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Old 02-17-2013, 09:47 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 102
Siamese Ponds Wilderness?

I see this marked as a "primitive trail" on ma nat geo map...just curious as to what this means. Are the trails marked? How is a primitive trail different from other strictly hiking trails.

People's opinions of this area? I'm looking for remote and not a lot of traffic...possible bushwack. Does it fit the bill?
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:29 AM   #2
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I'm not sure which trail you mean, but it sounds like it is NOT a marked trail.

The Siamese has few marked (measured distances, well maintained, markers, signs, etc.) trails, few people, (as compared to other places) and lots of bushwhacks.

Personally, I find it much less scenic than other areas, but it's quiet, has places that few people see and I keep going back.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #3
Moving along
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The "Primitive Trails" marked on the Nat. Geo Maps are trails/paths that are not officially marked with DEC Trail Markers.
They are more or less foot-paths that follow old logging roads, and they receive minimal maintenance, and are not often traveled.
Some "Primitive Trails" are easier to follow than others.
I'm a huge fan of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness, and I'm very much attracted to old, lesser traveled paths such as these.
One good thing is that most maps don't show many old routes that actually still do exist.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
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Its a great area, one of my favorites. You have to bushwhack to get to most of the summits, but you can definitely find some quiet areas. It is more spread out than an area like Pharaoh Lake Wilderness, but most areas are pretty quiet. I like using the Discover the Adirondacks series to get ideas to explore (originally by Barbra McMartin). I prefer the approaches from the east (13th Lake & Old Farm) since they are convenient to where I live.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:54 PM   #5
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Anyone able to say what the snow pack is in Siamese Ponds?
Walt 2/21/2013
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:47 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Snow Pack, E Sacandaga Leanto, 3/7/2013

I get to answer my own question.

March 6&7 I shoed in from Rt 8 Siamese Ponds TH to the shelter at the suspension footbridge over the E Sacandaga. Snow depth was 20 to 25 inches, well-consolidated, trail well packed by skis and snowshoes.

The Sacandaga was frozen in the quiet reaches, open over the riffles, and treacherous along the shore shelf ice. Suggest stay on the trail.

No others sighted along the way, weekdays. It is just possible to get satellite phone reception from the midpoint of the Sacandaga bridge.

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Old 03-11-2013, 05:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by whcobbs View Post
No others sighted along the way, weekdays. It is just possible to get satellite phone reception from the midpoint of the Sacandaga bridge.
I've hiked with satellite phones a few times (on organized trips such as outing club trips, etc). They are a real pain in the butt to use. The only time I was ever able to get decent reception was on frozen lakes where I could get several hundred feet away from shore, and have a wide uninterrupted view of the sky.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:14 AM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2004
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satellite phone, E Sacandaga bridge

This was my first try at a satellite phone. Globalcom of Dallas TX provided rental via FedEx of an Iridium 9505 (midweight, 14 oz) . The instrument seems to belong to the early 1990's, smart it is not. Satellite lock from the Sacandaga bridge took a full five minutes, after some experimenting with directing the antenna. Connection to the spouse in Philadelphia who urged this experiment was intermittent and frustrating. I was only able to communicate that things were OK. Attempts at getting an update on a weathercast for an approaching storm failed, the connection simply wasn't good enough.
Back in the Philly area, the phone worked much better from the middle of a soccer field.
Overall, the phone was overkill for this little jaunt, expensive ($250 for a week with expedited shipping), and heavy for my light weight winter hiking style.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:40 PM   #9
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I did the Sat phone rental for hiking the Northville-Placid Trail with my son (More for Mom's peace of mind than safty). Now I have a "Spot" PLB. My wife loves it, as do my hiking partners to send to their loved ones. I send a "we are ok" from Summits and the parking lot when back at the car. It also send a link to a map of where you are. Fun to look at when back home. You don't get to hear their voice but works great to "check in".
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:24 PM   #10
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I concluded that for "intimate landscapes" (no horizon), sat phones just aren't very practical. In an emergency, an injured party won't be able to send a message. The spot locator beacon seems more practical, immobility means trouble.

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