Paul Smith’s College instructor to scale all 46 High Peaks in 8 days or less

Jul 7, 2016 | News

A Paul Smith’s College instructor will attempt to raise $46,000 for the institution’s environmental programs when she sets out to climb all 46 High Peaks in an eight-day period in August.

Bethany Garretson, environmental studies instructor and 2009 graduate of Paul Smith’s, will attempt the thru-hike, known as “Climb it 4 Climate,” during an eight-day window between Aug. 6-20, when the weather looks favorable. She aims to raise $23,000 for her efforts. Combined with a dollar-for-dollar matching campaign that’s already in place at the college, she would raise $46,000 in total, or $1,000 per high peak scaled, with help from the North-Country community.

“As a college student, I was frustrated by global climate change and other environmental issues,” Garretson said. “I left school wanting to fix the world. After four years as a wilderness therapy field instructor and graduate student, I learned that the best way to help on a large scale is to focus my efforts at the community level. Relying on our own human energy and ingenuity is the first step toward making a difference, and every step counts.”

Garretson will hike mountain to mountain, connecting ranges, while camping in the backcountry night. She will carry everything she needs for the duration of the 200-plus-mile journey, no car rides, food drops, power outlets – just her own two feet from beginning to end. The only thing she will collect along the way is water. Her pack will weigh about 30 pounds.

Fundraising for the hike works like this: Donors can choose to give a tax-deductible gift, in an amount ranging from $25-$1,000, or they can hike a high peak themselves and post a photo from the summit, along with the hashtag #Climbit4Climate. A donor will give $10 to the fund every time someone posts a tagged photo, up to 200 peaks climbed.

Paul Smith’s College would like to remind hikers to check Department of Environmental Conservation guidelines for limits on group size per mountain as well as general safety guidelines.

For more information on Climb it 4 Climate, visit the website

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