46er educational challenge.

A look back at David's entire journey towards completing his challenge!

At the beginning of April 2020, Davin Healthcare CEO and Owner, David Theobald MS, RN, CSP, made a promise. He would climb all 46 Adirondack peaks, and for each mountain he climbed, he'd donate $1000 towards a Nurse or Allied Health Professional scholarship. David completed his journey in June, 2022.

David sees this challenge as a metaphor for continuing your education. Each new class, each new semester, brings a new challenge, whether it's juggling work, family, and school, or just a particularly challenging course. With each new peak, David faces new challenges but commits not to quit. We're following David's progress through the Adirondacks. Each time he climbs another peak, we'll post here, so check back often!

Seward Mountain, Donaldson Mountain, Mount Emmons, & Seymour Mountain
June 4 & 5, 2022

Over a two-day period, David, his son, Mathieson, and Mathieson’s dog summitted the four final peaks in David’s 46er Challenge. The last mountains were Seward Mountain (4361ft elevation), Donaldson Mountain (4140ft elevation), Mount Emmons (4040ft elevation), and Seymour Mountain (4120ft elevation). The weather was perfect for the final outing.

“All in all, the ascent was very long and challenging to the top. While reflecting on the long climb up Seymour, I had a flood of emotions that ran through my mind and body. I was overcome with a feeling of happiness and contentment, knowing how blessed I was to have the opportunity to complete the last peak for the 46er challenge in the company of my son Mathieson and his dog Rocky.” ~David

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Mount Marshall
May 24, 2022

On a warm Tuesday, David set his sights on summitting Mount Marshall, along with fellow Davin Healthcare team members, Dylan and Rico, and as well as his son, Mathieson’s rescue dog, Rocky. They took off at 8:10am on what ended up being an 18.6-mile hike to summit the 25th highest Adirondack High Peak (4,360 ft elevation). The trip was not without some pitfalls.

“Although we experienced a few unanticipated challenges and mishaps, the weather and company couldn't have been better. I found the experience and views from Mount Marshall to be breathtaking, and it shows that through hardship, we can find beauty and accomplishment.” ~David

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Mount Redfield and Cliff Mountain
January 5, 2022

On a crisp Wednesday, David, his son, and his son’s friend, braved the cold weather to summit Mount Redfield (15th High Peak with an elevation of 4,606 feet) and Cliff Mountain (44th High Peak with an elevation of 3960 feet). Their hike was met with snow, ice, and arduous trails, but they were rewarded with breath-taking views and another two peaks towards the 46er Challenge. [Ref X]

“The parable of nurses and healthcare professionals was in my mind throughout the long hike up and trek out. No matter the challenge, or obstacles we face as individuals, or as a shared community, we bring about positive change in both our own lives and the world around us.” ~David

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Sawteeth
November 14, 2021

On a chilly Sunday hike, David came one peak closer to achieving his goal of becoming a 46er. Using a 14.2 mile trail known as the Scenic Route, David and his son Michael climbed Sawteeth, the 35th Adirondack High Peak (elevation of 4,100ft). The trail is rated as difficult and true to its name, took them on a scenic, snowy hike with views of the fall foliage and Lower Ausable Lake.[Ref X, X]

“In my reflection of the Sawteeth journey, my thoughts and feelings confirm this epic and rewarding day inspired us physically, mentally, and spiritually. As said by Gandalf in J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing, ‘It is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of love and kindness.’” ~David

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Macomb Mountain, Grace Peak, Carson Peak, Hough Peak, and Dix Mountain
August 7, 2021

In one day, David and his son, Michael, climbed an impressive five Adirondack High Peaks. Using the Dix Range Trail (15.2-mile loop), they summited Macomb Mountain (21st High Peak with elevation of 4,405ft), Grace Peak (42nd High Peak with an elevation of 4,012ft), Carson Peak (formerly South Dix) (37th High Peak with an elevation of 4,060ft), Hough Peak (23rd High Peak with an elevation of 4,400ft), and Dix Mountain (6th High Peak with an elevation of 4,857ft).[Ref X]

“With each hike, I often try to imagine and relate each mile to the sacrifices and challenges of our caregivers on the frontlines, along with the patients and family members they care for each day. For me, each weary step and elevation gain brings new insights and lessons learned in life and business. During times of uncertainty, the ability to find that inner strength and perseverance to get over life’s many hurdles and obstacles is paramount to overcome the different challenges we face in life.” ~David

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Gray Peak, Mount Skylight, and Mount Marcy
June 11, 2021

Starting at 5am, David and his son, Michael, faced one of their greatest challenges, three of the highest of the Adirondack High Peaks. Their hike took them 17.6 miles, and they summitted Gray Peak (7th high peak with an elevation of 4,840ft), Mount Skylight (4th high peak with an elevation of 4,926ft), and the highest Adirondack High Peak, Mount Marcy (with an elevation of 5,344ft). [Ref X]

