Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Press Statement on Renewal of National Fuel Gas Supply Gas Storage Lease in Allegany State Park

By Neil Woodworth

The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) strongly supports the decision by the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) to reject the proposed expansion of the National Fuel Gas (NFG) storage facility in Allegany State Park. ADK also strongly supports OPRHP’s decision to reduce the lease agreement to 15 years and to reduce the size of the underground storage area.

“We strongly support OPRHP’s decision to oppose any change in capacity or manner of operation which would increase the environmental impact of the Limestone gas storage facilities to Allegany State Park," said Neil Woodworth, Executive Director and Counsel of the Adirondack Mountain Club. “ADK calls upon Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Rose Harvey to ensure that at the end of this lease renewal period, NFG will cease use of the Limestone gas storage facility, vacate the park entirely and remove all facilities and infrastructure from within Allegany State Park.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Skiing Mt. Marcy for Sunrise

Sunrise from Mt. Marcy

By Seth Jones

I first heard about people skiing Mt. Marcy while I was a High Peaks Summit Steward in 2008 and ever since then the thought of being able to ski all the way down New York’s tallest summit has intrigued me.   I made it to the Hopkin’s junction last year, just 1.2 miles away from the summit of Marcy, but the 18” of fresh snow that my group broke trail through completely exhausted us so we decided to turn around.

There was another opportunity this past Tuesday (March 10) to ski Mt. Marcy for sunrise with my friend Brendan Wiltse.  We figured the warmer temperatures, good snow cover and a later sunrise with daylight savings time would make for a perfect opportunity to attempt a ski to the summit of Mt. Marcy. With an early morning start, the miles slid by in a mild haze as we methodically skied up to the summit of Mt. Marcy.  We caught sunrise just above the Phelps junction.  Energized by the early morning light we continued up to the summit after taking a few photos of the sun peeking through the clouds.  Brendan and I were surprised when we were not the only ones taking in the sunrise – an American Marten was traversing the summit with us. 

I was definitely nervous about the ski down.  This is not an easy ski and one that should only be attempted by intermediate-advanced skiers.  I knew I was going to be challenged but being able to take in the early morning light spilling across the mountains was well worth it.  I hope you enjoy the photos from the adventure.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Maegan E. Spindler Education Scholarship

By Mark Gocke

By Seth Jones

On March 1st my friend Maegan Spindler should have been celebrating her 27th birthday.  Tragically, she was killed on July 8th, 2013, when a drunk driver hit her and her supervisor in a parking lot in Pickstown, SD. Maegan and her team were researching the recovery of the endangered Pallid Sturgeon in the Missouri River. Together with Maegan’s family and her many friends, I am celebrating her life and her work through a new education scholarship.
Maegan did so many of her outdoor “firsts” in the Adirondacks.  She went camping, hiking, mountain climbing,  fishing, canoeing and snowshoeing for the first time in the Adirondacks.   She also spent a summer at the Cranberry Lake Biological Station while she was working on her B.S. degree in Wildlife Science at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  Maegan had her first paid field biology job in the Adirondacks. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

ADK's Volunteer Trail Work 2014 Accomplishments

NTD volunteers heading to work in the Silver Lake Wilderness
by Seth Jones

By Field Programs Department

Over 240 volunteers participated in various ADK Supervised Volunteer trail projects & workshops in 2014. First year crew leaders Jacob Faber and Jacob Veilleux did an excellent job and each brought a unique skill set to the program. Along with the training sessions with the Professional Trails Program, both volunteer leaders visited the Blue Mountain Lake Museum and participated in a two day Leave No Trace trainer course.

