Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > Trip Reports
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-18-2018, 08:55 PM   #1
Tick Magnet
Member
 
Tick Magnet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ballston Lake, NY
Posts: 1,061
Chase Lake, SMWF, 18 Jan, 2018

Today was a great opportunity for Tredhed and I to revisit Chase Lake in the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest. We hadn't been here in a few years and Tredhed had never done a winter loop hike across the lake from the old lean-to site. That was today's plan, hike the trail to the old lean-to site (now a designated campsite) and cut across the lake to the new lean-to. From there we would follow the "new" trail back completing the lollipop route.

Arriving at the well plowed Pinnacle Rd. trailhead around 9:00



After sorting out some issues with my bindings, we set off down the red disked hiking trail.



The snow conditions were great with a few inches of fresh powder over a hard base. In a short time, we came to the junction between the lean-to trail and the designated campsite trail. (Sorry for the picture size issue...operator error on my part)



We took a break for a few minutes and then proceeded down the yellow disked trail to the designated campsite. We broke trail for the .8 miles to the lake shore as no one had yet traveled this way. The trail had a couple spots of blowdown, but was an absolute joy to walk on.



Before we knew it, we arrived at the designated campsite. While not a great location for a camp, it wasn't terrible either.



The best part of the hike was the .3 mile walk across the frozen Chase Lake. The views of Pinnacle were pretty spectacular. Certainly something most people don't get to see if they only visit the lean-to.



The sheer cliffs were especially noticeable in the bright sunshine.



At one point, I stopped to glance back at our tracks. What a sight.



After crossing the lake, we arrived at the lean-to for lunch. Unfortunately, the lean-to needed a little tender loving care before we feasted. Someone decided to hang hemlock boughs from the head log and scattered the floor with them. Upon closer inspection, we saw they had also started a small fire on the floor of the lean-to.



While Tredhed got the stove going, I cleaned up the mess and filled a shopping bag with assorted lean-to garbage. The hot soup sure tasted good as the wind picked up and snow flurries began to fly. When lunch was finished, we left the lean-to... a lot cleaner than when we found it.



We completed the lollipop route by heading out on the recently cut red disked trail. The restless trail wandered up and down a little, crossed a few streams and finally brought us to the junction in about a mile.



All that was left to do was follow our tracks the 1.7 miles back to the trailhead. After arriving at the car, we called the forest ranger number listed at the register and reported the gross buffoonery we saw. Lean-to shenanigans aside, it really was a great little hike today. While we only walked a little over five miles, it was a good stretch of the legs and got us out in a very pretty part of the southern Adirondacks.
__________________
Tick Magnet
Tick Magnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2018, 09:23 PM   #2
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 964
People's genius never ceases to amaze me...

Quote:
Upon closer inspection, we saw they had also started a small fire on the floor of the lean-to.
montcalm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2018, 11:25 PM   #3
dundee
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,543
Good TR! Those cliffs across the lake look inviting.

That LT isn't that old, but sure looks it. Some people started a fire on the floor of Fifth Peak LT (Lake George), it must be catching.

Thanks for cleaning up!
dundee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 08:22 AM   #4
geogymn
Member
 
geogymn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,915
Nice report! Thanks for cleaning up.
I think some people, especially after viewing some of those TV shows, go into knucklehead mode thinking they are just surviving, so extreme measure are in order.
Everyone has a certain level of insanity but a fire inside a lean-to?
__________________
"A culture is no better than its woods." W.H. Auden
geogymn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 08:34 AM   #5
Tick Magnet
Member
 
Tick Magnet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ballston Lake, NY
Posts: 1,061
Thanks for the props folks.

Yeah, Tredhed and I discussed the condition of the lean-to at length during lunch. Where do people learn this behavior? Is it passed down from older and "wiser" relatives, friends, magazine articles and TV shows? Geo, I think you're on to it with the "I saw it on a TV show/internet" theory.

