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Jim Goodwin


              Jim Goodwin came to Keene Valley with his family for the summer in 1919 at the age of nine.  He either visited or lived in Keene Valley until his death in 2011 at the age of 101.  He climbed Mt. Marcy that first summer, and by the age of 12 he was guiding others to the summit - ultimately making 195 ascents of Marcy. 


              When not in Keene Valley, Jim taught at Kingswood School in West Hartford, CT., often bringing students to the Adirondacks to climb the peaks. In 1941, he started Wolf Jaw Camp on property he had bought just below the present Garden parking lot and where he had built a small cabin. This camp was for eight boys whom he recruited from Kingswood School and the Hartford area. 


             For two summers, Jim served as the chief of the ATIS (Adirondack Trail Improvement Society) trail crew, but returned to guiding in 1954 by publishing a schedule of trips offered to the members of the summer community. This schedule included both day hikes and camping trips with a focus on bushwhacks of the then truly-trailless peaks.  Jim continued to offer these trips until 1974 when he was 64, but he continued to regularly lead others in the mountains into his 70s. 


              Not surprisingly, by 1940 he had climbed all of the 46 high peaks and became Adirondack 46-R #24.  Thanks in part to his guiding schedule, he ultimately completed 15 rounds of the peaks. 


              In addition to guiding, Jim also built a number of trails that have become an "assumed" part of the Adirondack landscape. At age 14 he cut his first trail up Little Porter, later extending it to link up with the trail from Marcy Field Airport. In 1950, Jim cut the trail to Big Slide from the Second Brother. He later cut the trail over Hedgehog that linked Rooster Comb to the W.A. White Trail to Lower Wolf Jaw - a link that permitted a full-day roundtrip over the complete Great Range. Next was the Giant Ridge Trail in 1954; and finally, the Gothics via Pyramid Peak trail in 1966.

(Goodwin at Slant Rock campsite in 1925 with two clients.  His 1924 rate sheet.)


(Contributed by Tony Goodwin)

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