Father-and-Son Team from RIT Master Highest Peaks of Adirondacks

Both become members of elite mountain climbing club

Follow Michelle Cometa on Twitter
Follow RITNEWS on Twitter

Michael Jackson

Matt Jackson, first-year industrial and systems engineering student and his father, Michael Jackson, associate professor in microelectronic engineering, don RIT orange and brown on top of Wright Peak to celebrate achieving elite status climbing the 46 highest peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.

Some start with Whiteface. Others start with Lower Wolf Jaw. All who aspire to become part of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers Club must climb those mountains and the remaining 44 peaks of the Adirondacks with elevations of 4,000 feet and above.

Not for the faint-of-heart, the ADK46-R Club consists of climbers who have tested, and topped, each of the highest mountain peaks in the Adirondacks. Rochester Institute of Technology added two members to this elite group when Michael and Matt Jackson completed number 46 this fall.

“My son Matthew joined RIT this year as a freshman in industrial and systems engineering,” says Michael Jackson, associate professor, microelectronic engineering, Kate Gleason College of Engineering. “This past Fourth of July, Matt completed his quest to climb the 46 Adirondack Mountains that are 4,000 feet or higher in elevation. This was a goal he set in the summer of 2005 when he climbed his first peak.”

“The day of my climb was awful,” says Matt jackson, recalling the hike up Whiteface Mountain. “Four of us were finishing our 46th. It was pouring rain, windy, everyone was soaked. But, for me, I know I’m going on a 20-mile walk today, no one to bother me. It’s just me and the trees. Not everyone gets to see this—even on a sunny day.”

The Adirondack Forty-Sixers was formally established in 1948. Individuals must complete the series of climbs and report each of their ascents to the club historian before being inducted into the club. Both Jacksons expect to be inducted into the ADK46-R on Memorial Day weekend.

Like all ADK-46ers, members formally record their first and final mountains on club roll. Matt Jackson scaled Tabletop on Aug. 17, 2005, and completed his 46 on Whiteface in July. Michael Jackson climbed and recorded his first mountain, Porter, on Aug. 17, 2006. He completed his 46th on top of Wright Peak on Sept. 6, the day before classes officially started at RIT for fall quarter. Father and son donned the RIT colors and celebrated both dad’s ascent of 46 peaks and the start of his son’s engineering career at RIT.

“I hope I’m able to help him as much with his engineering career as he has helped me with my hiking,” says Michael Jackson.