Entries Tagged as 'high peaks'
April 17th, 2014 · No Comments · Miscellania
January 23rd, 2014 · No Comments ·
Compiled on Thursday April 17, 2014
The following forecast, provided by the National Weather Service (NWS), is based on conditions at low elevations. Hikers & Campers entering the High Peaks Region should expect, and be prepared for, conditions which will likely be more severe than those expressed in a general NWS forecast. Hikers & Campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the back country, as weather forecasts can change.
Today Sunny, with a high near 34. South wind 9 to 11 mph.
Tonight Clear, with a low around 22. South wind around 17 mph.
Friday Mostly sunny, with a high near 47. South wind 14 to 16 mph.
Friday Night A 30 percent chance of snow showers after 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. South wind 8 to 10 mph. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Saturday A 30 percent chance of snow showers before 7am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. Northwest wind 7 to 15 mph. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Saturday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 26. Northwest wind 8 to 14 mph.
Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 47. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.
Sunday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. Southwest wind 13 to 15 mph.
Monday A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. Southwest wind around 14 mph.
Monday Night A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 38. West wind 9 to 13 mph.
Tuesday A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. Southwest wind around 8 mph.
Tuesday Night A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. Northwest wind 9 to 11 mph.
Wednesday A 40 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 47. Northwest wind 14 to 17 mph.
Latest Regional Forecast: National Weather Service – BTV
Wilderness conditions can change suddenly. While believed accurate, weather conditions may change at any time. All users should plan accordingly, including bringing flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Weather conditions may alter your plans; you should be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods before entering the back country.
Early Spring Weather: Recent very warm temperatures and heavy rains have been followed by a period of very cold weather. The weekend forecast is for daytime temperatures in the mid to high 40s; nighttime temperatures in below freezing; and chance of snow Saturday and clear Sunday. Snow and ice are present in the middle and higher elevations, while lower elevations have little to no snow. Water-proof footwear; cool weather, water-resistant outer wear; extra layers of non-cotton clothing; and hat & gloves are recommended for any outdoor recreation activities. Weather forecasts can change, always check the current weather conditions and forecast before entering the backcountry.
Early Spring Trail Conditions: Trail conditions will vary with changes in elevation and the time of day. Low elevation trails, trailheads and parking areas may have mud, water, hard-packed snow and ice or a mix some or all of those. Middle & high elevation trails have hard-packed snow and ice in the morning which softens in later in the day as temperatures warm. Above 2000 feet there is 18 inches to 2 feet of snow. Water is present below the hard packed snow on many trails.
Snowshoes: Snowshoes are required on all trails in the High Peaks Wilderness and necessary on any trails throughout the Adirondacks with 8 inches of snow or more. Snowshoes are required on trails. Even with snowshoes hikers are sinking knee deep in snow when they step off the trail. Wear snowshoes and don’t posthole. If you don’t have snowshoes, turn back when you encounter snow. The use of snowshoes or skis prevents “post-holing,” avoids injury and eases travel on snow. “Post-holing” ruins the trails for other users and makes them hazardous to travel.
Water Levels: Water levels are high in rivers, streams and drainages. Rivers and most major streams have lost ice cover. River & stream crossings may not be accessible, especially in the afternoon. Drainages and stream crossings that are passable in the morning may not be later in the day. Trails adjacent to water bodies may be flooded.
Crampons & Traction Devices: Traction devices carried and worn when in low elevation icy areas. Crampons should be carried and worn on summits and other open areas where ice has accumulated.
Ice on Water: Ice is thinning and deteriorating. Water and slush cover ice including on Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake. Ice is breaking up and going out on rivers and streams. No ice should be considered safe at this time.
Prevent Hypothermia: Dress properly, stay dry and add or remove layers to regulate your body temperature. Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia. Traveling in snow takes more energy and more time than traveling the same trail on bare ground.
Summits & Other Open Areas: Conditions on and near summits are more extreme – stronger winds, colder temperatures, snow & ice. Snowdrifts and hard ice are present on most summits. Crampons should be carried and use when warranted.
NOTE: Fires are prohibited in Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Zone
NOTE: Group size regulations are in effect throughout the High Peaks Wilderness. Group size for overnight campers is 8 or less and for day use it is 15 or less.
