January 10, 2013

Winter programs open up outdoor opportunities


---- — LAKE PLACID — Thinking about winter camping?

The Adirondack Mountain Club offers a course designed to prepare novices for such outings.

Winter Camping 101, set for this Saturday, Sunday and Monday, is designed for those who want to begin winter explorations but lack the confidence or the know-how. The experiential, cold-weather workshop covers the fundamentals of equipment, nutrition, low-impact camping and safety. 

Participants will travel by snowshoe to a backcountry camping spot where they will learn how to set up camp, cook, stay warm and dry and be prepared for the unexpected in demanding winter conditions. 

Cost is $180 for club members and $198 for nonmembers; fees include instruction, group gear and food.

The course is just one of the club’s schedule of guided trips, outdoor workshops and skills programs offered this winter.

New this year is Beginner Winter Skills, designed to teach such essential skills as snowshoeing, shelter building and avalanche awareness. Scheduled for March 3, that workshop is $65 for Mountain Club members and $72 for nonmembers. 

Other beginner programs include Beginner Backcountry Skiing, set for Jan. 19 and Feb. 16, and Introduction to Backcountry Snowshoeing on Jan. 27 and Feb. 24.


Also, the Adirondack Mountain Club is bringing back its Winter Family Weekend, when, on March 9 and 10, all ages can take part in winter exploration at the Heart Lake Program Center.

Activities will include animal tracking, sledding, snow art, games, a campfire and more. 

Participants can do one day or both. Cost is $10 per day for adults, $5 for children and includes use of snowshoes.

Other outdoor skills programs include GPS 101, on Feb. 2, which offers an introduction to backcountry navigation using global positioning systems; Map and Compass Fundamentals, set for March 17; Wilderness First Aid, taking place March 23 and 24; and Wilderness First Responders, scheduled for April 6 through 13.

Both classes are conducted by wilderness medical associates, a press release said.


The winter schedule began Jan. 5, with a guided hike to the summit of Esther Mountain, a 4,240-foot trailless peak; there are two more chances to climb that peak, with hikes up Street and Nye, Tabletop and Phelps planned, as well. Prior hiking experience is needed for those strenuous full-day snowshoe outings, and participants should be in good shape for those treks. Cost is $55 for members and $60 for nonmembers.

Most Adirondack Mountain Club guided trips and workshops are held at its Heart Lake Center on Adirondack Loj Road near Lake Placid or in the adjacent High Peaks Wilderness. The Feb. 2 GPS 101 class will be held at the club’s Member Services Center in Lake George. 

For more information, visit or call 523-3441.

The Adirondack Mountain Club, founded in 1922, is a nonprofit, membership organization that protects the Forest Preserve, state parks and other wild lands and waters through conservation and advocacy, environmental education, responsible recreation and stewardship.