Colvin gave the forty-fourth highest peak its name, which first appeared in one of his sketches in 1872. The physical characteristics of this 3,960-foot mountain earned it its name- the sides and summit contain several steep cliffs. Cliff was left off of the original list of forty-two High Peaks, created by Herbert Clark and the Marshall brothers. With initial measurements placing the peak at exactly 4,000 feet in elevation, Carson had to convince the three to add it to the list, partly because it would help prevent anyone else from claiming they were the first to summit all High Peaks.
Despite its low elevation, Cliff Mountain is one of the most challenging peaks to climb. It requires about seventeen miles and twelve hours of hiking to complete. The last mile, up a muddy herd path, features several steep, rocky sections of cliffs, with relatively mediocre views at the summit. These conditions mean Cliff is typically only hiked by aspiring or current forty-sixers, who often pair it with Redfield due to the proximity of the two peaks. Anthony S. Hopkins recorded the first ascent in 1921 as he ran a line of the Totten and Crossfield Purchase.
Sasso, John. “Rise of the Adirondack High Peaks: The Story of the Inception of the Adirondack Forty-Six by Robert Marshall, George Marshall, and Russell M.L. Carson.” The Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies, vol. 22, no. 1, Article 8, 2018, pp. 88–103., https://digitalworks.union.edu/ajes/vol22/iss1/8 .