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Ascent of Mountains in Winter

December 1st, 2010 · No Comments · Adirondack Life

Winter Work - Ascending Mountain to the Station“The ascent of these steep mountain slopes in winter is frequently both dangerous and exhausting. The paths, which in summer ascend the glacial-polished slopes of the mountains, called “slides,” are now covered with ice on which–treacherously–there is often a thin layer of snow or an accumulation which only needs a footstep to bring down a genuine avalanche. The safest way to proceed in such mountain climbing, has been found to keep along the margin of the slides, where the young trees and brush crowd closely up to the edge of the steep slopes, out of the ravines. Here, by clutching the young trees and bushes, or holding to one another, the steepest places may be safely passed with no greater danger than an occasional bruise or tumble; and chilling cold from the snow, in which the men are compelled at times to wade, and for which they prepare themselves by extra underclothing and by wearing moccasins of buckskin covering sheepskin boots or the more common lumbermen’s felted boots with “arctic” shoes.” — Colvin 1897.

(via New York State Library)

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