Be Prepared Before Entering the Back Country:
Check (before entering the backcountry)
- Local Forest Ranger for current information.
- Current weather conditions and short-term forecast
- Appropriate outer wear and foot wear
- Layers of non-cotton clothes
- Map and compass and know how to use them and use them!
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Plenty of food and water
- Extra clothes and socks
- Rain gear
- Ensolite pad to rest on and insulate your body from cold surfaces
- Bivy sack or space blankets for extra warmth
Always inform someone of your itinerary and when you expect to return
Please be aware that accessing the Forest Preserve through the rest areas is prohibited. In accordance with New York State Regulation §156.3(d), vehicles may not be left unattended in the rest area, unless the operator or passenger is within the rest area. Also parking of vehicles for longer than three hours during the hours of darkness is not permitted in accordance with §156.3(c).
Rock Climbing Route Closures: All rock climbing routes on Moss Cliff in the Wilmington Notch and the Lower and Upper Washbowl Cliffs near Chapel Pond are closed to allow Peregrine Falcons to choose nesting sites.
Elk Lake Trails: The trails through the Elk Lake Easement Lands are reopened to public use. However, the Clear Pond Gate remains closed through the end of spring mud season. This will add approximately four miles to a roundtrip hike, plan trips accordingly.
Corey’s Road: The road is closed at the Raquette River Trailhead. It will reopen once the road has dried, firmed up any necessary maintenance has been completed. Public motorized access is prohibited beyond the gate. It is nearly 3 miles from the gate to the Truck Trail Trailhead, plan trips accordingly.
East River Trail is Open: A new bridge has been constructed on the East River Trail over the Hudson River.
Duck Hole-Henderson Lake Trail: A new bridge has been constructed over Roaring Brook near Duck Hole.
Trap Dike: Fixed ropes, harnesses and other equipment are often abandoned in the Trap Dike. Due to the age, weatherizing and wearing of these materials they are unsafe and should never be used.
Closed Campsite: The designated campsite on Big Slide Mountain Brook in Johns Brook Valley near the intersection with the Phelps Trail has been permanently closed due to site degradation. Other designated campsites are located across from the Howard Lean-to and just past Johns Brook Lodge. Signs on the hiking trail direct hikers to these sites.
Bradley Pond Trail: The first foot bridge on the Bradley Pond Trail has been dropped and is unusable. The stream can be forded /rock hopped most of time on the downstream side of the bridge site.
Klondike Trail: The bridge over South Meadow Brook on the Klondike Trail has been replaced. The trail can now be accessed directly from the end of South Meadow Road.
Hurricane Mountain Trails: A portion of the Hurricane Road on the Elizabethtown (east) side of the Hurricane Mountain is washed out. The Hurricane Mountain Trailhead at the end of the road cannot be reached. The trail from Route 9N is flooded by beaver activity and rains. Currently the only easily accessible trail to the summit of Hurricane Mountain is from The Crows Trailhead on the O’Toole Road off East Hill Road on the Keene (west) side..
Marshall and Other Trail-less Peaks: Many of the herd paths found on Marshall and some of the other trail-less peaks meander around the slopes of the mountain without reaching the peak. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.
Northville-Placid Trail: The trail contains a large area of blowdown near the Seward Lean-to. A detour around the blowdown has been marked with pink flagging.
Marcy Brook Foot Bridge: A new bridge has been constructed over Marcy Brook. It is located approximately 200 feet below Marcy Dam, upstream from the low water crossing that had been in use since Hurricane Irene washed away the old bridge over Marcy Dam.
Southside Trail: DEC has closed the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John’s Brook Outpost and is not maintaining it at this time.
Cold Brook Trail: DEC has closed the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass and is not maintaining it at this time.
Deer Brook Trail: The low water route through the Deer Brook Flume on this trail to Snow Mountain remains impassable due to severe erosion.
Courtesy of DEC Region 5
October 29th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News
Town of Black Brook, Taylor Pond Wild Forest
On Friday, September 6, at approximately 3:40 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a group of hikers that were lost near the DEC Taylor Pond Campground. Karen Moore, 66, Cathie Choauvin, 68, and Bonnie Myers, 64, all of Saranac, NY, had left the campground intending to hike the 14 mile Taylor Pond Loop trail. Approximately halfway through their hike, the wet and marshy trail conditions forced the three women into the woods where they became disoriented and realized they were lost. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded with a boat and after discussing plans on the phone with the women, met them at a location on the shore of the Taylor Pond and transported them back to the campground. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.
