Friday, June 12, 2020

Flattening the curve…of backcountry rescues

During the pandemic this spring and early summer, hiking has continued to be an activity that people have engaged in to stay healthy and find respite.

One indication that people are out and about is the weekly search-and-rescue bulletin issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The most recent one contains nine incidents in the Adirondack region, indicating that forest rangers have been keeping busy.

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

‘Celebrate Paddling’ month to forge ahead, in new ways

celebrate paddlingJune is Celebrate Paddling month in the Adirondacks, but it will look a lot different this year because of COVID-19. Starting three years ago, outfitters, guides, community leaders, students and more have teamed up each June to participate in clinics, guided trips, races and river clean-ups across the Tri-Lakes region of the Adirondack Park.

The goal of Celebrate Paddling ADK is in the name — it’s an occasion to acknowledge the incredible role that paddling plays in communities across the Adirondacks and the Northern Forest as a whole. Paddling supports local economies, strengthens our bond with nature and keeps us physically and mentally healthy.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Unprepared hikers get lost outside of Marcy Dam

forest ranger logoRecent forest ranger actions

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Search:
 On June 2 at 9:14 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from three lost hikers from Rochester in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. The hikers lost the trail about a mile from Marcy Dam. The hikers were immediately directed to call 911 to obtain their coordinates. The group had planned to hike Mt. Marcy, Skylight, and Gray, but were unprepared for the snow/alpine conditions and ran out of time before completing Gray. They became lost in the dark with only one source of light and one of the trio wearing shorts and tennis shoes. DEC’s Ray Brook Trail Crew, staying at the Marcy Dam interior outpost, responded to the coordinates obtained by Essex County 911, while Forest Ranger Andrew Lewis headed to the Adirondak Loj. Trail crew members Neilson Snye and Peter Price reached the lost hikers at 10:14 p.m., and brought the group to the Marcy Dam outpost at 11:03 p.m., where crew member Gary Valentine assisted in warming them. Ranger Lewis met the party at Marcy Dam at 11:48 p.m., and transported the hikers via UTV to their vehicles.

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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Invasive Species Awareness Week starts today

invasive species awareness weekThe week of June 7-13 is Invasive Species Awareness Week.

According to information from the NYS DEC, an invasive species is a non-native species that causes harm to the ecosystem they have invaded (including harm to the economy and human health). Called “Invasives” for short, they can come from as close as a few states away, or from the other side of the world. They are sometimes purposely introduced in order to create huntable or viewable populations, or as business enterprises. Sometimes they are accidentally introduced from something as innocent as the bottom of your shoe, forgetting to clean off your boat after a long trip, or from over-seas shipping crates and boat ballasts.

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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Adirondack 46ers contribute to Summit Stewardship Program

Amidst the global pandemic, and the resulting shortage of NYS funding, the Adirondack 46ers, (A group of people who have hiked all 46 mountains in the Adirondacks) have stepped up to provide financial support for the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program.

They have given $10,000 in 2020 and made a commitment to providing $75,000 of additional support over the next three years. The 46ers have been long time supporters of the stewardship program and have donated a total of $45,000 over the last three years as part of a joint commitment with the ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club).

 

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Friday, June 5, 2020

Adirondack Land Trust marks National Trails Day, hosts events

The Adirondack Land Trust invites everyone to get outside this spring and summer. While the organization had planned a volunteer work event for National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, instead they offer a few ideas to recognize the event in a more socially distanced way:

—If you don’t feel safe clearing heavy brush or downed trees, simply take gloves and a trash bag with you to collect litter next time you walk in your local natural space.
—Learn how to identify and remove invasive garlic mustard.
—Conserved green spaces don’t protect themselves; consider making a gift to your local land trust.

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Ranger Report: Five backcountry injuries and a tubing trip gone wrong

forest ranger logoRecent Forest Ranger Actions

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 27 at 10:45 a.m., DEC’s Central Office Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for an injured hiker in the High Peaks. The 26-year-old woman from Waterville had suffered an ankle injury near the Phelps Junction trail, approximately one mile from Marcy Dam. Forest Rangers James Giglinto, Kevin Burns, and Tom Gliddi responded to assist, but a Ray Brook trail crew at Marcy Dam advised they were closer to the hiker and would proceed to her location. The woman rolled her ankle after stepping from a rock into mud while her hiking group descended the Phelps summit. She attempted to continue until she lost sensation in two of her toes and called for help. Once the trail crew reached the woman, she was stabilized and assisted to Marcy Dam. The hiker reached Marcy Dam at 12:30 p.m., and Ranger Giglinto transported her out to South Meadow Road via UTV. The hiking group transported her to a local hospital for additional medical care.

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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Ode to an outhouse, and gatherings with old friends

By Susan Hennessey

There are many things that bring joy to my life; the majesty of the Adirondacks, the deep cold lakes nestled in those mountains, the endless trails for hiking, the smoke that unfurls from the chimneys of the sweet cabins that dot the woods, and believe it or not my girlfriend Margie’s outhouse. 

Yes, her outhouse is like no other. Located at the foot of Whiteface Mountain on the outskirts of Margie’s summer campsite sits the most darling outhouse. It was built from love and a whole lot of hard work.

