Monday, July 14, 2014

Reading the Clouds

Cirrus and Stratocumulus clouds over the High Peaks

By Tyra Olstad

Even if never truly called Tahawas the “Cloud Splitter,” Mt. Marcy often does slice a hole in the sky, catching precipitation and channeling it into “Lake Tear of the Clouds.” In fact, all of the Adirondack mountaintops mingle with the clouds, affording spectacular views of atmospheric strata (and sometimes direct experience of thick grey mist.)  Alpine vegetation is well-adapted to heavy fog, intense sun, damaging ice, high winds, and other climatic extremes typical of places that are closer to cloud than to earth, but hikers (and summit stewards!) need to anticipate and be prepared for conditions up on the high, exposed peaks, where temperatures are lower, wind is stronger, and storms stir up in a matter of hours.  Although it’s best to check weather forecasts before beginning a hike, it also helps to pay attention to what’s happening overhead: with a little practice, you can learn to appreciate cloudscapes not just for their natural beauty, but for their role as meteorological indicators as well.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Seasonal Staff Training: Creating ADK Superstars

2014 North Country Staff

By John Million

Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) impacts people all over the Northeast, but nowhere is this more directly evident than through its North Country (NC) facilities and programs. The heart of the NC operations team during the busy summer season are our incredible seasonal staff. These fine young people are mostly college students on break from their studies, many of them in the midst of pursuing a career in environmental protection or outdoor education. To the thousands of visitors that flow through Heart Lake and Johns Brook Lodge, these individuals truly are the face of ADK. To insure we have the best and brightest representing us, ADK invests heavily in proper training for our staff, so they are well prepared to serve our guests from around the world. The following is just a sample of the great training our seasonal team receives. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2014 ADK Legislative Report

By ADK's Advocacy Office

Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Advocacy Office addressed numerous issues throughout New York’s legislative session this year including a fracking moratorium, climate resilience, and regulation rollback (among other issues), but at the end of the session we focused primarily on two pieces of legislation. ADK advocated for the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) bill (A9619-B and S7851-B) which is AIS spread prevention legislation requiring watercraft to be clean and drained prior to launching. ADK also opposed legislation A4971-A and S1946-A, which would have permitted larger, heavier ATVs. Fortunately, by Friday June 20th, the last day of the session, the AIS legislation had passed, and the ATV legislation had been defeated. The success of the 2014 legislative session was due to the combined efforts of a broad coalition of groups and the good work of principled legislators who considered the concerns of their constituents, and made choices to protect the environment.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Julia Goren: New York's Rarest Alpine Flower

By Seth Jones

Julia Goren
Every June I try to make it up to the summit of either Algonquin or Marcy to take in the vibrant colors of the first alpine flowers in bloom.  I usually see lapland rosebay, a pink alpine rhododendron, or Diapensia, a deep green mound with petite white flowers.  If I make it over to Skylight I might even get a glimpse of the alpine azalea, a small, deep pink flower only found on Skylight’s summit.  I also usually see another alpine flower, one even more rare and colorful than the ones already mentioned.  This flower will talk to you about her special, fragile home and even answer your questions about which jagged peak you see off in the distance.  To many, this alpine flower’s name is Julia Goren, a human, but in the alpine ecosystem of New York, she could be considered the rarest and most beautiful alpine flower of them all.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Adirondack Mountain Club Urges State to Comply with the Law Regarding NYCO Mineral Sampling

By Neil Woodworth

Photo by Carl Heilman II
On May 30, 2014 the Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Advocacy Office in Albany submitted comments in response to the Opportunity to Comment posted by both the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) on DEC’s proposed amendment to the Jay Mountain Wilderness Unit Management Plan (JMUMP) and to the Draft Temporary Revocable Permit (TRP) for NYCO Minerals, Inc. to conduct exploratory drilling on Lot 8 in the Jay Mountain Wilderness. Read ADK’s full comment letter here.

ADK "Treks to the Track" at the 2014 Black Fly Affair

By Linda Smith

The 2014 Black Fly Affair: A Hikers’ Ball was a success! The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) would like to thank everyone that joined us for the event of the season at our Trek to the Track last weekend at the Hiland Park Country Club in Queensbury. Men and women alike sported their Derby attire, ‘fabulous’ hats and, of course, hiking boots. The evening opened with a stroll through cocktail hour and a silent auction, and featured a “Fabulous Hat” contest – congrats to all our winners!