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The end of the mud season?

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  • #16
    The great irony is that many sloped trails at higher elevations, specifically the ones to popular peaks, have durable surfaces. They lost their topsoil decades ago.

    They are "ruts", sometimes 1-2 feet below the forest floor, and consist of either bare rock or exposed stones and aggregates deposited during the last ice age (and some soil, leaching from its raw edges). It's a durable surface, resistant to further erosion, provided you keep off the trail's sides.

    The first time I hiked the Algonquin Trail was in the late 70's. It looked like a rocky stream-bed, just like it does today. Little or no change and it's seen a lot of traffic in the last four decades.


    Looking for Views!

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    • #17
      If you look at that DEC website at literally any time of year it will to varying degrees persuade the reader to not enter the high peaks. My wife, literally every time I hike, will send me info from the DEC site saying to avoid or caution hiking the high peaks.

      I tend to look to this site for more up to date real info. I've literally lost a shoe on tabletop a foot down in mud. Not in the "mud season".

      Ps: yes I pulled it back out and wore it home. Awesome sauce...

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Neil View Post
        Interesting that it's called "mud season" .
        'mud season' is the vernacular for the season and so we are sort of stuck, whether it applies 100% to the high peaks conditions or not. but as it happens, the DEC isn't calling it mud season - nowhere will you find the phrase 'mud season' in this years advisory. even last year, the only place you find the phrase mud season is in the link for alternate trails. the terms mud/muddy are used equally as often in the 2017 press release as erosion/erosive, and their reasoning specifically states steep trails, frost leaving the ground (a partner to freeze/thaw), and thin soils.

        i feel the DEC can still do better in being more clear and consistent with their requests. but at some point i am not sure they are responsible to defend themselves against every nitpicker out there, particularly when many of them are going to ignore the advisory until it is a formal trail closure anyway.

        Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
        The great irony is that many sloped trails at higher elevations, specifically the ones to popular peaks, have durable surfaces.

        and many don't, hence the advisory. this year the announcement covers trails down to 2500' - there aren't exactly an abundance of the durable surfaces you speak of at these elevations.

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        • #19
          If anyone is averse to picking nits then they've come to the wrong place. This community has an established history of exploring the underlying meaning of things and not just accept it at face value. There are lots of other places online to garner likes through virtue signalling.

          ​Actually, both the Avy Pass and Van Hoe trails out of Marcy Dam lie at 2400+ feet and are your basic Adirondack brook-bed. The Van Hoe has no shortage of rocks to help keep you above the running water. My first visit was in the fall of 1978 to Phelps Mtn. The trail today doesn't look much different (and that's one heckuva busy trail).

          ​The Zander Scott Trail starts at ~1700 feet and is quite bullet-proof from bottom to top (except when hikers stray off it to create bypass routes). Same for Cascade Mountain Trail (and same for the regrettable bypass routes).

          ​The DEC offers alternate destinations that seem to run afoul of the advisory's constraints (like being higher than 2500 feet). However, the stated options direct hikers to drier, south-facing trails or to less-used areas. It's a reflection of the fact there's far more nuance to the situation and advising to "stay below 2500 feet" is just shorthand for how to deal with it.
          Looking for Views!

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          • Commissionpoint
            Commissionpoint commented
            Editing a comment
            "Virtue Signaling"...

            If I understand the concept correctly, I will only get "likes"from some very strange individuals...

        • #20
          Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
          If anyone is averse to picking nits then they've come to the wrong place. This community has an established history of exploring the underlying meaning of things and not just accept it at face value. There are lots of other places online to garner likes through virtue signalling.
          well sure, any niche forum will attract its share of nitpicking. i nitpick myself - just last post i criticized the DEC saying they could do more in being clear and consistent with their requests, citing the inclusion of ampersand the post before that. but as i said, i am not sure how far the DEC should be expected to go to make their statements bulletproof when it is not a trail closure and just a request/advisory. i have already stated i feel they could improve, but at some point it seems like diminishing returns to perfect a statement that has no teeth behind it.

          the snowshoe laws are perhaps a better place for this sort of exercise, crafting tighter and more detailed language because there are actual penalties at stake.

          all of that said, perhaps i crossed some line myself but i feel that to suggest i am 'virtue signaling for likes' is an unfair comment. while i am sure i have not been perfectly unbiased, i have sought a more neutral approach to the discussion thus far in this thread.

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          • Trail Boss
            Trail Boss commented
            Editing a comment
            "to suggest i am 'virtue signaling for likes' is an unfair comment"

            Please review what I wrote. I didn't accuse *you* of practicing it any more than you accused me of being a nitpicker. I said there are many *other* online venues where it happens.

        • #21
          Originally posted by autochromatica View Post
          (FYI: mbowler was using humor. It's an American thing. )
          As a Canadian I understand the difference between humor and humour.

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