Clinton County, Town of Chazy, Private Land
On Monday, September 16, at approximately 6:44 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from State Police requesting assistance in locating an individual. Helen Scales, 85, from West Chazy, NY, was last seen at 3:45 pm walking along State Route 22 toward a wooded lot. Five DEC Forest Rangers and members of the Chazy and West Chazy Volunteer Fire Departments responded and began a grid search of the area. Mrs. Scales was found in good condition approximately 1/4 of a mile from where she was last seen. She was evacuated via UTV due to shortness of breath and hypothermia and then transported to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh for further evaluation and treatment. Contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 to report lost and injured people in the backcountry.
Town of Schroon, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness
On Friday, August 30, at approximately 3:57 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Warren County 911 reporting a hiker with a broken leg at a lean-to on Pharaoh Lake. Donna Ryan, 53, of Clifton Park, NY, was walking down the trail when she slipped on a wet surface and rolled her leg, resulting in a severe unstable lower leg injury. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and splinted Ms. Ryan’s leg. A helicopter from State Police Aviation Unit responded with three additional DEC Forest Rangers. Two of the Forest Rangers were hoisted down to the site by the Forest Ranger operating the hoist mechanisms. The Forest Rangers placed Ms. Ryan in a harness and hoisted up to the helicopter. She was flow to a nearby landing zone in Chester managed by the Chester Volunteer Fire Department. Ms. Ryan was transferred to a North Warren EMS ambulance at 7:39 pm and transported to Glen Falls Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness
On Sunday, September 1, at approximately 6:18 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker in need of assistance on Algonquin Mountain. Aleck Wu, 21, of Toronto, Ontario was descending the mountain when started having difficulty hiking due to a pre-existing knee condition. A DEC Forest Ranger and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded and found Mr. Wu to be very dehydrated but still mobile. He was provided water and then escorted back to the Adirondack Loj. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Sunday, September 8, at approximately 3:42 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from the DEC Johns Brook Caretaker of a hiker with a broken ankle on Lower Wolf Jaw. Sarah Houde, 33, of Ballston Spa, NY had been hiking Benny Brook Slide with her husband when the accident occurred. He hiked to the Johns Brook Loj to seek assistance. The DEC Caretaker accompanied the husband back to Ms. Houde to assess her condition and splinted her leg. A Forest Ranger was dispatched to the location as well, and while a second Forest Ranger accompanied the State Police Aviation Unit helicopter as the hoist operator. Ms. Houde was hoisted up to the helicopter and flown to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
Town of Elizabethtown, Giant Mountain Wilderness
On Sunday, September 8, at approximately 1:45 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker on Bald Peak. Morgan Raith, 19, of Middlebury, VT, had slipped injuring her ankle and was unable to bear any weight on it. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and met Ms. Raith on the trail. The Forest Ranger along with members of Ms.Raith’s hiking group carried her out to the trailhead. Ms. Raith then returned to Vermont to seek medical attention on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
Town of St Armand, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
On Monday, September 9, at approximately 5:23 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two hikers in need of assistance. Jay Marchetti, 56, and Susan Marchetti, 55, both of Rainbow Lake, NY, were stranded in a swampy section of the Moose Pond area for over 3 hours and were unable to return without assistance. A DEC Forest Ranger responded with a canoe and quickly located the Marchettis in good condition. He rescued the pair from the wetland and brought them across Moose Pond by canoe where they were returned to their vehicle. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Monday, September 9, at approximately 4:30 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from two hikers that were lost and in need of assistance. Steven Allen, 49, of Mississauga, Ontario and Carmen Dragoste, 49, of Oakville, Ontario, had attempted to hike to Avalanche Pass from the Loj but became lost. A DEC Forest Ranger responded along with the DEC Marcy Dam Caretaker. Phone coordinates showed the subjects in the Pelkey Basin of Phelps Mountain. The Forest Ranger and Caretaker hiked in that direction while yelling for the two hikers without and response. DEC Dispatch contacted the Ms. Dragoste and Mr. Allen and requested they yell. The Forest Ranger was able to hear them yelling and used is compass to mark their location. The hikers were located near the summit of Phelps Mountain in good condition. After rehydrating, they were assisted back to Marcy Dam and then transported by UTV back to their vehicle. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Be prepared to spend the night in the woods carry extra water, food and a shelter.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Thursday, September 12, at approximately 10:29 am, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an overdue hiker. Douglas Courtney, 57, of Somerville, ME, left a detailed hiking itinerary with family members stating that he would be out of the woods and in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday, September 10, but the family had not heard from him. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the South Meadows parking area and located Mr. Courtney’s vehicle. The Forest Rangers began searching the trails. At 4:00 pm, Mr. Courtney contacted Ray Brook Dispatch from the Adk Loj and stated that he had intentionally deviated from his original hiking plan and extended his trip by two days to continue doing day hikes from Marcy Dam. At no time had Mr. Courtney been lost or injured. Always inform someone of your itinerary. Inform them as soon as possible if you change your itinerary.
