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Become a Lake Placid '9er' On These Adirondack Hikes

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2020-09-07 20:27:00

Everyone who knows hiking in the Adirondacks knows about the High Peaks. Arguably one of the Lake Placid area’s biggest outdoor claims to fame, the area is known for drawing those who want to become Adirondack 46ers by climbing all 46 High Peaks. Still, summer sees crowded trails in this area, and the climbs are steep and heart-pounding. If you’re looking for excellent hiking with fewer crowds in the Lake Placid area—and a little recognition to go along with it—try out the alternative and become a Lake Placid 9er instead.

Established as a challenge in 2018, the Lake Placid 9 consists of more than 30 miles of trail spread across nine hikes up some of the area’s “smaller” peaks, which offer workout on the way up and beautiful views but don’t require a 4,000-foot summit like the High Peaks do. The Lake Placid 9’s peaks—Cobble Hill, Mt. Jo, Baxter Mountain, Mt. Van Hoevenberg, Big Crow Mountain, Bear Den Mountain, Pitchoff Mountain, Catamount Mountain, and Hurricane Mountain—are shorter, and can generally be tackled in half a day each. They can be completed in the summer or the winter, on different trips or all at once.

Though the nine hikes vary in length and difficulty, they each have unique and beautiful views to offer along the way and at the top—for example, the Mt. Jo hike starts at the iconic Adirondack Loj, and Hurricane Mountain has a fire tower to scale at the top. You can earn a different patch depending on whether you choose to hike in the summer or winter, and if you complete all 9 peaks in 24 hours, you earn a special Ultra-24 Hour patch.

It’s important to note, though, that while these peaks are less steep than the 46 that make up the High Peaks, they’re still challenging treks themselves. Seasoned hikers used to altitude and steep climbs might breeze through in whatever over they please, but if you’re more of a beginner, start slow and proceed through the nine in the order they’re listed on the challenge website, starting with Cobble Hill and finishing with Hurricane Mountain. The list is designed that way to strengthen your legs and lungs and help you build stamina on each hike before proceeding to tackle the next one on the list. It’s much more enjoyable that way, too.

When you’ve finished climbing all nine peaks, it’s time to get your patch. Submit the registration form with your $10 registration fee to Lake Placid 9er, PO Box 1310, Lake Placid, NY 12946 and in a few weeks, you’ll receive your official Lake Placid 9er patch, sticker, and roster number; your name will be listed on the official roster of those who have completed the challenge, giving you bragging rights for all to see.

Whether you want to warm up to becoming a full 46er, are looking for some shorter and less strenuous ways to hike the Lake Plaid area, or just want to enjoy the beauty of the Adirondacks from a bird’s-eye view, the Lake Placid 9er challenge is a fun way to get out and explore this region’s natural beauty throughout the seasons. Get started this summer and you’ll be an official Lake Placid 9er in no time!

Photo Credits
Mt Jo photo credit pixabay
Fire tower photo credit Lake Placid 9er
Hurricane Mountain photo credit Lake Placid
Lake Placid 9er patch photo credit Lake Placid 9er

posted at: 2020-09-07 20:27:00, last updated: 2021-04-06 16:40:45

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