After more than a 25 years of protecting New York State’s alpine zone, the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program is being recognized in a new publication.
Adirondack Archangels: Guardians of the High Peaks, (Adirondack Mountain Club, 2016), is a collection of essays by and about individuals who have worked to protect the Adirondack Park and its highest peaks.
The collection is a tribute to the late Edwin H. “Ketch” Ketchledge, Ph.D., who in 1989 led the creation of the Summit Stewardship Program. It comprises thirty-nine essays and includes a foreword by celebrated writer Bill McKibben and over 250 photographs.
The essays were contributed by a range of writers, including Phil Brown, Tony Goodwin, Mary Thill, Carl Heilman II, Neil Woodworth, Pete Biesemeyer, John Sheehan, Terry Martino, William Jay O’Hern, Julia Goren, Tim Barnett, and Joseph Martens. Photographs were contributed by Nancie Battaglia, Carl Heilman II, and Brendan Wiltse, among others.
All proceeds from Adirondack Archangels will support the Summit Stewardship Program. A portion will be used for annual expenses and a portion will be placed in the #507 Fund for the Summit Stewardship Program, an endowment fund through the Adirondack Foundation. Production costs were underwritten by an anonymous donor; paper for the printing was donated by Domtar Corporation.
The Summit Stewardship Program focuses on educating hikers, protecting and monitoring the alpine summits, and training the next generation of environmental stewards. Since the program’s inception in 1989, Summit Stewards have spoken with more than 410,000 hikers on the summits of Mounts Marcy and Colden, Algonquin and Wright Peaks, Cascade Mountain, and the fifteen other High Peaks that host alpine vegetation. During the same period, 121 individuals have served as stewards. The program is a partnership of the Adirondack Mountain Club, the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Ketchledge, who died in June 2010, was a botanist, hiker, teacher and steward, and professor emeritus of the State University of New York–Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). He also was a World War II veteran, an experience central to his adult identity, as described by his son James Ketchledge in the book’s opening essay.
Adirondack Archangels is 304 pages, 6″ x 9″, and includes over 250 color and black and white photos, some of which are archival images. It is available in softcover for $24.95 at book and outdoor supply stores, at ADK stores in Lake George and Lake Placid, and through mail order by calling (800) 395-8080, or online.