Friends of Hurricane is joining with the Adirondack Mountain Club, which runs one of the pioneering Summit Steward programs in the country, to manage and expand the steward presence at the Hurricane fire tower. With training and experience offered by ADK, we expect to strengthen our presence on the increasingly popular summit.
Many current volunteers have already signed up to participate. Here’s part of a note from our partnership leader:
“First off, I just want to introduce myself. I’m Kayla White and work for the Adirondack Mountain Club as their Stewardship Manager. I run the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program and have worked for ADK for the past 9 years. I’m really excited to be partnering with the Friends of Hurricane to run a volunteer stewardship program on Hurricane Mountain. “
To sign up and find out about training, email Kayla at: [email protected].
PANDEMIC and PHOTO PANELS
The Coronavirus pandemic caused plenty of problems, but Hurricane’s Fire Tower proved as popular as ever in 2020.
Summit Steward: Thanks to a successful fundraising campaign, we were able to fill a big hole in our budget that was created when the pandemic cost the state millions of dollars in lost revenue. Albany pulled funding for summit stewards all around the Adirondacks. Fortunately we were able hire Ethan Raines, who had worked for us in 2018, and he proved to be an effective Leave No Trace interpreter and historic guide on the top.
Panoramic Photo Panels: Ethan also made it possible to install four spectacular photo panoramas above the fire tower windows, showing the surrounding peaks with names for easy identification. The photos, created by Karen and RL Stoltz of Vertical Perspectives Photography, are drawing rave reviews from hikers every day. Ethan not only carried the panels up the mountain, he had the mechanical skills to install them securely.
Popularity: Once the tower was reopened by the state in late Spring, hikers flooded our zone. On some sunny days there were hundreds of people on top. And during peak color season this fall, people were lined up across the summit to ascend the tower.
Thanks to everyone who made this such a successful year, after a very rocky start. We got major fundraising support from Cloudsplitter Foundation, the Hurricane Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club and many individuals. Also volunteers pitched in as summit stewards and helped with trail work his fall. The door is open for anyone interested in joining us. We can use all levels of skills and ability.
Next year, a new map table in the cab!