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Old 12-09-2010, 06:36 AM   #1
bachand
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Eastern High Peaks Boundary

What is the western limit of the eastern high peaks wilderness boundary? I am planning an over night trip in the Seward Range this coming winter and want to know if camp fires are permitted at the lean-to sites along the Ward Brook Trail.
Also, it has been a while since I have been in that area. What is the water situation at the lean-to's?

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Old 12-09-2010, 07:10 AM   #2
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Marc,

Here is the DEC info and map of the boundary:
http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7512.html

Their official definition is "that portion of the High Peaks Wilderness Area located to the east of the ridge line immediately west of the Indian Pass Trail." Sewards are in the western zone.

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Old 12-09-2010, 10:01 AM   #3
Cory D
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All four Leantos along the North side have been redone by the Leanto Rescue guys and they did an awesome job. Water is close by all of them you just might need to bring something to chop through the ice depending on the weather.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:43 AM   #4
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And campfires are allowed.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:03 AM   #5
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Water is available near each lean-to. Both the Blueberry and the Ward Brook Lean-tos have streams no more than a few hundred feet east (farther down the trail if you come in from Coreys). The Number Four Lean-tos have a stream right in back of them.

It is conceivable, as has been stated, that these streams could be frozen over in January. So yes, a hatchet or something to chop the ice with is a good thing to bring.

Also note that the road into the Seward Range trailhead is usually not plowed. You'll have to park at Stony Creek and snowshoe/ski on the road to the summer trailhead. This will add about 2 or 2.5 miles to your hike in.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory D View Post
Water is close by all of them you just might need to bring something to chop through the ice depending on the weather.
...or simply melt snow.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:27 AM   #7
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...or simply melt snow.
This was how we obtained all of our water on the Northville-Placid Trail in the winter... holy cow was it time consuming. For each night, we had a designated person as "snow melter." The return in water for the amount of snow melted was quite small too, you'd fill a pot with snow, and get maybe a quarter of a pot in water, and so you'd keep having to leave the lean-to to collect more snow.

Plus the extra weight in fuel we had to carry... normally, in the winter, you need about 1.5 ounces of fuel per person per day, assuming cooking for breakfast and dinner. If you melt snow, this doubles to about 3. We also carried a stove specifically for snow melting, so we could do it while dinner was cooking.

In retrospect, I probably would have just drank water straight from the source, wherever possible. We did see plenty of open, flowing streams. The one nice thing about melting snow was having two bottles of warm water to take with you into your sleeping bag at night!

Bachand: Remember too, that while fires are allowed in the area, starting a fire in the winter isn't always the easiest of endeavors. Most of the best dead and down wood is hidden beneath snow and ice, and it's easy to give into the temptation to simply cut standing trees or remove dead branches from live trees (please don't do this!). While by no means am I discouraging you from making a fire, remember that it's important to make sure that your primary source of heat is from within (through hydration and consumption of calories), and that having a fire can actually make you colder by causing your capillaries to dilate. Your body can actually lose more heat through the side facing away from the fire than it absorbs from the flames.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
...melting snow...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
Plus the extra weight in fuel we had to carry...
The state change...solid to liquid... requires almost as much heat as it does to bring water to a boil.... IE, to convert a liter of water from 0C ice to 0C water takes the same amount of heat at to warm 0C water to 80C water (boiling is at 100C). In addition, the snow/ice may be less than 0C, so it has to be raised up before melting.
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..... while fires are allowed in the area, starting a fire in the winter isn't always the easiest of endeavors. Most of the best dead and down wood is hidden beneath snow and ice, and it's easy to give into the temptation to simply cut standing trees or remove dead branches from live trees (please don't do this!).
One of the unusual side effects of the no-fire rule in the eastern HP has been the preservation of outhouse doors.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:08 AM   #9
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One of the unusual side effects of the no-fire rule in the eastern HP has been the preservation of outhouse doors.
I'll never understand that practice, but I'm pretty sure it involves alcohol... "DUDE, I found more wood!"
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