DEC warns of perils in Adirondack backcountry for unprepared visitors
Visitors to the backcountry of the Adirondack Mountains should use proper equipment and be prepared for snow, ice and cold, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation warns.
Winter is an good time to take advantage of all that the Adirondack Park has to offer, but the season can also present troublesome -- even perilous -- conditions to the unprepared.Snow cover in the Adirondacks is already feet deep in the higher elevations. Visitors to the eastern High Peaks are required to use snowshoes or cross-country skis for safety, and it is strongly recommend that visitors to other parts of the Adirondacks do the same.
Snowshoes or skis help avoid injuries and eases travel on snow by preventing sudden falls or “post-holing.” Ice crampons should be carried for use on icy mountaintops and other exposed areas.
In addition, DEC recommends that backcountry visitors follow these safety guidelines:
• Dress properly with layers of wool and fleece (not cotton) clothing: a wool or fleece hat, gloves or mittens, wind- and rain-resistant outerwear, and winter boots.
• Carry a day pack with an ice axe, plenty of food and water, extra clothing, a map and compass, a first-aid kit, a flashlight/headlamp, sunglasses, sun-block, ensolite pads, a stove and extra fuel, and bivy sack or space blankets.
• Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can lead to hypothermia.
• Eat plenty of food to maintain energy levels and warmth.
• Check weather before entering the woods. If the weather is poor, postpone the trip. The mountains will always be there.
• Be aware of weather conditions at all times. If weather worsens, head out of the woods.
Visitors should also be aware that waters have begun freezing over, but are not safe to cross. Ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person.
Adirondack Trail Information can be found on the DEC web site at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html. The web pages provide general information and seasonal conditions, specific notices on closures and other situations involving trails, roads, foot bridges, etc., and links to rules and regulations, hiker and camper safety, low impact recreation, weather and more.