“Summitting Mount Marcy this past weekend meant we climbed the highest mountain in New York’s North Country. It was a challenge, but we worked hard and were rewarded with great times and memories made. Just because we reached summitted the highest peak, our journey isn’t finished–we still have 13 more mountains left to climb. Like working towards a degree, we’re celebrating our amazing accomplishment but know we still have to work just as hard for each other mountain.” ~David

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Mount Haystack, Basin Mountain, and Saddleback Mountain
May 21, 2021

Despite the warm weather and increased chance for dehydration, David and his son, Michael summitted three of the Adirondack High Peaks. They used the 18.5-mile Haystack, Basin, Saddleback Trail in the Keene Valley. The first summitted a mountain they climbed back in July, Saddleback Mountain (17th high peak with an elevation of 4,515ft), on their journey to summit two new mountains. They next climbed Basin Mountain (9th high peak with an elevation of 4827ft), and then finished by summitting Mount Haystack (3rd high peak with an elevation of 4960ft). [Ref X, X]

“You can learn a lot about life from hiking as sometimes not everything works out as planed even with all the preparation and tools. Much like business and life, you need to be agile and adjust your pace and find the strength from within to carry on especially when faced with extreme and challenging situations.” ~David

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Phelps Mountain, Table Top Mountain, and Mount Colden
January 9-10, 2021

Over two days in early January, David and his son Michael summited three of the Adirondack High Peaks. On the first day, they took the 13.8-mile trail to climb Phelps Mountain (elevation 4,161ft) and Table Top Mountain (elevation 4,427ft). On the second day, they used the Trap Dike Route, which is 12.9 miles, to ascend Mount Colden (elevation 4,714ft). [Ref X, X, X]

“Winter hikes in the high peaks are certainly different and can be an amazing opportunity to witness different challenges.  Is it risky, absolutely, but if you’re prepared and do your research you can have a safe and great time. Difficult challenges, like difficult classes, may require more work, but the end results is a wonderful sense of pride and accomplishment” ~David

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Cascade Mountain and Porter Mountain
August 30, 2020

With the weather turning cooler, David returned to his High Peaks Challenge, this time bringing fellow Davin Healthcare co-worker, Dylan, along. They took the 6.5 mile Cascade Mountain Trail to climb high peaks #36, Cascade Mountain (elevation 4098ft), and #38, Porter Mountain (elevation 4059ft). The challenging hike is located near Keene, New York, but offers beautiful views at the mountain tops. [Ref.]

“On the climb, we met another team of climbers. It's amazing the bonds you can create on a long journey. Whether it's summiting a peak or earning a degree, enjoy the challenge and those you meet along the way.” ~David

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Lower Wolfjaw Mountain, Upper Wofljaw Mountain, Armstrong Mountain, Gothics, Saddleback Mountain
July 6, 2020

David took on a whopping 18-mile hike to complete five peaks in one day. He checked off Lower Wolfjaw Mountain (30th high peak with an elevation of 4,173ft), Upper Wolfjaw Mountain (29th high peak with an elevation of 4,203ft), Armstrong Mountain (22nd high peak with an elevation of 4,429ft), Gothics (10th high peak with an elevation of 4,734ft), and Saddleback Mountain (17th high peak with an elevation of 4,528ft). With the summiting of these five mountains, he’s completed half of the 46er challenge. [Ref.]

“Every journey has the halfway mark. It’s the point of reflection and rejuvenation. The work may be hard, but the rewards are great. Standing on the mountain peaks and taking in the view, I reflect on my educational journey and how each semester brought me closer to my goal, and how each accomplishment fueled me to continue towards the end.” ~David

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Panther Peak, Santanoni Peak, and Couchsachraga Peak
June 16-17, 2020

In an overnight trek, David climbed the Santanoni Range in Essex County, New York.  The range features Adirondack high-ranking peaks: Couchsachraga Peak (#46 with an elevation of 3820ft), Panther Peak (#18 at 4442ft), and Santanoni Peak (#14 at 4607ft).  He camped at Bradly Pond on the 16th and finished the journey on the 17th.

This difficult rated, 16.8-mile trail took David on an unmarked journey.  Using GPS and even, at some times, an old-school map, David took this challenge head-on and used the available tools to navigate towards his goal. (Ref.)

"Life isn't always clearly marked. When faced with a speed bump in your educational journey, instead of giving up, use all your tools to push through and succeed." ~David

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Mount Colvin and Blake Peak
June 2, 2020

With a combined height of 8017ft (Mount Colvin - 4057ft & Blake Peak - 3960ft), the two peaks are located on the same ridge and normally climbed together with a trail that takes you from one peak to the other.  On the list of Adirondack High Peaks, they are ranked #39 and #42 (respectively).

The trail is a 14.6-mile out-and-back trail set in Keene Valley, NY.  David completed this trail in one day. (Ref.)

