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10-4-19 DEC Announces Temporary Closure of a Section of Devil's Path/Long Path Trail

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  • 10-4-19 DEC Announces Temporary Closure of a Section of Devil's Path/Long Path Trail

    http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/118394.html

    I suppose these are at the highest cliff-like scramble maybe half-way up from the notch.

    I hadn't heard of it till this safety improvement till now. I don't care for the Dolan notch approach; so, I'll take this off my list till the trail reopens.

  • #2
    Uh, hopefully the DEC chooses a choice of safety that doesn't add junk to the woods, over and over... I'm not sure that rungs, or should I call them croquet wickets, on a ski slope are ever a good idea. Anyone ever see rungs on a ski slope, I don't think so... Next thing would have been flags to warn skiers, glissaders, even butt sliders, etc of the danger lurking under snow. Its a whole different changeable world up there in winter. Hard to predict just how stupid those things were/are. I do know that snow stays on a slippery roof (for a while), so would stay on that rock and get totally covered over. Did the DEC think of that? Did they put little battery-powered heaters to melt the snow and ice? Can we please think a little better this time around, at the risk of sounding like the one? I never actually even saw them, except in pictures. I think a lot of people have strong feelings, without even seeing them. Of course, maybe I'm being unfair, having not seen them, but now's the time for the DEC to make a better decision. I would just like to say, good luck, we're all counting on you.

    Anyone have any better ideas? I mean, I'm sure they put these over-sized things in with winter in mind, sort of. Summer could have benefitted from a couple edges from an artificial climbing wall. It Just Seems that things were not thought through. The DEC can't be blamed for the vandalism, but now that that's an issue, too,...
    Last edited by CatskillKev; 10-05-2019, 11:36 AM.
    I might be kidding...

    Comment


    • Hear the Footsteps
      Hear the Footsteps commented
      Editing a comment
      I guess I would expect steel bar like I’ve seen in the White Mountains. I.e. like on Moosilauke Beaver Brook Trail. I guess you indicate not.

    • CatskillKev
      CatskillKev commented
      Editing a comment
      debmonster just put a picture from facebook, so you can look at that by clicking on the left picture, and tell us if it looks like Moosilauke.

    • Hear the Footsteps
      Hear the Footsteps commented
      Editing a comment
      I suppose these are similar. Don’t look flimsy.
      I know on that pitch I appreciated a hand hold provided by a dead tree on climbers right. A recollection is that tree is getting rotten.

  • #3
    The trail was not too dangerous before these things were installed, and now that only 2 of them are gone, the trail is too dangerous? Ridiculous.
    Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

    Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
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    • #4
      I never knew they were there. Shows you how effective they are/were.

      Comment


      • debmonster
        debmonster commented
        Editing a comment
        They were just installed in August: https://m.facebook.com/groups/451759...79993055534255

      • Hear the Footsteps
        Hear the Footsteps commented
        Editing a comment
        Has there been an answer to why DEC did this?

      • CatskillKev
        CatskillKev commented
        Editing a comment
        It was the most challenging part of any Catskill trail. It lacked handholds and footholds. By putting 8 or 9 "rungs" in, they have catered to people or chipmunks that can only reach about 6 inches. Maybe they got carried away. Maybe they were going to do only a couple, and then decided that people could get out of control because there is only a couple. And now there seems to be this emotional closing of the trail due to this vandalism of an unpopular idea. This project needs to be rewound somehow. Maybe just chisel a couple flat spots. That's a suggestion to the DEC. Not to a person that has no right to do such a thing. Can the DEC chisel natural rock for this purpose?

    • #5
      I have not been there, so I can't really assess how easy or difficult the section of trail was. I do know that in the Adirondacks, many sections of trail which I regard as easy and fun to climb (being a rock climber) have paths beaten around them by many people who regard them as difficult or dangerous. So certainly the abilities and risk tolerance of hikers vary a lot.

      CK, I think you have the right suggestion. Of course the DEC can chisel natural rock; they already drilled a bunch of great big holes in it to install those rungs. "Steps" of one sort or another built into natural rock have been used all over the world for thousands of years to allow safe passage over a difficult area. They are a good "minimal" intervention that reduces the urge for people to beat a path around the "obstacle" but doesn't put lots of junk in the woods, or create a new hazard.

      As I mentioned, I have not been there, so it's hard to be sure if that's the "right" solution. Maybe there is an easy way to re route the trail to avoid this spot altogether? But I know there often is not. On older trails like this, often the wise old trail builders have already picked the best spot, and miles of switchbacks would be needed to avoid it.

      But it certainly looks like a mess right now. In my opinion, DEC "vandalized" the trail first; then additional vandals did more vandalism. Unfortunate.

      Comment


      • CatskillKev
        CatskillKev commented
        Editing a comment
        The fox is guarding the henhouse. Now the hikers, who care as much as the DEC does, has to wait for the unveiling while they do their work in private. So that's why the trail is closed... No comments from disapproving hikers passing by. They can do their work in total privacy, and if anybody does show up, here's a ticket for you. Maybe they're pouring concrete and can't have the hikers until its hard. Who the heck knows at this point? Of course, someone has to make the decisions, so it is what it is. Let's hope for the best, I guess.

