By CHERYL ESPER
Chapter coordinator (2003-2008)
The Wakely Mountain fire tower (above) is one of the first steel towers erected by New York state. In 1915, 10 steel towers were purchased from the AerMotor Company of Chicago, a windmill manufacturer. Wakely was one of nine erected in 1916, the 10th was put up in 1917.
Access into the tower was originally achieved by use of only a ladder. Self-supporting stairs were retrofitted into these towers beginning in 1929. All fire towers bought after 1916 came equipped with factory installed stairs.
Of these 10 only four remain standing today. Wakely is one of two that has not been structurally altered and is the only tower with the original ladder still attached. Wakely was the tallest of these towers standing at 70 feet to the floor.
On Aug. 31, the Esper family of Long Lake, N.Y., and the Delaney family of Gaylord, Mich., hiked to the Wakely tower as part of the back-to-school hiking series hosted by the chapter. Wakely Mountain, located near Indian Lake Village, is a six-mile hike, ascending 1,635 feetk. Wakely stands 3,744 feet tall.
- For more information on Adirondack fire towers, read John P. Freeman's Views from on High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills (published by the Adirondack Mountain Club).
Great Range Traverse
Matt Hager did a modified Great Range Traverse in a day on June 16. He did it solo. His report:
“When I began planning for the hike, I decided I wanted to make it a little easier so I would be successful. My hike began at 5:00 a.m. at the Adirondack Loj. It took me up the Van Hovenberg Trail to Mount Marcy by 8:30. The weather at that time was phenomenal. By 10 a.m., I made it over to Haystack Mountain. By noon, I had made it across both Basin and Saddleback. By 1:30 p.m., I was between the Gothics and Armstrong. It was kind of interesting (demoralizing?) to see a sign saying the Roostercomb trailhead (and my ride) was 8.29 miles away. The weather started getting a little sketchy at the time, since someone on Armstrong saw lightning, and I definitely heard the thunder. Around 2:45 p.m., I was in Wolf Jaw notch. I was on Lower Wolf Jaw at around 3:15. Walked down the last five miles by 6:00 p.m. I was moving much slower toward the end of the day.
“So all told, I walked somewhere between 22 and 23 miles, and climbed 8,000 to 8,500 vertical feet, and it took me just under 13 hours.”
For National Trails Day on June 2, we did trash pick-up in Hudson Falls at their town park complex, and covered the trail and trailhead parking lot at Owl's Head Mountain in Long Lake.
The Pasta's On Us, Again. That was the theme of our second annual Adirondack International Mountainfest weekend outreach dinner, held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12 at Lake Placid Baptist Church on Saranac Avenue in Lake Placid. The pasta dinner was free to all, courtesy of Climbing For Christ. After eating, climbers were able to go to Keene Valley in time to see the first slide show of the weekend Friday night.
For more on this event CLICK HERE.
A home church away from home church
All at welcome at Lake Placid Baptist
Climbing For Christ members are welcome to use the facilities at Lake Placid Baptist Church to sleep, shower or cook a meal. The current cost is only $5 to spend a night at the church. Pastor Derek asks for 30 days notice, but this church also can be called on in the event of an emergency. Of course, you can always worship at Lake Placid Baptist on a Sunday morning or evening. Visit www.LPBaptist.org to learn more about the church.