Trail Steward Workshops
This season, three trail steward workshops were held for aspiring ADK trail stewards. The trail steward workshop is intended to give trail maintainers an understanding of basic trail maintenance concepts and standards. This training is necessary to become an official trail steward under ADK’s volunteer agreement with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Upon completion of the workshop, participants are supplied with a copy of ADK’s Basic Trail Maintenance Manual. On May10, the first workshop was held on the trail to Mt. Arab which is positioned just west of Tupper Lake.  On June 21, the second one-day workshop took place on the trail to Severance Hill located nearby Schroon Lake. The third workshop was conducted in Blue Mountain on October 11th. Five volunteers on Mt. Arab, ten volunteers on Severance Hill, and five volunteers on Blue Mountain learned the principles of cleaning drainage, blow-down removal, side-cutting, and trail marking.

NTD Volunteers
By Seth Jones

National Trails Day®
ADK celebrated National Trails Day® on June 7th in the Village of Northville.  The 90th anniversary of the completion of the Northville-Placid Trail (N-PT) was the theme of the event. Trail projects focused on the last two major reroutes of the N-PT. 5 volunteer trail projects including a guided hike took place on the 7.5 mile reroute in the Silver Lake Wilderness Area that was completed by ADK during the 2013 field season. In addition, 35 volunteers installed 30 square feet of rock retaining walls, three rock steps, eight square feet of barricade rocks, and completed over a half mile of re-routes on the newly completed section of the NP-T in the Silver Lake Wilderness.  In the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest, 30 volunteers worked alongside the Pro crew to grub close to a mile of that N-PT reroute that is anticipated to be completed by 2016. While trail projects were underway, over 30 vendors and artisans were set up in Waterfront Park which is located in the center of the Northville. A dedication ceremony was held at the end of the day that commemorated Waterfront Park as the new start or finish of the N-PT. Free camping was available to all trail volunteers at DEC’s Northhampton Beach Campground. The volunteer recognition dinner was provided by the Old Time Tavern which is located next door to Waterfront Park.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

ADK Starts New Winter College Program

By Seth Jones

This winter, Adirondack Mountain Club's Education Department tried a new College Winter Weekend program.  This program, based out of the Alex Radmanovich Yurt at our Heart Lake Program Center, was piloted to give college students an opportunity to experience snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for the first time while giving them the knowledge to be able to be prepared for winter recreation in the future.  We had two universities participate this winter, Columbia University and University at Albany.    Participants had a great time and we look forward to having more students out on the trail next winter. 

Students sleep and cook in our yurt that is heated by a woodstove.
Students receive a winter preparedness clinic before setting out for the day.
Photo by Paul Gallery
On the way to Mt. Van Hoevenberg where students practice
snowshoeing and active layering.

Friday, February 27, 2015

ADK's Professional Trail Crew 2014 Accomplishments

2015 Professional Trail Crew

By Field Programs Department

The Professional Trail Crew’s (Pro. Crew) season began with a week of skills training this year. The first day was spent at Heart Lake where the basics were covered such as tool & equipment safety, proper tool use (rock bar, axe, etc.), and how to set up a high line system. The entire crew then headed to the southern Adirondacks to continue skills training on the recently completed N-PT reroute in the Silver Lake Wilderness Area. A number of different kinds of structures were built including 46 feet of bog bridging, 40 feet of stepping stones, and 8 rock steps. After skills training, the entire Pro. Crew, including the volunteer leaders, participated in a two day wilderness first aid course that was run by Wilderness Medical Associates. To finish up training, the entire crew embarked on two days of patrols on trails primarily in the Eastern High Peaks Region. The High Peaks patrols occur annually every spring and the emphasis is to clean out all existing drainage structures (rock waterbars, ditches, etc.).  Almost all of the drainage structures were installed by past ADK trail crews. Up to four different crews patrolled over 46 miles of trail and removed 74 pieces of blown down trees. Training and patrols were made possible by funding that was provided by the Adirondack Forty-Sixers.

Monday, February 16, 2015

3 Summer Teen Activities with ADK

1. Johns Brook Valley Teen Adventure

This four-day, three-night camping adventure is for teens ages 14 to 17. Explore Johns Brook Valley's mountains, streams and lean-tos while we build friendship, camaraderie and outdoor skills in the Adirondack backcountry. Participants will experience hiking high peaks and learning the skills to become a proficient backpacker.

Learn More