My high school girlfriend Margie and her husband Brian were fortunate enough to have inherited a plot of land near Whiteface that they have been developing for 30 something years into the most efficient, adorable, campsite. LL Bean and Campmore would rival to have its photograph on the cover of their yearly catalogues. Blood sweat and tears have driven this project.

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Friday, May 29, 2020

DEC: Avoid the high-elevation trails

Adirondack High Peaks Trail Mud SeasonDEC Issues Late Season Muddy Trails Advisory 
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urged hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. North-facing trails have retained snow and ice late into the season this year. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails pose a danger to hikers, thin soils are susceptible to erosion, and sensitive alpine vegetation is easily damaged.

Despite recent warm weather, high-elevation backcountry trails are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. These steep trails feature thin soils that become a mix of ice and mud as winter conditions melt and frost leaves the ground. The remaining compacted ice and snow on trails is rotten, slippery, and will not reliably support weight.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Rangers have busy Memorial Day weekend

Recent Forest Ranger Actions

forest ranger logoTown of Waverly
Franklin County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 18 at 5:43 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from two hikers lost on Azure Mountain in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest. The 18-year-old female and 19-year-old male from Massena went off trail on the way up the mountain and failed to find the trail again on the way back down. Forest Ranger Scott Sabo responded to the trailhead off Blue Mountain Road. Coordinates obtained through 911 placed the hikers about 0.6 miles north of the trailhead and 0.5 miles from Blue Mountain Road. At 7:12 p.m., Ranger Sabo located the lost hikers and escorted them back to the trailhead to their vehicle.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

ADK Offers Free Memberships to Frontline Workers

johns brook lodgeADK is offering free one-year memberships to frontline, essential workers in recognition of the risks that they have taken to save lives and keep essential services available to the general public. Based on the definition provided by New York State, the following industries qualify as essential work:

*   Grocery stores
*   Public transportation
*   Healthcare
*   Emergency services

Membership benefits include a digital subscription to Adirondac magazine and discounts on outdoor skills workshops, wilderness Adirondack lodging and camping, and parking at the Heart Lake Program Center, which hosts numerous trailheads that lead into the High Peaks Wilderness. (Pictured here: Johns Brook Lodge)

If you are a frontline worker, please contact ADK’s membership department at [email protected].


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Before the Flood

Memorial Day weekend is shaping up as a grand, celebratory reopening across the Adirondacks and North Country. If initial trends that I’ve seen this month of steady business at local trailheads and parking areas are any indication, I expect to see the Adirondacks flooded with visitors this weekend. I expect this trend to continue throughout the summer. Will hikers stay locally in hotels, once they’re allowed to open, I don’t know, but I’ve seen people regularly at lean-tos and campsites I frequently pass by in hikes throughout Hamilton County and the central Adirondacks that are hardly ever used or are usually empty this time of year. I think that many folk see camping in Adirondacks as a safe, low-risk activity.

As New York slowly claws its way back towards normal American life, there’s a great deal of uncertainty about what lies ahead. It’s too soon to tell, given the length of time it takes for a person to fall ill from COVID-19, what the experience is in other parts of the U.S. that started opening back up for social and commercial activities in early May. Initial reports of COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the south are troubling as this region was the first in the U.S. to try reopening. New York is only just beginning the reopening process.

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

ADK leaders ask visitors to act responsibly, be patient

In a Facebook Live forum held recently, three Adirondack leaders asked visitors to make sure they are wearing masks and practicing social distancing this Memorial Day weekend, which is expected to be busy because of the holiday and the warm, dry weather forecasted for the region.

“We have some responsibilities to our local communities and residents to make sure we keep our infection rates low, so anyone coming from outside the region, we’re really encouraging them to get back to the principles,” said ROOST CEO Jim McKenna. “Let’s go beyond social distancing as much as possible, a mask all the time whether it’s required inside or not, let’s wear masks.”

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Boat inspection program starts up this weekend

Adirondack Watershed Institute steward watches over the Second Pond boat launch near Saranac LakeStarting this Memorial Day Weekend, Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute’s (PSC AWI) Stewardship Program will begin its work at public boat launches throughout the Adirondacks.

In partnership with NYS’s Department of Environmental Conservation, boat stewards will be assisting to CLEAN. DRAIN. DRY boats in the essential work to help protect the state’s waters from aquatic invasive species like hydrilla, water chestnut, and spiny waterflea.

In 2019, stewards talked with more than 250,000 water recreationists about aquatic invasive species and what can be done to prevent their spread. They also kept a lookout for invasive species at the waterbodies where they worked.

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Friday, May 22, 2020

A reminder to stay socially distant when getting out on Memorial Day

The opening days of hiking season are here, and with a warm Memorial Day weekend ahead, the Adirondack Council wants to remind outdoors enthusiasts to socially distance and continue using personal protective equipment while recreating.

Outdoor tourism is important for the North Country economy as well, and hikers traveling to the Adirondacks should take the time to research the local protocols and conditions beforehand. Residents and tourists alike should seek to avoid crowds and crowded locations so we can continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still getting the exercise and fresh air we all need.

» Continue Reading.



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