I suspect people have been lighting fires in lean-tos as long as lean-tos have been around. However, this is the second time in three months we've encountered fire issues at lean-to sites.

I know that lean-tos tend to get a lot of abuse as they are a destination, much like a high peak. The only thing that we came up with was education, but how do you go about doing that? Tredhed and I learned our woods craft from the Boy Scouts and it seems to be working so far. I suspect the decline in the popularity of Scouting has contributed to some of the gross buffoonery we've all witnessed in the woods. Just a thought.
__________________
Tick Magnet
Tick Magnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 08:53 AM   #6
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,236
Nice report & photos, thanks for sharing!
Lean-tos...they are an Adirondack blessing and a curse!
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 10:03 AM   #7
dundee
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,543
In general Scouting is down, but in a recent chat with a friend who lives out of the area, he said they can hardly keep their troops running, but the next town over is booming. Go figure!

Scouting requires an effort and is not as much fun as smoking dope or playing vid games and is much easier. The two together is probably key.
dundee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 10:36 AM   #8
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 964
Pictures are excellent BTW...

And does one really need to go into scouts to determine starting a fire on the wood floor of a wood structure is a bad idea?

Did you happen to find a crack pipe around anywhere by chance? That's the only excuse I could think of.
montcalm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 11:48 AM   #9
tenderfoot
Member
 
tenderfoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 274
Might make a dandy Eagle project - a welcome plaque with a few lines of lean-to etiquette and/or other bush craft tips.

And in my experience, decline in scouting is not just the youngin's. Not by a long shot. Some of the practices in Troops instituted by "adults" amaze me. Both in skill teaching, example setting and in how the adults interact with each other. Sorry, another story at another time.

Great trip report though. Thank you.
__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Eyes on the Forest, not on the Trees
tenderfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 03:23 PM   #10
snapper
snapper
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: central NYS
Posts: 243
First off, thanks for the trip report and your continued efforts to clean up the messes you find when out in the woods. I'm confident the majority of the folks on this board do the same but nonetheless, thanks for your extra efforts in that!

As for Scouts; I'm almost 65 and got involved in scouting as soon as I could join the Cub Scouts. I was lucky enough to have my Dad as my Cub leader and then my Scout troop leader as well. I worked waterfronts for my council (and other councils too) summer camps for 6 years and eventually earned my Eagle award. When I went to college I got involved where I could with the local troop and as an adult served on our local council board for almost 15 years.

So, where is this all going? Well, if you noticed, I said I served; past tense. I have become so disgusted with many of the BSA's behaviors and actions as they pertain to how they handle council business. After being lied to by the District Superintendent for the second time, I knew it was time to leave the board.

While I honestly believe most local leaders want to do the right thing, they're not all supported in their efforts by the administrative levels above them; all the way up to the National office. It's a shame because there are so many outlets for kids now that scouts are in a real competition for members. While I'd like to think otherwise, I don't see the current downturn in membership changing any time soon; regardless of how many girls they let in (but that's another story for another day).

All that being said (sorry if I got a bit off topic but I think you can see this whole thing really bothers me), I agree with Montcalm..."Do you really need to go into scouts to determine starting a fire on a wood floor of a wood structure is a bad idea?

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper
snapper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 07:43 PM   #11
Tick Magnet
Member
 
Tick Magnet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ballston Lake, NY
Posts: 1,061
Montcalm is right, you don't have to be a Scout to know that lighting a fire inside a lean-to is a bad idea. That's just the path that Tredhed and I took and it shaped our discussion.