Town of Keene, Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
On Monday, September 16, 2013 at approximately 5:20 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call transferred from Essex Co 911 reporting a lost hiker. Phillip Ratner, 70, of Oakdale, NY, was lost off the trail between Little Crow Mountain and Big Crow Mountains. A forecast of below freezing temperatures and Mr. Ratner’s stated health issues provided a sense of urgency to the response. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and located Mr. Ratner in good condition near the summit of Big Crow at 6:10pm. He was escorted back to the trailhead without any further issues. Know your abilities and the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.
Town of North Elba, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
On Wednesday, September 25, at approximately 3:50 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two lost hikers on Whiteface Mountain. Stephen Bressett, 54, of Malone, NY and Patrick Dailey, 50, of Vero Beach, FL, had been following a trail from the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway but were now lost. Essex County 911 was able to obtain coordinates from their cell phone call. A DEC Forest Ranger responded by boat to Whiteface Landing and hiked up to the two men. They were both located in good health about halfway up to the summit and 0.2 mile off trail. At 7:00 pm Mr. Bressett and Mr. Daily were escorted back to the boat and eventually returned to their vehicle in the parking area near the summit of Whiteface Mountain. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Friday, September 20, 2013 at approximately 4:31 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured hiker. Greg Elling, 51, of Ovid, NY, had injured his leg and was unable to move. A DEC Forest Ranger responded driving a UTV to the Marcy Dam and hiking from there. He located Mr. Elling 0.5 mile from Marcy Dam. The Forest Ranger assisted Mr. Elling down the trail to the UTV. He then transported the Mr. Elling back to his vehicle who then then sought further medical attention on his own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, September 21, at approximately 1:52 pm, a DEC Assistance Forest Ranger was notified by a passing hiker of an injured hiker just above the Phelps Junction on the VanHoevenberg Trail to Mt. Marcy. Robert Pierce, 75, of Rochester, NY, twisted his left ankle while hiking but was still slowly making his way down the trail. The Assistant Forest Ranger hiked to Mr. Pierce’s location, assessed and wrapped the injury. A DEC Forest Ranger and an additional Assistant Forest Ranger responded to assist. Mr. Pierce was assisted down to Marcy Dam and then provided transportation via UTV to his vehicle. He sought further medical treatment on his own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, September 21, at approximately 8:00 pm, a DEC Interior Caretaker was notified of an injured hiker on the VanHoevenberg Trail. Paule Lettourneau, 45, of Laval, Quebec, was hiking down Mt. Marcy when she twisted her knee. Other members of her hiking party assisted in helping her down the trail. The DEC Caretaker and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded to Ms. Lettourneau’s location and continued to assist her down to Marcy Dam. Ms. Lettourneau was provided transportation via UTV back to her vehicle where she decided to seek further medical treatment on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness
On Friday, September 27, at 2:15 pm, a DEC Interior Caretaker was notified of an injured hiker in need of assistance. Kathleen Cudmore-Bokan, 40, of West Charlton, NY, dislocated her knee on Cliff Mountain. Her husband reset her knee and wrapped it in a bandage. The DEC Caretaker assisted the couple to the high water bridge and notified the DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook. One DEC Forest Ranger responded with a UTV and gave the couple a ride back to their vehicle. Ms. Cudmore-Bokan chose to seek further medical treatment on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, September 28, at approximately 5:41 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker. Michael Perlowski, 25, of Plattsburgh, NY, had dislocated his knee while hiking on the Avalanche Pass Trail. A DEC Forest Ranger and two DEC Interior Caretakers responded to Mr. Perlowski’s location. After assessing his injury, Mr.Perlowski was assisted down to Marcy Dam and then provided transportation via UTV out to his vehicle. He decided to seek further medical attention on his own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
Town of Harrietstown, Saranac Lake Wild Forest
On Tuesday, September 24, at approximately 3:40 pm, an on duty DEC Forest Ranger overheard radio traffic reporting an overturned canoe on Middle Saranac Lake. The DEC Forest Ranger responded to the scene along with Saranac Lake Fire Department. Gerald Zumchak, 68, and Susan Zumchak, 66, both of Syracuse, NY, were canoeing and were caught by the wind and capsized their canoe. With the help of their son they made it to the shore, but Mr. Zumchak was very cold and unable to get back in the canoe. Saranac Lake Fire Department brought the Mr. & Mrs. Zumchak out to Saranac Lake Rescue who transported Mr.Zumchak to AMC Saranac for further evaluation. Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) when paddling.
