al Laubinger of Moreau had previously held the distinction of being the oldest person to become a 46er. He was 82 years when he finished, but several months younger than Levine.
To become one, a person must hike to the summits of the 46 Adirondack peaks that were originally measured at 4,000 or more feet in elevation, according to the Verplanck Colvin survey maps that original 46ers Robert and George Marshall used. This hiking tradition continues even though modern surveys show only 43 peaks over 4,000 feet, with four of the 46 being under 4,000 and one non-46 mountain being over.
A more in-depth story about Levine's journeys through the High Peaks will appear in Saturday's North Country Living Section.