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  • Public Emblem

    Lobbying groups: "The northern ADK is overcrowded! We need to do everything we can to restrict public access to public lands, and we won't stop until there's a total parking ban, a permit system, and we can completely eradicate all lists and hiking challenges from social media and public promotion!"

    Town of Saranac Lake: "Hold my beer..." https://imgur.com/a/2h2Q5IC

    My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

  • #2
    A town that wants me to climb their peaks so badly can not be denied. I will have to start researching this.
    Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
    ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

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    • #3
      I freaking love the SL6er peaks so much and think it's great that the Village embraces it as part of the culture.

      Comment


      • #4
        I hope nobody gets run over trying to take a selfie with it.

        So the town has time to paint the 6er logo in the middle of the road but they can't do something simple like administer the program in a timely fashion. I held off commenting on this months ago but I guess I'll bring it up now instead...

        The 6er member roster on their web site hasn't been updated in almost seven months and there has been a fair amount of internet chatter about people having submitted paperwork (and payment) this past winter who had been waiting months to get a response. Months. During the eight-week long wait I had for my patch/certificate after submitting paperwork for my winter 6er round I started poking around to see if anybody else was having issues. I honestly was wondering whether I just fell through the cracks. What I found was a slow system that needs fixing. Having completed over 80% of the various hiking challenges in the Adirondacks I have seen how just about how every town/organization handles their communications and what their response times are. I can tell you Saranac Lake is at the very bottom of the list as far as response time goes. The Chester Challenge, who all but abandoned their web site and who haven't updated their member roster since the end of 2016 rivals Saranac Lake's indifference but at least you can get Chester's patch the same day you finish at a few locations in town. So, overall Saranac Lake falls to the bottom of the list. Many other towns execute the transaction in as little as a few days and all do so within a few weeks. I call it a transaction since there is money involved. Saranac Lake is now charging $10 for their patch, which is the highest among all the other challenges sponsored by local towns. To be fair a few of the challenges sponsored by individuals are at $10 but I'm sure that is to offset the costs associated with running the challenge so I give them a pass. And since the whole idea of these towns running challenges is to increase tourism to their areas, revenue from the patches shouldn't be a prime consideration. I guess Saranac Lake is happy to get visitors to the area who spend money in town, and can take your $10, but then can drag their feet to give you what you paid for. In an world where there is instantaneous communication, 2-day delivery on Amazon orders, and more expedient ways to do just about everything this really stands out as shoddy and out of touch. This isn't 1974 where it took 6-8 weeks after sending away cereal box tops to get your cool new toy in the mail. Nobody operates on those glacial time scales anymore. Using the challenge as a marketing tool is fine but the turnaround time needs to be a hell of a lot faster.

        Evidently there must be a lot of people calling Saranac Lake because they posted about it on Facebook back in April. This post is so patronizing...



        I get it. It's burdensome. But you can't promote the hell out of it then complain that it's too popular and then patronize the people who you claim to love.

        So to inquire about my status during my wait I sent an e-mail to the address listed in that post. I purposely sent an e-mail since I figured nobody would ever respond. I just wanted to test my theory. Amazingly, they did contact me but it took five days to get a response. Five days?! For comparison, over the years I've communicated with about a half dozen or so of the folks who are responsible for running these challenges. All responded within hours of an e-mail or comment. Every last one of them... except Saranac Lake. And all fixed whatever the issue was immediately and they couldn't have been nicer or more pleasant about the interaction... except Saranac Lake. They need to pull it together. Every other town has figured out a system to promptly respond to people. They need to as well. It's about the principle here. I had this silly patch sitting on a list of things to follow up on for two months this spring. I shouldn't have that stupid little thing on my to-do list because they can't be bothered to process requests for something I paid for weeks ago. What they need to do is process their backlog of submissions. NOW!! Then they would be caught up. And then process all incoming ones weekly going forward. The system shouldn't be to wait and wait and wait while more submissions come flooding in and be 8-12 weeks behind forever. It's rather simple.

        Comment


        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          Wait, so just so we're clear, you're saying they're slow?

          All kidding aside, this is a good heads up. Thanks for bringing this up. It sounds like they're in need of some "adjusting" in the village Park and Rec department. They must have their hands full spending that $9.7M revitalization grant.

        • Makwa
          Makwa commented
          Editing a comment
          No... I'm saying they are SLOW.

          I kinda wonder who is actually processing these submissions. The automated e-mail I received was from ROOST (see comment #5.4 below), not Saranac Lake which seemed odd to me at the time.

          The solution is just so simple... just process the damn submissions when you get them. Looking at the member roster it appears there were approx 600 in 2018. Is sending out ~12 per week such an onerous task? If I had to guess I would say that's 30-45 minutes of work.

        • Makwa
          Makwa commented
          Editing a comment
          So just to give an example of people running other challenges doing an above & beyond job... I submitted my paperwork (on-line) for another challenge I completed recently. The next morning I got an e-mail congratulating me and informing me that my patch would be mailed in a few days since they were out of town on vacation and could not immediately mail it out that morning. They did not meet their 24-hour turnaround goal and were apologizing it would take a few extra days. That leaves a positive impression. Kinda makes you wonder why Saranac Lake drags their feet for so long, doesn't it?

          FWIW... at last check their response time is down to under a month now. Not sure if that's the new norm or if they are trying harder but that's still the slowest of the slow.

      • #5
        So, I can expect the same delay when I finish my Saranac 6 in a couple of weeks....delightful. Can the patch be purchased anywhere else?
        Nothing like being in the woods.

        http://www.gerardsadirondackpics.shutterfly.com

        Comment


        • Learning The Trails
          Editing a comment
          There used to be a mail in option (as recent as last year). That's how we registered. Printed the form, filled it out and sent it in.

        • Makwa
          Makwa commented
          Editing a comment
          I just searched the web site and found nothing about a mail-in option. It says, "Become an official “Saranac Lake 6er” by climbing all six mountains on or after May 25, 2013, and completing the online registration form."

          Maybe that's their issue... out of sight out of mind on-line submissions. It's hard to ignore a stack of mailed in forms/checks because you have to open them to get the checks out and deposited at the bank. When everything is done electronically then you really have to remember to get to the task... there's no reminders coming in with the daily mail.

        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't know about the patch, but there's another "kitchen table" company in the area who will print you off a very nice decal (of their own design) to indicate you're a 6er, 46'r, etc. I bought one of their 46'r decals off Etsy since I'm not a member of the official organization and have no intention of officially becoming one. In the end I opted not to stick the decal on anything simply because the HP region gets enough marketing without my adding to it. That being said its a beautiful design and very high quality material. DM me if you want more info.

      • #6
        I could not but notice how eroded and widened the usual trail up McKenzie has become ever since the inception of the "Saranac 6 ". I wrote on the S-6 Facebook page that the town of SL could give back by doing/paying for trail work to mitigate the damage that the S-6 had wrought. My suggestion was met with a polite FU.

        Comment


        • Learning The Trails
          Editing a comment
          I actually remember seeing your post pop up in my Facebook feed. It was right after DEC told them that they couldn't use Ampersand in the Relay Race. Someone over there was obviously pissed at DEC and their response to you was something like "Oh welp, DEC's problem."

        • gebby
          gebby commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree! It's obscene that they are utilizing state funded trails for this challenge, taken to the point of painting the 6er symbol on a prominent intersection in town, but feel no obligation to organize people in town to support/maintain the trails! I know the 46ers did some work on McKenzie this summer, but that's just not right.
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