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Old 12-15-2016, 02:24 PM   #1
laracroft
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Lightbulb First time hiking in winter & ADK advice

Hello All,

Can you all please advice where to go for hiking this winter in ADK for the first time

I am a starter and never done winter hiking, of course been couple of times in summer.

Also best place & time to plan for ice fishing ?
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:37 PM   #2
DSettahr
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I'd start out easy- pick a few flat hikes. Places like the Visitors Interpretive Centers in Paul Smiths or Newcomb would make for a great first time hike in winter. I believe both places also rent snowshoes, which you'll need.

The Adirondak Loj is another good place to start out. You can rent snowshoes at the High Peaks Information Center, and do an easy hike around the Loj property. The 2 mile hike to Marcy Dam wouldn't be a bad first time hike either, and on a clear day the view from the dam area will be stupendous.

If you're feeling a bit more confident, some of the Fire Tower peaks might also work. Easier ones include Hadley, Goodnow, Poke-O-Moonshine (via the long route from the south), Belfry, Kane, Spruce, Stillwater, and Azure.

I'd save any winter ascents of High Peaks for after you have at least some minimal level of winter experience.

Make sure you familiarized yourself with the concept of layering, and have appropriate clothing to put it into action. Super important is to remember not to have anything that is made using cotton- when cotton gets wet, it loses all ability to keep you warm. Make sure also to have extra warm layers in your pack, as these are useful for when you stop to take a break or in the event of an emergency. REI has a good webpage on how layering works: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-adv...ng-basics.html

One other thought- if you wait until late February, the days will be significantly longer and the weather likely to be milder. In general, late winter is more conducive to beginner winter hiking than early winter (although don't want to go so late that you start having to deal with warm temperatures, flooding, and rain).

I'd also recommend enrolling in a Wilderness First Aid course at some point. I believe that anyone who hikes and camps regularly should get certified in WFA anyways, but for winter pursuits, the knowledge you'll gain with regards to early recognition and treatment of frost bite and especially hypothermia is absolutely essential. WFA courses are pretty easy and can typically be completed in a single weekend.

The above is really only a brief overview, and I'd strongly recommend that you do more research on your own about skills and gear necessary for safe and comfortable winter hiking. There's a lot of good forum posts on the subject here and on the ADKHighPeaks forums, and some good websites out there as well (WinterCampers.com is a good one).
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:41 PM   #3
tenderfoot
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I second the Adirondack Loj idea. Well marked trails, camping or in Loj for over nighting. side from snow shoes you may also want microspikes even if you are not climbing (that tilted bridge to Marcy dam!). And food - eat & drink well. Plenty of people but I usully do not feel crowded around there. And they have a big party fo folks just getting into winter: https://www.adk.org/play/snow-sports...on/winterfest/
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:24 PM   #4
laracroft
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Thanks a lot DSettahr & tenderfoot for the detailed information. It really helped me to decide.

I guess i will start with Adirondak Loj, do they rent snow shoe only or the complete winter gear if not i need to buy complete set, i would like try one shoot before i invest

I will try to call them tomorrow.

by the way where do we get Wilderness First Aid course, my elder daughter aged 7 is very much interested in a training program and i keep saying her its cold outside, do we have any programs for kids tooo ?

again thanks a lot for the information, its keeps us motivated.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:33 PM   #5
Makwa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
If you're feeling a bit more confident, some of the Fire Tower peaks might also work. Easier ones include Hadley, Goodnow, Poke-O-Moonshine (via the long route from the south), Belfry, Kane, Spruce, Stillwater, and Azure.
A few quick points on these...

* The trail to Belfry only takes about 5 minutes each way. You might want to plan something else for the day in addition to that one.

* @DSettahr - How is Big Moose Rd in winter? Stillwater is miles down that dirt road. Is it clear through there/ maintained?
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:15 AM   #6
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Sometimes you can rent gear at your local Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) or LL Bean store if you have them close by. I have heard that the Mountaineer store in Keene rents them too. And google found this "The Albany Chapter of the ADK rents snowshoes for $5/day."

7 may be a bit young for the official Wilderness First Aid course but certainly not young enough to pick up some basics from the various web sites and books available on 1st aid and winter hiking in general. And of course I don't know her. Scouts (Boy and Girl) has some great 1st Aid resources for youth.

We used to focus more on prevention than treatment: no cotton, layers, if your feet are cold put on a hat, stay fed & hydrated, etc.
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