AROUND THE REGION
Adaptive Winter Sports Instructors Needed at Double H Ranch
LAKE LUZERNE – The 21st season of the Adaptive Winter Sports Program at the Double H Ranch will kick-off with instructor training beginning on Saturday, Nov. 17. Each year, the AWSP is made possible by nearly 200 volunteer ski and snowboard instructors who provide a 1:1 support ratio for winter students.
Double H is currently accepting applications for new instructors. Previous teaching experience is not required, but the skier or snowboarder must be skilled at an intermediate or above level. “If you like to smile and have fun and are ready to make a difference in the life of a child living with a serious illness, we can teach you the rest!” says Jimmer Hayes, AWSP Director.
The Adaptive Winter Sports Program began in 1998 and offers children ages 6-16 living with life-threatening and chronic illnesses the opportunity to participate in winter recreation activities in the Adirondacks. Activities include alpine skiing and boarding instruction. Children with the following medical diagnoses fill the slopes with joy and laughter each winter: cancer, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia/bleeding disorders, HIV/immune disorders, collagen vascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, neuromuscular disorders, mitochondrial disorders, visual impairments, and children on the autism spectrum.
Each winter, the AWSP serves approximately 200 qualifying students, providing nearly 600 lessons over the course of the season and an additional 650 lessons to parents and siblings through the Family Weekend Programs. This program is made possible through the efforts of more than 200 volunteer instructors, National Ski Patrol members, and other winter volunteers. A full equipment room, double chairlift, Mary’s Way conveyor lift, and two trails allow students to enjoy the thrill of winter sports. Family Sleepover Weekends are offered during this program, allowing the entire family to experience this winter retreat together. All necessary equipment and instruction is provided free of charge to students and families.
The Double H Ranch, founded by Charles R. Wood and Paul Newman, provides specialized programs and year-round support for children and their families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. All programs are free of charge and capture the magic of the Adirondacks. For more info or to volunteer, visit doublehranch.org.
Mirror Lake Weather Station Funds Raised
LAKE PLACID – A significant portion of downtown Lake Placid sits within the Mirror Lake watershed, and Main Street runs along the lake’s western shore. This proximity poses significant challenges to maintaining the lake’s water quality. The primary challenge facing Mirror Lake are high levels of chloride and sodium and low oxygen in the deep waters. Mirror Lake has higher levels of chloride and sodium than 97% of lakes surveyed as part of the Adirondack Lake Assessment Program. These pollutants enter the lake via the application of road salt to roads, parking lots and sidewalks. Increasing concentrations of these pollutants threaten the ability of the lake to support healthy fish populations and other aquatic life. The reduced oxygen in the lake bottom may be a natural phenomenon that is being exacerbated by development, road salt runoff and climate change.
The Ausable River Association raised $2,630 in October to add a weather station along the shores of Mirror Lake to help better understand and monitor the lake. The weather station will provide critically important data to the mathematical models that inform how road salt is impeding the natural turnover of the lake. The weather station will also have the added benefit of providing real-time accurate weather data to the public, including the surface water temperature of the lake. The data will be paired with an already running livestream of the lake (sponsored by the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort) to provide researchers and the public with a real-time look at the lake and surrounding environment. Finally, they’ll allow an understanding of how global climate change is affecting Mirror Lake and its watershed, including changes in precipitation, wind, and water temperature and lake ice. For more info, go to adirondackgives.org.
Cycle Adirondacks Features New Routes
SARANAC LAKE – Cycle Adirondacks’ flagship event is the Ultimate Cycling Vacation. Registration includes meals, hot showers, parking, yoga class, bike mechanic and more. The tour delivers a weeklong cycling adventure designed to connect riders with the stunning, diverse Adirondack landscape and the incredible communities that make it special. The ride directly supports the education and conservation efforts of Adirondack Mountain Club and community generated projects in each of the overnight communities thanks to the CycleADK Gives program.