Snapper, your second paragraph is pretty much what we did in our younger years. I'm sure Scouting was just as jacked up "back in the day", we just never knew about it as kids.
__________________
Tick Magnet
Tick Magnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2018, 03:58 PM   #12
snapper
snapper
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: central NYS
Posts: 243
Tick Magnet - You're probably correct in that things weren't as we may have thought. That might be the blessings of youth. Kind of why getting old can have it's own set of issues.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

snapper
snapper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 05:02 PM   #13
real3175
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Rotterdam, NY
Posts: 66
I was there just 2 days after you, great report and thank you for cleaning up the lean to :-)

My wife and I had it to ourselves for about 30 minutes until a lone woman came walking up with no gear and wearing sweatpants, fuzzy boots and a light coat. Chase lake must attract folks who aren't very knowledgeable...
real3175 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 06:37 PM   #14
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by real3175 View Post
Chase lake must attract folks who aren't very knowledgeable...
It’s not just Chase Lake. Seems like any place that has a lean-to & is only a couple hour walk or less to reach receives similar issues...litter, items left behind, tree & branch cutting, stumps galore, damage to the lean-to, over-use, etc.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a 5+ mile hike minimum (one way) implemented by the DEC in order for a lean-to to be constructed. Sadly many lean-tos in Wild Forest Areas where snowmobiles are allowed also receive similar abuse. If I recall correctly, there was a discussion on this forum about these potential issues when the Chase Lake lean-to was built, which was only just a few years ago.
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 07:24 PM   #15
dundee
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
It’s not just Chase Lake. Seems like any place that has a lean-to & is only a couple hour walk or less to reach receives similar issues...litter, items left behind, tree & branch cutting, stumps galore, damage to the lean-to, over-use, etc.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a 5+ mile hike minimum (one way) implemented by the DEC in order for a lean-to to be constructed. Sadly many lean-tos in Wild Forest Areas where snowmobiles are allowed also receive similar abuse. If I recall correctly, there was a discussion on this forum about these potential issues when the Chase Lake lean-to was built, which was only just a few years ago.
+1. I'd like to see a minimum, too.
dundee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 07:52 PM   #16
Woodly
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: SNY
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderfoot View Post
Might make a dandy Eagle project - a welcome plaque with a few lines of lean-to etiquette and/or other bush craft tips.

And in my experience, decline in scouting is not just the youngin's. Not by a long shot. Some of the practices in Troops instituted by "adults" amaze me. Both in skill teaching, example setting and in how the adults interact with each other. Sorry, another story at another time.

Great trip report though. Thank you.
The plaque would be stolen.
One of grandsons got into scouts at my urging, dropped out after a few meetings because they didn't do anything except talk and play...but that's one troop. I've urged others to get into it and two of them became Eagles, so certainly it depends on the leaders and the troops sponsors.
Woodly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 09:15 PM   #17
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 964
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodly View Post
The plaque would be stolen.
My thoughts exactly. Or chopped up and burned on the floor of the lean to.

Not sure what can be done... I'd seriously say let them rot and not repair them, but that will never happen. I'd rather see a few scattered tent sites than one lean to. I'm sure there would be much less of an impact overall and lot less junk scattered around.

I don't generally go out into the wilderness to sit in a man-made structure. I can pack a tarp that weighs less than a pound that will do everything that lean to will do for me. I sleep better in a tent or a hammock. If I had my own property I'd build one and use it for kids and summer guests. I have nothing against the structure itself - I think they are great. It's just the garbage and stupidity they tend to attract that deters me from the public ones.
montcalm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 09:24 PM   #18
dundee
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,543
One problem is that the public is lazy and is always crying about how they can't see and enjoy these beautiful places and that there's not enough access. The DEC and Gov. "Open It Up" Cuomo cave in and put these LTs in places like Chase Lake.
dundee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 09:59 PM   #19
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 964
Well we all know that's a bunch of malarkey. Lean tos have nothing to do with access. And we have the best access to public lands of any in the US. We have well marked trails with great signage. Lean tos are just an added bonus if you choose to see them as an asset.

There's no reason a lean to has to be present to enjoy a lake, a stream, a mountain. It's just an historical Adirondack structure. It complies with our wilderness regulations. It shouldn't. But it does. It's an obvious man-made structure. Just because it has three walls doesn't mean much to me.

Thunderboxes OTOH, not a bad structure to have in high use areas. In theory they contain more messes than they create.
montcalm is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.