Town of Johnsburg, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
On Sunday, September 1, at approximately 4:42 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker with an ankle injury. William Keck, 55, of Wading River, NY, was descending Crane Mountain when he slipped on the steep terrain and felt a snap in his ankle. Eight DEC Forest Rangers responded. Mr. Keck’s injury was assessed and splinted. He was hoisted up to a State Police Aviation Helicopter and flown to a nearby landing zone. There Mr. Keck was transferred to Johnsburg Rescue for transport. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
Town of Bolton, Lake George Wild Forest
On Sunday, September 1, at approximately 7:15 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a lost hiker. Mary Scanlon, 49, of Cicero, NY, was descending Cat Mountain when she became lost on the trail system and had no light or map with her. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, located Ms. Scanlon and escorted her back to her vehicle. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.
Town of Bolton, Lake George Wild Forest
On Saturday, September 21, at approximately 7:45 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting hikers that were in need of assistance. Jeff Clark, 57, Janeellen Clark, 57 and Katherine Clark, 23, all of Ballston Spa, NY, had hiked to the summit of Cat Mountain at 2:30 pm. They decided to take the ‘Blue Trail’ to the summit of Thomas Mountain based on information obtained from the internet. When they reached Thomas Mountain it was dark and they had no headlamps or flashlights for the return trip. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, located the Clark family and assisted them back to their vehicle. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.
Town of Johnsburg, Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area
On Sunday, September 29, at approximately 5:23 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of a missing hiker. Carolyn Reynerd, 79, of Poughkeepsie, NY, was with a geology group hiking to an old garnet mine from Garnet Hill Lodge. She became separated from the main group and missed a turnoff at approximately 12:00pm. Three DEC Forest Rangers, a DEC Assistant Forest Ranger and Warren County Deputies responded to the search. At 7:15pm, Ms. Reynerd was located on steep ledges 0.25 mile from Garnet Hill Lodge. The Forest Rangers put Ms. Reynerd in a harness and lowered her down to level ground. She was assisted out and assessed by Johnsburg EMS. Ms. Reynerd declined any further treatment. Stay together when hiking in groups and know the location of all group members at all times.
May 6th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News
Hikers Should Temporarily Avoid High Elevation Trails in the Adirondacks
With the start of a new season of outdoor hiking and recreation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urges hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 3,000 feet until early June when muddy trail conditions are expected to improve.
Trails and vegetation in the higher elevations are most vulnerable at this time of year when melting snow saturates thin soils found on the steep slopes of the mountains and much of the vegetation growing in high elevations is surviving on the edge of existence. Hikers can cause severe erosion of trails and significant damage to vegetation.
DEC urges hikers to avoid hiking on high elevation trails during mud season. Specifically, all trails above 3,000 feet in the Dix, Giant and High Peaks Wildernesses but also any high elevation trails on steep slopes throughout the Adirondacks.
Hikers are also more likely to slip and injure themselves on steep, wet and muddy trails.
On the lower elevation trails, snows melt sooner, soils are thicker and dry more quickly, slopes are not as steep and vegetation is less sensitive to damage from hikers. Even lower elevation muddy trails are less susceptible to erosion.
