Photo Gallery: 46th annual Mount Greylock Ramble
ADAMS -- Mary Tierney just couldn't wait to get started.
The Cheshire resident was waiting for organizers at the summit when they arrived to set up for the 46th annual Mount Greylock Ramble at 7 a.m. Monday.
She told officials she had been at Bascom Lodge since 6 a.m. after hiking up in the dark, according to Pam Duval, an event planner.
Tierney, 21, was just the first of hundreds of hikers who packed the trails for the 3.3-mile trek up the Cheshire Harbor Trail to Massachusetts' highest peak.
By late afternoon, volunteers had given out about 1,700 of the 2,000 available certificates for completing the hike. But Department of Environmental Protection officials estimated there were 2,500 people on the mountain Monday.
Event staff and those who summited the mountain Monday agreed there couldn't possibly be better weather for a hike. Trails were dry and the sky was blue for most of the day.
The first, youngest and oldest people to ascend Mount Greylock were also given awards.
Sadie Lavigne, a 2-year-old from Adams, was handed the youngest climber award. While there were several 2-year-olds that finished the Ramble, Lavigne was the fastest.
Tom Harty, who turns 93 in two weeks, retained his crown as the oldest climber. Harty lives in Orange.
Carolyn Brazeau, 84, wasn't the oldest person to make the climb Monday, but don't count her out in 2014. She rejuvenated herself with a fresh apple at the summit, looking less worse for the wear than most.
"She'll be back next year," said Nancy Bush, Brazeau's daughter and Ramble partner for the last 16 years.
Bush, a North Adams resident, said that turnout looked "very good" this year, based on her experience.
It wasn't just area natives joining the fun Monday. People from around the country -- and world -- climbed to Greylock's summit -- 3,491 feet above sea level.
Marina Papaiskovoy won an award for traveling the furthest to participate in the hike. She is from Greece, and was in the area visiting family, she told event staff.
Others came from North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington and Idaho.
"I just wanted to be in nature," said Stephen Beasley, who lives New York City. He met up with a long-time friend, Christina Roberts, of Troy, N.Y., to explore Western Massachusetts for the first time.
Duval was surprised more people hadn't registered at the peak by early afternoon.
"It's a slow turnout for such a beautiful day," Duval said.
While registration numbers were less than at last year's Ramble, it was a good weekend overall at Greylock. Duval said Bascom Lodge had run out of food over the weekend. But there was plenty to eat again Monday, and dozens enjoyed lunch in the lodge before the backdrop of mountain scenery.
And while hikers were slower to filter into the lodge than in years past, staff at the top did get radio calls that parking lots were full -- signaling a good, albeit slow, turnout.
It wasn't the first Ramble, and won't be the last, for many hikers Monday.
Paula Hilchey, of Cheshire, couldn't remember how many Rambles she's participated in.
"Since I was ... a lot of years," she said.
Others were lucky enough to stumble upon the event.
Joe Tarantino and Karen Kramer, of Northampton, drove to the summit, unaware of the day's events.
"I'd always wanted to take a look," Tarantino said.
Duval thanked volunteers who helped organize and manage the event, including the Leo Club, the DEP, and the Adams Forest Wardens, who kept hikers safe from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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