Alexander Ralph and Robert Clarke climbed what is recognized as one of the first climbs in the Adirondacks.  Both were relatives of a man who owned iron mines The climb circled up Mount Colden, spanning a breathtaking 4,714 feet up.  Clark recalls, "This is an immense trap dyke, making a large gorge in the mountain... We left our traps at the bottom & taking nothing with us but our dinner we started ... to climb the mountain".  The pair started their climb with no special gear, and made the ascent in an hour and a half.  (For reference, Phil Brown took two and a half hours on his journey)  Upon reaching the top, Clarke describes the view as being "the grandest sight I ever saw.  You can see upwards of 50 miles on every side, almost unbroken wilderness, spotted over with lakes and two or three settlements", a description that would be lost in the time of higher development int he region.   Currently, the view is permeated by  Lake Placid ski jumps.

Upon descending, the pair decided to hunt the surrounding area for some deer.  They set up camp, provided firewood, and boiled water for some brandy to celebrate the recent acheivment.  For them, the climb had not been a set up, one-day affair.  There was still an amount of dependency upon the surrounding area, a rather primitive and untounched land, and no infrastructure had assisted them getting back to their .  These men had a thrill seeking and adventurous sense that would set the bar for being characteristic of Adirondack climbing.Currently in the park, rangers generally discourage novices without much experience to prevent the potential stranding on the east side.  There are several reports on optimal ways to tackle the giant mountian that are easily accessable to the general public.