Hikers are encouraged to wear waterproof footwear and gaiters and to hike through, not around wet and muddy portions of trail to avoid widening the trails or creating “herd paths” around those areas.
DEC asks hikers to avoid the following trails:
- High Peaks Wilderness Area – all trails above 3,000 feet; where wet, muddy, snow conditions still prevail, specifically: Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam – Avalanche – Lake Colden which is extremely wet, Phelps Trail above John Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright and all “trail-less” peaks.
- Dix Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond
- Giant Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Giant’s Washbowl, “the Cobbles,” and Owls Head.
DEC suggests the following alternative trails for hiking, subject to weather conditions:
- Debar Mt. Wild Forest:
- Azure Mountain
- Giant Mt. Wilderness:
- Giant’s Washbowl
- Roaring Brook Falls
- High Peaks Wilderness:
- Ampersand Mountain
- Cascade Mountain
- Porter Mountain from Cascade Mountain (avoid all other approaches)
- Big Slide
- The Brothers
- Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
- The Crows
- McKenzie Mt. Wilderness:
- Baker Mountain
- Haystack Mountain
- Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area:
- Pharaoh Mountain
- Saranac Lakes Wild Forest:
- Panther Mountain
- Scarface Mountain
Hikers who wait for drier conditions will protect natural resources and trails. Also, the trails will be in better condition later in the season, making for a safer and more enjoyable hike.
DEC’s website contains additional information on :Adirondack Trail Information or contact the DEC Forest Rangers at (518) 897-1300.
March 13th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News
Tuesday’s rain and warm temperature has raised the levels of waters in streams and drainages throughout the High Peaks. Crossings may be treacherous if not impossible.
Lakes and ponds, such as Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden, have a foot of water and slush on their surfaces and are not skiable.
Below freezing temperatures overnight have begun to harden snow but beware of thin crusts of snow or ice over top slush and water especially in low lying areas, over and around streams and drainages and on lakes and ponds.
Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing through the weekend. Water levels will drop and snow, ice and slush should harden.
Courtesy of: NYSDEC
February 27th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today recognized the nine Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers and the dispatcher involved in the rescue of three men whose plane crashed in the Adirondack Mountains last week. Governor Cuomo commended the men and woman for their heroic efforts to save the lives of the survivors in sub-zero temperatures.
“The actions of these Forest Rangers exemplify the unwavering dedication and tireless commitment of the men and women charged with keeping New Yorkers and those who visit our state safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “These Forest Rangers saved lives and should be commended for their bravery and service to New York State.”
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Last week’s rescue of three plane crash survivors is just the latest example of how vital our Forest Rangers are when a crisis strikes. They are specially trained and they are special men and women. I’m very proud of the heroism and dedication of our Forest Rangers.”
The Forest Rangers, all based out of DEC’s Region 5 office in Ray Brook, recognized by Governor Cuomo are:
- Forest Ranger Lt. Charles Platt, nearly 20 years as a Forest Ranger
- Forest Ranger Kevin Burns, 14 years of service as a Forest Ranger
- Forest Ranger Peter Evans, 14 years of service as a Forest Ranger
- Forest Ranger James Giglinto, 17 years of service as a Forest Ranger
- Forest Ranger Thomas Gliddi, 16 years of service as a Forest Ranger
- Forest Ranger Chris Kostoss, 14 years of service as a Forest Ranger
- Forest Ranger Joseph LaPierre, 14 years of service as a Forest Ranger
- Forest Ranger David Russell, 8 years of service as a Forest Ranger
- Forest Ranger Scott VanLaer, 16 years of service as a Forest Ranger
- Dispatcher Alicia Bodmer, 16 years as a Dispatcher
Information on the rescue
At 6:32 p.m. DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook was contacted by State Police seeking Forest Ranger response to a plane crash in a wooded area near the Lake Placid Airport. Temperatures were in the single digits and fell to sub-zero overnight.
Essex County 911 was in contact with the three male occupants of the airplane all of Westfield, NJ who indicated they were in good condition. They provided coordinates of the crash site which were relayed to DEC Dispatch. When the coordinates were plotted on a map the site of the plane crash was near the summit of Nye Mountain, a trail-less High Peak just west of the Adirondack Loj.
