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North Face of Pitchoff access trail, Adirondacks


Original Post
Ed Reed · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

The access to these ice climbing routes is via the Jackrabbit ski trail at the end of Mountain Lane outside of Lake Placid. This ski trail has been maintained by volunteer skiers for over thiirty years. For years ice climbers have been walking in the ski trail without snowshoes or skis, ruining the trail for skiing for their fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Although there is a sign at the entrance to the trail asking that climbers wear snowshoes or skis, most do not, obviously unconcerned about skiers. As the popularity of ice climbing in this area increases, the problem has gotten much worse. This is extremely rude and inconsiderate, making me wonder about the type of people who participate in ice climbing. If you or anyone you know climbs this area, please get the word out that walking in the ski trail without snowshoes or skis is extremely unappreciated by skiers. Also, proposed changes to the state unit management plan for this area include a provision to make the use of skis or snowshoes mandatory on this trail. 

Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 439

This needs recognition, and the Jackrabbit is an invaluable resource that deserves protection, as it is primarily a cross country ski trail, one of the best we have. If you're ice climbing and don't know how to ski or don't have snowshoes, then you probably need to take a step back and learn some basic skills for winter travel and acquire some mandatory pieces of gear

Alan Burnell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2012 · Points: 0

Hey Nolan,

Can you give me an idea of how the trails are looking right now? Headed there tomorrow to climb. Is there enough snowpack to cause damage without "mandatory pieces"?

Nolan Huther · · Potsdam, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 439
Alan Burnell wrote:

Hey Nolan,

Can you give me an idea of how the trails are looking right now? Headed there tomorrow to climb. Is there enough snowpack to cause damage without "mandatory pieces"?

I can't, but the Barkeater Trail Association puts out the regional ski trail report on the daily. Google jackrabbit trail conditions and I'm sure you'll know it when I see it. I'm too lazy to pull it up myself right now. But regardless of the snowpack, the trail is "meant" for cross country skiing and has a secondary use as an ice climbing approach trail. Always assume you have to bring skis or snowshoes. I know I'm being blunt, but if you have neither, stay off the trail- either ice climb where its easier to get to or posthole 3 feet to the side of the ski tracks. Sorry, but lots of cross country try skiers love that trail and they're not ruining any ice climbs. Best of luck, happy climbing!

And although I'm biased as a former Nordic racer, skiing is fun and I highly recommend it!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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