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Old 09-22-2014, 12:24 PM   #1
Hf8808
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Ice Caves ???

Looking to explore some of these "ice caves" I keep reading about & unsure where to start. Are any of them less strenuous? We have a 5yr old we would like to bring along for the adventure but don't want to make him miserable. TYIA!
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:40 PM   #2
Bark Eater Too
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Chimney Mountain, East of Indian Lake. Fairly easy 1 mile hike up - Maybe 800 feet of elevation gain. The caves are in the rock formations on the summit ridge.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:01 PM   #3
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Keep hold of your 5 yr. old if you bring him to Chimney Mt. Lots of places where a youngster could fall in a hole.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:56 PM   #4
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What jan said.

Some ice caves will swallow 5 year olds and 50 year olds... indiscriminately.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:05 PM   #5
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That said,

Most people will be alright if they stay Alert
...and hang on to Mary's stump.
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:59 PM   #6
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Just to clarify, I wasn't inferring that anyone should turn a 5 year old loose on top of Chimney Mountain. Simply trying to help answer the original post...that's the only area I know of in the Adirondacks with easily accessible ice caves. I first did them myself with my dad when I was probably 7 or 8. Fond memories! I just realized this past year that in the right light you can clearly see the Chimney without magnification from the Rt. 30 scenic view, just above Indian Lake village. Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:28 PM   #7
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It's possible Hf8808 was also referring to Ice Cave Mountain, near North Lake in Herkimer County in the Western Adirondacks. It's accessible through trails across easement lands north of North Lake. It's a bit of a haul to get there, though- a long drive down a remote dirt road before you even get to the trailhead.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
It's possible Hf8808 was also referring to Ice Cave Mountain, near North Lake in Herkimer County in the Western Adirondacks.
...or perhaps the ice caves within the talus at the foot of the Barton High Cliffs in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness, which is definitely not recommended for a five year old.
A little more info on which "ice caves" the OP is referring to might yield a little more helpful info.
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:34 AM   #9
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It would be interesting to know whether the temperature of surface spring water in the summer months is an indication of ice caves in an area and could lead to the discovery of unknown ice caves.

Example. I live in southwestern New York where well and spring water runs about 50-52 degrees in summer, and yet I have a spring on my property that stays about 43 degrees year around. I've used multiple thermometers. A geologist told me that the temperature of the spring indicated it was likely the water had passed through an ice cave, but I'm skeptical. I know of no caves of any sort within a couple miles of my home and this is not an especially wild place. I understand that caves can exist completely underground, but my understanding is also that an ice cave can form only where cold winter air can reach the recesses of the cave, forming ice that lasts into summer. In other words, an ice cave needs an above-ground opening. And while the underlying rock here does contain some limestone, not a lot.

So I suspect the guy was wrong. I'm no scientist, though.

Anyhow, I canoed & camped on North Lake many years ago and heard about the ice caves nearby, but didn't attempt to find them. Exploring an ice cave sounds too unpredictable and dangerous to this rookie.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mphilli2 View Post
Anyhow, I canoed & camped on North Lake many years ago and heard about the ice caves nearby, but didn't attempt to find them. Exploring an ice cave sounds too unpredictable and dangerous to this rookie.
The North Lake ice cave is not so much of a cave as a deep vertical fissure splitting the top of a rocky ridge. Snow accumulates deep in the winter, forming ice, which sometimes does not melt until well into July.

In recent years the North Lake ice cave has unfortunately been despoiled with graffiti. Unfortunately, someone thought it necessary to spray white paint on the large rock on the main trail that leads to the herd path up to the top of the ridge, and continued with white paint on trees and rocks all along the way. On the inside face of the "cave" are names, again in large white paint spray.

There are numerous other ice caves around here and there. Usually in areas of large broken bedrock or where boulders pile up at a cliff base, forming deep protected vertical passages where snow can accumulate. All have some exposure to the open air such that snow can get in. They can be dangerous slippery places with risk of falling tens of feet downward on jagged rocks, with escape impossible without climbing gear. Exact Locations are best kept to trusted word of mouth, for the obvious reasons.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:42 AM   #11
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I wrote about the North Lake Ice Caves 4 years ago on a news website. That post became popular and it's views seem to be accelerating. In one paragraph, I addressed the defacement issue. I wrote that I'm not one to leave graffiti and that kind of stuff can ruin it for everyone. I used the Dairy Hill fire tower as an example. It was taken down due to vandalism according to (http://www.nysforestrangers.com/index-towers.htm).

I hope by posting it, it didn't inadvertently attract more people who would deface the forest like this.

People were commenting about how they weren't able to find the mountain. The whole area is a labyrinth of logging trails and strange topography on easement property. One person tried to find the ice caves by following straight up Ice Cave Creek. Others were following unknown paths with ribbons. There are a myriad of paths in the region and flagging is probably common.

It's not so much a cave as it is a fissure, however I did notice some openings that lead into it. It looks dangerous. I also found a large balancing rock.

Last edited by Lonehiker; 09-29-2014 at 04:45 AM..
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:32 AM   #12
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You know, the DEC Ranger who covers the area will not divulge the exact location of the North Lake ice cave. Take that for what it is worth and the reasons for it. I wish more people were as responsible in refraining from widely publicly disclosing fragile and dangerous places such as this, especially when they are subject to vandalism.

I have tried removing the paint from the herd path, with limited success. The paint defacement in the fissure is unreachable without climbing assistance. I have removed colored flagging numerous times. Unauthorized flagging is not condoned by the DEC. Any such artifacts are no more than ugly scars upon wild places.
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:40 AM   #13
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I see, I will remove the description on how to get there. However, I cannot remove it from the news site and it's been four years since I posted it. Back then I just got into exploring the Adirondacks. I was enthusiastically studying the park and rapidly memorizing the mountains. That was the first month I went to town finding these places. The site will not allow me to delete it or even edit it. It's also described in guide books.

Last edited by Lonehiker; 09-29-2014 at 05:15 AM..
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Old 09-29-2014, 05:15 AM   #14
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It's also described in guide books
I know. It has been described in the ADK guidebook, and in Bill Ingersoll's book for many years. Even so, until recently the site has survived very well with little notable traffic without a recognizable herd path. Now it is a mess. Is the increased traffic and damage coincidental with the WKTV report? No way to tell.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:17 PM   #15
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Thank you all for your reply. I was referring to chimney mtn & ones near goodluck mtn??? That I had heard about. I was looking for something fun & a little different to take in this fall & wasn't sure if they were suitable for a 5yr old.
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