The 2019 Ultimate Cycling Vacation will feature Ticonderoga, Wilmington and Westport as overnight communities with new routes and amazing views of the Adirondacks from both sides of Lake Champlain. The out-and-back days in Ticonderoga and Westport will feature routes into Vermont via the Crown Point Bridge and Essex and Ticonderoga ferries. Out-and-back rides from Wilmington and an optional Whiteface Highway hill climb are included.
Off the bike, participants can explore Fort Ticonderoga, fish the Ausable River, and enjoy an afternoon hike of one of the Champlain Area Trails. Additional tours offered by Cycle Adirondacks in 2019 include the Weekender on June 28-30 hosted at Paul Smith’s College; Ride for the River on July 21 along the Ausable River; and Harvester on October 13 in the St. Lawrence Valley. Learn more at cycleadirondacks.com.
Introducing Ticonderoga Triathlon Festival
TICONDEROGA – Coach Mark Wilson is launching the Ticonderoga Triathlon Festival, formerly the Hague Endurance Festival, on Saturday-Sunday, June 22-23. Only five miles north from Hague to Black Point Beach in Ticonderoga, the course is athlete friendly, safe and beautiful.
Triathlons include a sprint, Olympic and aquabike for both distances. Saturday kicks off the festival with live music, food and fun with the races followed by a kids’ triathlon. Individuals or relay teams will love the new course layout with a start in Lake George, and then scenic routes for both the bike and run, hugging the lake shorelines.
Sunday is a sprint duathlon. Overachievers can check out new race categories: Double Ti, Combo Olympic Tri/Duathlon and Triple Ti. Relay teams of 2-3 people are welcome to join the sprint and Olympic races and teams of two for the duathlon. Wilson Endurance Sports focuses on grassroots racing and produces 26 events across NYS. For details, visit coachmarkwilson.com.
DEC and ORDA Open Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail
LAKE PLACID – The new Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail, the newest trail in the Adirondacks, is now open for public use. The 1.7-mile trail climbs 920 feet to the 2,940-foot summit. The trailhead is located in the Olympic Sports Complex, while the summit is located in the High Peaks Wilderness. Hikers will have a safe place to park while they enjoy a trail that can withstand considerable use and provides a beautiful view of the High Peaks.
It was designed and built to withstand heavier use with little impact, while providing an enjoyable experience for hikers. The design employs bench cuts to allow water to cross and not run down the trail length. Heavy turnpike construction and tread hardening also are used to combat erosion. The route also avoids extremely steep sections, making it less strenuous.
The trail is just one of many upgrades planned for the MVH complex. New Nordic ski trails, snowmaking enhancements, base lodge renovations, and parking lot upgrades are scheduled to begin soon. The route of the trail near bottom will change slightly after ORDA completes the World Cup XC ski trails.
While DEC determined the trail’s route and designed the trail, it’s been built by the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Professional Trail Crew. DEC will begin building the new trail up Cascade Mountain in 2019. The lower section of the MVH East Trail will provide access to the start of that trail. As described in the 2018 High Peaks Complex Amendment, once the trail is complete, DEC plans to close the current Cascade trailhead and the lower mile of the current trail. To learn more, go to dec.ny.gov.
Adirondack Powder Skier Develops Touring Trail Standards
KEENE VALLEY – The Adirondack Powder Skier Association is a not-for-profit corporation formed to study, protect, promote, and enhance low-impact human powered snow sports on public lands in the Adirondacks. The APSA has been meeting with the APA and DEC as well as governmental and environmental leaders to develop standards for ski touring trails within naturally occurring openings under a mature canopy on pitches that would require a minimal amount of maintenance to create safe and reasonable access.
The APSA believes that by utilizing carefully planned criteria for site selection and route designs, which integrate the natural terrain features and contours while avoiding areas of specific environmental concern, resource protection can be achieved in both Wilderness and Wild Forest areas of the preserve. Low impact ski touring trails selectively located throughout the Adirondacks would help to sustain local communities through ecotourism opportunities while providing a healthy wilderness activity for all to enjoy. Support the effort by joining APSA at adkpowderskier.com or on Facebook.