Adirondack high peaks get help from group dedicated to climbing and preserving them

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Fall foliage changes colors near Three Brothers Mountain in Adirondack Park in Keene Valley, N.Y. in October 2016. (AP / Tom Curley)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Adirondack 46ers are annual stewards of the Adirondack High Peaks, donating to programs that keep trails safe and maintained. This year, the giving is getting doubled.

The 46ers, whose name refers to the number of Adirondack high peak mountains, last week announced $41,000 headed to the Adirondack Mountain Club’s professional trail crew, which maintains trails throughout the 6-million-acre park. They also announced $75,000 would be given over the next three years to the club’s summit stewardship program, run in conjunction with the DEC and the Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter.

“As visitor use has increased in the High Peaks Wilderness, so has the 46ers’ investment into stewardship programming,” said Andrew Hamlin, Adirondack Mountain Club’s Trails Coordinator. “This support has been crucial to the success of a number of trail projects over the years.”

The mountain club has big plans for how the money will be spent. Their trail crew is set to start work on a section of the Phelps Trail between the park’s Bushnell Falls and Mount Haystack, fixing severe natural damage. The crew is currently working on a reroute of the Avalanche Lake-Lake Colden Connector Trail, located near Lake Placid in the town of Keene.

The funding will also help the club train new crew members in the spring.

The Adirondack 46ers have shown support for the Adirondack Mountain Club since 2001, with a $3,550 donation that started a tradition of giving; $350,000 over the last 20 years.

They’ve also given over $100,000 to the club’s Summit Stewardship Program, which protects alpine vegetation throughout the high peaks.

“Despite increases in visitor use, we have not recorded a decline in alpine vegetation on summits with a stewarding presence,” said Kayla White, Summit Steward Coordinator. “The 46ers have been tremendously supportive of the program and its mission since its inception, and their backing has helped us achieve this result.”

The Adirondack 46ers are comprised of enthusiasts who have scaled all 46 high peaks.

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