Utica Man Completes ‘Fire Tower Challenge,’ 25 Summits in 26 Days
A 38-year-old IT analyst from Utica recently accomplished an impressive hiking feat: 25 fire tower hikes in just 26 days. It's called the 'Fire Tower Challenge.'
WHAT IS THE 'FIRE TOWER CHALLENGE'?
The 'Fire Tower Challenge' is a popular Adirondack Park hiking challenge which is considered complete when a person summits 23 of the 28 peaks with fire towers on them. The 28 towers are spread across various parts of the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains.
The challenge does not include a time limit, but most people are known to carry out the challenge over the course of a few seasons.
38-year-old Utica resident David Dietz hit 25 towers in just 26 days. It was a goal he had set for himself.
"I wanted to push myself. From what all I've read online I'd never seen anybody do it in a month."
According to Dietz's own data, by the time he completed his 26-day feat, he had hiked nearly 100 miles of trails and ascended 5.31 miles in elevation over the course of 4.15 days (roughly 99.6 hours of hiking).
But what on paper sounds like it would be a fun, nearly-free excursion in the outdoors, wound up costing Dietz around $1,000 in expenses-- taking into account all the gas-guzzling mileage accrued, as well as a few days in hotels.
Dietz said he could not have completed the challenge without the support of his mother, who he would often FaceTime from summits.
"Knowing that she was waiting for a call at the end of each day helped me push through the more challenging hikes."
Kudos to Utica's own David Dietz with what figures to be a new Fire Tower Challenge record!