Two DEC Forest Rangers initially responded to the Mount Jo Trailhead on the Adirondack Loj road and headed to the crash site on snowshoes and carrying cold weather gear for the crash victims. A second team of four Forest Rangers started a short while later carrying equipment for evacuating the three men.
A helicopter from the State Police Aviation Unit was also dispatched from the Lake Clear Airport but at 7:35 pm advised that they were unable to reach the crash site due to weather and darkness.
A Forest Ranger was in direct phone contact with the men at the crash site. They reported they had erected a tarp as a temporary shelter and put on extra clothing to attempt to stay warm.
At 10:50 pm Forest Rangers concluded that Nye Mountain location was not the correct location. At about this same time the first two Forest Rangers had hiked three miles to the crash site and confirmed there was no airplane present. Ranger determined the original coordinates were provided in atypical format. Plotting the coordinates in the standard format, Rangers determined the crash site was actually just west of Lake Placid near Big Burn Mountain.
The second group of forest rangers was redirected from Nye Mountain to Big Burn Mountain where they were joined by a another ranger. The Forest Rangers were able to reach the crash site by snowmobile via the Jack Rabbit Trail and bushwhacking on snowshoes the last half mile. The crash site was one mile from the road. The three men were located by the Forest Rangers at 1:55 a.m. The men were evacuated by snowmobile to the Whiteface Inn Road Trailhead where they were evaluated by the Lake Placid Rescue Squad. It was determined the men were fine and they declined any further medical treatment or transport.
December 31st, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News
Winter is a great time to explore the Northeast’s greatest wilderness, and the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) can take you there.
Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, ADK’s winter 2013 schedule of guided trips, outdoor workshops and skills programs has something for you. New this year is Beginner Winter Skills, designed to teach such essential skills as snowshoeing, shelter building and avalanche awareness. Beginner Winter Skills, scheduled for March 3, is $65 for ADK members and $72 for nonmembers. Other beginner programs include Beginner Backcountry Skiing (Jan. 19 and Feb. 16) and Introduction to Backcountry Snowshoeing (Jan. 27 and Feb. 24).
Also in 2013, ADK is bringing back Winter Family Weekend, two days (March 9 and 10) of winter exploration for both adults and children at the Heart Lake Program Center. Activities will include animal tracking, sledding, snow art, games, a campfire and more. Join us for one day or both. Cost is $10 per day for adults, $5 for children, and includes use of snowshoes.
Winter Camping 101 (Jan. 12-14) is designed for those who are eager to begin winter explorations, but lack the confidence or the know-how. This experiential, cold-weather workshop will cover the fundamentals of equipment, nutrition, low impact camping and safety. Participants will travel by snowshoe to a backcountry camping spot where they will learn how to set up camp, cook, stay warm and dry, and be prepared for the unexpected in demanding winter conditions. Cost is $180 for members and $198 for nonmembers, and includes instruction, group gear and food.
Other outdoor skills programs include GPS 101 (Jan. 6 and Feb. 2), an introduction to backcountry navigation using global positioning systems, and Map and Compass Fundamentals (March 17). ADK is also offering a Wilderness First Aid course (March 23-24) and a Wilderness First Responders course (April 6-13), both of which are conducted by Wilderness Medical Associates.
The winter schedule begins Saturday, Jan. 5, with a guided hike to the summit of Esther Mountain, a 4,240-foot trailless peak. This and other trailless winter hikes are strenuous and require a full day of snowshoeing; and participants should have prior hiking experience and be in good physical condition. The 2013 schedule includes two additional Esther hikes, as well as hikes to the summits of Street and Nye, Tabletop and Phelps. Cost is $55 for members and $60 for nonmembers.
Most ADK guided trips and workshops will be held at ADK’s Heart Lake Program Center on Adirondack Loj Road near Lake Placid or in the adjacent High Peaks Wilderness. The Feb. 2 GPS 101 class will be held at ADK’s Member Services Center in Lake George. For more information, visit the ADK website (www.adk.org) or call (518) 523-3441.
The Adirondack Mountain Club, founded in 1922, is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the protection of the New York State Forest Preserve. ADK is a nonprofit, membership organization that protects the Forest Preserve, state parks and other wild lands and waters through conservation and advocacy, environmental education, responsible recreation and stewardship.