Tuesday, January 30, 2024

ADK Groups Urge Backcountry Caution During April 8 Eclipse

total solar eclipse

Community-based celebrations provide safe, exciting viewing experiences 

Saranac Lake, NY – The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), and Adirondack Council are urging caution for those considering an Adirondack Park backcountry adventure to view the total solar eclipse this April.

On April 8, much of the Adirondack Park will be in the path of totality for the once-in-a-lifetime, full solar eclipse, and while the mountains and lakes of the Adirondacks may provide a beautiful backdrop, conditions in the Adirondack backcountry that time of year can be perilous.

Given the combined natural beauty of the Adirondacks and the eclipse, people may be considering a hike into the Adirondack wilderness to view it. However, it is likely that full winter conditions will be present on the trails and mountains at that time, with dangers to people and the environment if hikers are not prepared.

Hikers who are unfamiliar with the Adirondacks may expect warm spring conditions, but mountain summits and higher elevations continue to be snow- and ice-covered long into the spring compared to lower elevations. Lakes, ponds and waterways pose additional dangers during the early spring months. Ice may remain on the surface, making it appear solid and safe; however, the longer, warmer days and increases in flowing water during the spring can make ice much thinner and unstable.

“The solar eclipse will likely drive visitation to the Adirondacks during a time of year that is typically much less frequented by visitors,” said Savannah Doviak, paid media coordinator at ROOST. “Since visitors may not be familiar with the area’s ever-changing weather and early spring conditions, our most important role is to share important information about being safe and well-prepared, and about the planned events throughout the region. Love Your ADK, comprising ROOST, Adirondack Council, and Adirondack Mountain Club, is working to share as much information as possible about the early spring conditions, which can lead to disastrous situations, often requiring backcountry rescue.”

A timeline of April 8 weather

A timeline of April 8 weather taken from the Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake. Weather data source: TimeandDate.com. Graphic by Chloe Bennett.

The group is encouraging residents and those traveling to the Adirondacks ahead of the eclipse to avoid mountain trails and waters, as there will be bountiful opportunities to view the eclipse from the Adirondacks without venturing into the backcountry. Visitors and residents are encouraged to take part in viewing parties and events, hosted by local organizations, restaurants, hotels, villages and attractions. ROOST has developed a website (www.2024-eclipse.com) that visitors and residents can use to plan their solar eclipse experience. The site offers information about the science of an eclipse, safety measures, best places to watch, viewing celebrations and events throughout the region, along with important viewing tips.

Photo at top: Total solar eclipse. Wikimedia Commons photo.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

4 Responses

  1. James Bullard says:

    The first year that I adopted a lean-to I set out on a lovely day in May only to encounter hip-deep snow in a pass on my route to the lean-to. April is not a time to be in the backcountry if you are a novice hiker.

  2. COL (R) Mark Warnecke says:

    Give all the Forest Rangers a well earned couple of days off and let Darwin work!.

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