"With these two peaks, I've completed about a third of my challenge. It's both exciting and daunting, knowing how much I have accomplished, but also, how much I have left. It's the same feeling when you finish a semester of classes. Focus on the excitement of the achievement instead of the trepidation of the upcoming challenge. Celebrate your successes." ~David

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Allen Mountain
May 26, 2020

The 26th Adirondack peak, Allen Mountain, has an elevation of 4340ft and is located near Newcombe, NY.  Allen Mountain ranks at #26 on the list of Adirondack High Peaks.

While David climbed in one day, the Allen Mountain trail is rated at very difficult due to its length... a hefty, 17.7-miles. (Ref.)

"Not every challenge you face will be easy. You may run into a particularly difficult class. Don't let the challenge overwhelm you. Just keep tackling each task as they come.  As long as you are moving forward, you're succeeding and working towards your goal." ~David

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Street Mountain and Nye Mountain
May 19, 2020

Street Mountain and Nye Mountain are located near Lake Placid and make for a combined elevation of 8061ft (Street Mountain - 4166ft & Nye Mountain - 3895ft.  On the list of Adirondack High Peaks, Street Mountain ranks at #31 and Nye Mountain ranks at #45.

The unmarked, out-and-back trail is rated as difficult.  David hiked the 8.3-mile trail in one day. (Ref.)

"Pace yourself. You don't need to climb every peak in one day and you don't need to overload your coursework. It may seem like taking that extra class will let you finish sooner, but if you burn yourself out, you may not complete it at all. Education is a long, rewarding journey. Enjoy it." ~David

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Nippletop and Dial Mountain
May 12, 2020

With the combined elevation of 8660ft (Nippletop - 4620ft & Dial Mountain 4040ft), these two mountains are located in the Keene Valley of Essex County.  On the rankings of Adirondack High Mountains, they fall #13 and #41 (respectively).

David used the Bear Den Trail to Dial Mountain and Nippletop, which took him on a one-day, 12.7-mile trek.  The hike is rated at hard due to its strenuous nature, but rewards with amazing views.  (Ref.)

"You may hesitate to take a more difficult class, but tackling advanced challenges often come with greater rewards. Advanced degrees come with new knowledge that can enrich your life and your work." ~David

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Giant of the Valley and Rocky Peak Ridge
May 5, 2020

David hiked both Giant of the Valley (also known as Giant Mountain Peak) and Rocky Peak Ridge, together on the same day.  Ranked #12 and #20 (respectively), their combined elevation is 9047ft (Giant - 4627ft & Rocky - 4420ft).

Located in the Keene Valley of New York, these mountains can be climbed separately or in tandem due to a trail that connects them. (Ref.)

"Taking extra time to tackle a second, related class or task may seem like you're adding work, but in the long run, it may prove advantageous. While it may have seemed easier to climb each of these mountains separately, climbing them together ultimately saved me time and extra miles." ~David

Esther Mountain and Whiteface Mountain
April 28, 2020

Esther Mountain and Whiteface Mountain sit next to each other in Essex County, New York.  With a combined elevation of 9107ft (Esther - 4240ft & Whiteface - 4867ft), these mountains are ranked at #28 and #5 (respectively).  

Esther is the only Adirondack High Peak named after a woman (Esther McComb who, at age 15, was the first person to climb to the summit, in 1839.  Whiteface is famous for hosting the 1980s Winter Olympics.  (Ref. 1. 2.)

"A plaque says that Esther McComb summited the mountain 'for the sheer joy of climbing.' If you look at every task with exuberance and joy, nothing can stop you." ~David

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Algonquin Peak, Iroquois Peak, and Wright Peak
April 20, 2020

David climbed all three peaks in one day using the difficult-rated, 10.1-mile Algonquin Trail.  The out & back trail is located near Lake Placid, New York, and features a waterfall.

All three of these peaks some of the highest of the Adirondack Peaks.  Algonquin Peak is ranked at #2 with 5114ft, Iroquois Peak is ranked at #8 with 4840ft, and Wright Peak is ranked at #16 with 4580ft.  (Ref. 1. 2.)

"While the goal may seem far away, every step forward brings you closer to your accomplishment. Instead of looking at the entirety of the requirements, whether it's a class, a degree, or in my case, a mountain range, focus on each individual task instead of the whole. That way, you won't be overwhelmed." ~David

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Big Slide Mountain
April 14, 2020

With an elevation of 4240ft, Big Slide Mountain is ranked as #27 in the list of Adirondack High Peaks.

David climbed the mountain in one day, using the Big Slide Mountain via the Brothers trail.  Located in Essex County, this out-and-back trail is rated at difficult, and the 7.6-mile trek takes you by a river. (Ref.)

"Every goal, whether achieving a degree or beating a climbing challenge, starts with a single step. While the journey may seem daunting, once you make that first step, you've completed the hard part, beginning.  Everything else is just part of the adventure." ~David

Photos from David's Climbs