    • #6
      I wouldn't have thought the rungs were necessary. I went through a few weeks before they were in. I went down that section on twin, and a few weeks after that went up saddleback "cliffs". i thought both sections were comparable, in that if you take your time and have common sense and use good handholds/footholds they weren't bad at all, afterwards seemed really really fun, but at the same time if you lose focus and lose a handhold and fall you would definitely get hurt, seemed especially so on twin. i think the worst part of both trails was the buildup reading all the worrisome hype-up of them before actually setting eyes and hands on them, ended up nowhere near as bad as i expected. however, I would not like to do either section on twin or saddleback with a full pack (if had to would probably drop the pack down or hoist it up).
      I would have expected a big wooden ladder (like armstong, colden, basin) before rungs. seems odd as are there rungs like that anywhere else in cats or adk? maybe it is a trial for future placement
      35er #3133
      46er

      "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds"
      Zarathustra

      Comment


      • bikerhiker
        bikerhiker commented
        Editing a comment
        right, I thought there was something else other than the ladders, the embedded blocks. isn't there some on the other side by indian head also, or maybe those were all small ladders

      • Hear the Footsteps
        Hear the Footsteps commented
        Editing a comment
        Haven't been on Indian Head for a long while. Perhaps there is. This would be another ATIS maintained trail.

      • bikerhiker
        bikerhiker commented
        Editing a comment
        i went back through my pics and I did take one of the embedded (or sawn-half-off?) blocks in a rock somewhere around indian head, on ATIS-maintained trail. looking at the pic the 5 or 6 seem unnecessary on the sloped rock, however hikers will do what hiker will do, which unfortunately means some will work-around a slick rock so I guess the blocks would help with that.

    • #7
      Browsed table of contents for ladder specifications in trail construction documents referenced by NY State Parks specifications. Nothing found by a quick look.

      Found this. "Trails with Ladders and Metal Rungs" Scope is New England. There are some pictures. Appears to have been put together by a VFFT member.
      http://www.newenglandwaterfalls.com/...newengland.php

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      • #8
        there is a short ladder of steel(?) rungs on the AT in NY near prospect rock in warwick. that is the only NY example i can think of.

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        • #9
          If the DEC ever needs to get wood lumber up a mountain, they should consider enlisting some hiker help. The Spartan types could do it, and would want to do it, if they are with their buddies. :-) It would help when some hikers are stronger than the weakest in the group. Actually clubs could plan a lumber-moving hike, sounds like fun. Volunteer needs could be advertised on here. Helicopters are a joke, if you could do it volunteer-wise. Of course they'd have to trust that the lumber won't go the wrong direction.
          I might be kidding...

          Comment


          • LeftRightLeft
            LeftRightLeft commented
            Editing a comment
            Or offer a patch. Hikers, it appears, will be up for any randomness in the woods if it involves a patch.

        • #10
          DEC did bring up lots of lumber on the neighboring Sugarloaf in late spring/early summer - they installed lots of planks along the summit ridge (and I think just below it) in what I assume are the muddy sections (I do not recall them as being particularly muddy from my prior visits, and when I was there last in June, it was dry). So, the transport of the lumber is not a problem.

          Club's Facebook page has both DEC announcements on their page (the install, and the response to the vandalism/trail closure), if anyone is curious about the DEC position.
          46/46 as of August 1st, 2014!

          Comment


          • #11
            This is a bummer. The crown jewel hike of our club visit this week was to be an eastern DP traverse. Seems that trail segment is pretty important to complete it! Oh well, lots more to do in the area.

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            • #12
              Interesting. I hiked the Devil's path, east to west, as an overnighter almost 16 years ago to the day. I have zero recollection of the section of trail being discussed.

              I'm usually good at remembering things that stick out during previous hikes, but the only things I remember from that particular hike were that it was quite hot on the first day (in the 70s, I'm guessing), it got cold and windy during the night, and the next morning there was a nice blanket of snow flurries on the ground. The flurries made some of the scrambles on the second day (I think climbing out of the Devil's Tombstone notch) slightly interesting, but nothing scary. The only other thing I remember was than one of my hiking buddies irritated a roller hockey injury and ending up finishing the second day by walking like a bow-legged cowboy who had spent the last week entirely on horseback.

              It is entirely possible the section with the rungs has eroded, and is much worse than it was 16 years ago. Those were the days before I owned a digital camera, so I'd have to see if can find my original photographs.

              Comment


              • #13
                Yes, Groundpounder, this was not an eroded mess 16 years ago, just an interesting spot with lots of things to hold onto.

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                • #14
                  Any updates on this? I don't plan on going there, just curious how this cancer is going to be "managed."

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Was there yesterday on the summit of Twin. Tape across the trail and a sign. Wanted to go a little further past the summit to check out some caves, but did not want to "break the law", so we just turned back. Met a couple backpackers who were doing the full traverse, closure not-withstanding.

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