The Muse of Extreme Heights Cidery
Meet the Muse of Extreme Heights Cidery, Ella Pardy
In the Summer of 2021, Ella Pardy, daughter of Adirondack Winery owners Sasha and Mike Pardy, became a 46er at the age of 15 years old. Ella was only 15 when she summitted all 46 High Peaks in five weeks with five other campers and two counselors as part of YMCA Camp Chingachgook’s annual intensive backpacking “adventure” during a very wet July!
Being an Adirondack 46er is an incredible accomplishment for any individual young or old. The physical and mental toughness you must endure throughout each hike is not easy. Some hikes are long and steep while others are short and sweet. Collectively all 46 peaks add up to roughly 295 miles and ascend 70,000 feet in elevation.
Ella spoke with the Glens Falls Chronicle about her experience. Below are excerpts from Ella's thoughts on the adventure.
Over the course of my summers at camp I developed a love for the Adirondacks and hiking. Every summer I would hear about the 46er group and I would always think that they are the coolest people, and they were so inspiring. I would look up to them. So when I was old enough, I decided that I wanted to become one of those people…become a 46er myself.
I had done one High Peak prior to the 46er trip. I did Dix Mountain during 3-day hikes with Camp Chingachgook….I’ve spent seven summers as a residential camper at Chingachgook. Every summer that I went to camp I loved it. I met amazing people that have become lifelong friends and I’ve grown a love for the outdoors through camp.
This photo was taken atop Mount Marcy in July. “This was at about 10:45 am. We were in the clouds while it was raining, which was an odd experience. Once you went down the mountain, like. 2 miles, you were out of the clouds and could see the clouds covering the peak, which was really cool.”
I was a little bit nervous going into the trip because I wasn’t 100% certain of what to expect. I ran and hiked a lot to prepare and looked at many of the trails on Alltrails.com, so that I would know a little bit of what to expect. Our trip leaders put together an itinerary. They looked on maps, planned out every trail that we were going to do and planned the most efficient way to get everything done in the five weeks.
They created menus and planned for our resupply days as well. Camp would plan things like when we need to get picked up from a trailhead, or booking campsites for us and make sure we had everything for our resupply days….We would only carry 8-9 days worth of food at a time, then switch it out on our rest days.
Camp provided us with group gear that we would share. We had to bring our own things such as backpacks, clothes, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and mess kits.
We would get up between 6:30-8 a.m. depending on how long we thought the day ahead of us would take. We would set off on the trail after we ate breakfast, which was typically oatmeal or granola. We would eat snack or lunch, which was always sunbutter and jelly on a pita or tortilla, on the top of every mountain, and then we would head back down to our lean-to.
When we finally got back we would cook a nice warm dinner, typically Mexi-fest, pesto couscous, pita pizza, or mac and cheese. We would do the dishes and then head off to bed.
We finished the trip on Cascade Mountain with a sunrise hike. After coming back down the mountain we drove back to camp and had a good breakfast.
I learned so much about myself and what I love and care about in life, and a bunch about the Adirondacks…about myself and the world around me.
I would recommend the trip to anyone who loves the outdoors and is ready for the most amazing five weeks in the woods.
Who would benefit from this trip is someone who is really wanting to learn more about themselves and is open to learning about what other kids think about the world and how they perceive it, someone wanting to appreciate their everyday front-country lives more than before.
What’s next for me is hopefully more hiking, and finishing other challenges such as the Fire Tower Challenge, becoming a Winter 46er, the Lake George 12ster, all the New Hampshire 4,000-footers…and hopefully much more!
Thank you, Ella Pardy, for being an inspiration to so many! Through every accomplishment in life, you go through extreme heights to get there - quite literally when you become a 46er! Ella is now a freshman at the University of New Hampshire, with a double major in Business and Sustainability. She has worked in the family business since she was 14 and continues to!
"We are so proud of our daughter, Ella, as she is tough as nails. Just the fact that she was not only willing and able, but wanted to hike 46 peaks in 5 weeks, in the rain and muck, sleeping on the ground and among wildlife is amazing to us! Ella has always had a strong work ethic, been brave and independent. We can't wait to see the Extreme Height she goes to next!" said Sasha Pardy.