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Old 09-04-2011, 10:26 PM   #1
adkjack's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 211
Trail work on Adams after Irene

Saturday 9/3
Having had this work date scheduled since last January, the last scheduled for this year, we had a group of volunteers already to work this weekend. After the devastation of Irene I had been in almost daily communication with Kris Alberga from the DEC and Rangers Jeffery and Lt. Dubay. Our fisrt and only concern was in what way if any could we be of assistance. With many of the trails decimated and unstable conditions the decision was made to close access to the Eastern High Peaks, Dix and Giant wilderness for the safety the public while the DEC worked tirelessly to get boots on the ground and in the air to survey and begin the arduous task of clean up. From all first indications Floyd had nothing on Irene. The destructive flooding had wreaked havoc on roads, bridges, business and homes throughout upstate NY and Vermont. The new and extended landslides in the high peaks, too many to number. Trails in some areas are now gone. With all that going on we simply waited for a response to the question of if or how we could help. Understanding that if the best way to help was to stay away we would.
Thursday, 9-1 I had heard from the DEC that they would be interested in using our small group of volunteers. Later that afternoon it was decided that where we could utilized the best would be clearing the trail from the East river trail head and up Mt Adams as our responsibility under our Adopt a Natural Resource agreement. By Friday night our group of volunteers had been assembled.
I would like to thank the following for their time, hard work and enthusiasm.
Laurie and TFR, PA Ridgerunner and Muddy Bottom, Neil and Sylvie, GMAC39, FlyingCow, Kyler, Kenmore and CoryD.

Saturday 9-3
I had picked up Cory in Albany and we arrived at the roadblock manned by Lt. Dubay at the Santanoni parking area to find Gmac had just arrived ahead of us. It was great to see the Lt. again as the last time I saw him we were atop Adams directing the Helicopter on where to drop the new roof last spring. He waved us through and soon after the rest of the group started to arrive.
As we assembled in the PA we had no idea what conditions lay ahead. There was the huge cedar that had fallen diagonally over the register and another tree that had fallen across the trail before the Hudson. The suspension bridge that had been repaired just a week before had been once again been severely damaged as it now had become a catch net for a dense mess of deadfall across the Hudson. The flow of the river was so strong that it pushed against the bridge so hard that it uprooted the three huge cedars that it had been anchored to.
Looked like we might have a long tough day.
Fortunately the water had receded to a level and flow that made the ford similar to that of June as the water only reached knee height in a couple of areas. The work begins. We worked in several small groups clearing what we found and leapfrogging each other to assure that we wasted little time. anything too big to be cut by Loppers, axe or Saw was left for the Big Guy!
Turns out that on Friday the ban on Chainsaw use in the wilderness zone was lifted for the cleanup effort and we were fortunate enough to have a certified chainsaw operator with his own saw on the team. For any of you that have had the great fortune to meet Flying Cow I want you to envision him not with ski's but with Helmet, Face guard steel toe boots and all the other PPE required. Impressive and larger than life. He and GMAC39 teamed up together and we could hear them working on the big stuff we left behind all day.
The conditions were not as horrible as we had anticipated and we tooled along making quick work of our chores. Amazing how many hands make light work, well kinda
Any of you that have made the ascent of Adams probably recall the large tree that hung from the top of the small cliff wall that rises to your left about three quarters of the way up. The widow maker as Cory aptly referred to it. On previous trips this year I had noticed that it had become more and more unstable each trip. I had not expected it to make through the storm.
It did, but barely.
It was too dangerous to leave this here as people would use it to lift themselves up on this difficult pitch and someone would be injured or killed eventually. Kyler and I scoped out the situation and decided that it would have to be loosed from the top. Kyler scrambled up the cliff whacked back over to the small ledge and as I was making my way over to help he had already safely loosed and fell the tree from its perch. It was awesome thing to see.
That was the last major clearing effort we would see. Cory had made his way to the top ahead of us, Imagine that, and had cleared quite a bit and worked his way back down to meet us. This had been the plan but foolishly I thought that it would be he and I working our way from top down, I am just getting way to old and slow to really have a chance of keeping up with this fine young man but Kyler and I did our best to try and keep pace.
Once on top it was time for a well-deserved break and of course I had to inspect the roof. As I expected neither the windstorms of June or the effects of Irene would damage the superior design and assembly of the Mace, Ward, Slammdog and Cheif 100 year roof
Unfortunately the haze of the day made the views, well there was none but the good news was there was nothing to distract us from clearing all the remaining debris from the footprint of the tower, including some 20 year old waterlogged (heavy) 2"x10"s and both of the old roofs. They are all now consolidated in one spot where eventually they will be flown out.
We made our way back down to discover that Cory had teamed up with GMAC39 and Flying Cow to complete some additional side cutting and even cut through a large tree that had been there all year since it was deemed to large to cut with a standard chainsaw.
It had no chance against the power trio of Cory D, Flying Cow and Gmac.
We all relished in the opportunity to cleanse our body and souls in the cool waters of the Hudson and partake in a nice little picnic at the end of hard day’s work.
There were pictures taken but I only took one of the group in the PA. I am sure they will be happy to share.
Thanks again everyone.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:56 AM   #2
Half Hitch
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 20
Awesome job guys!
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:15 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 717
Wonderful job guys, and thanks so much! Do you have any pictures of the damage you came across that can be shared?
High peaks: Summer: 46/46 (1st iteration); 26/46 (2nd); 8/46 (3rd); 3/46 (4th) Winter: 7/46 (1st); 0/46 (2nd)

The other 56: Summer: 49/56(1st); 10/56(2nd); 3/56(3rd); 3/56(4th) Winter: 13/56(1st); 2/56(2nd); 1/56(3rd); 4th (0/56)
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