Explorers Connect

Adirondack Traverse 2013

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

It all started here. Over the last half-decade, the Adirondacks have been our home. They've made us both who we are, and what we want to become.

Through hiking, backpacking, climbing and generally being outdoors, we've found our passions, developed our goals, and set a course for the rest of our lives. We've forged and solidified friendships and we know now, better than ever before, what it truly means to trust. We've tested ourselves both mentally and physically against the strongest of all forces: mother nature, and learned the arts of working with her. The outdoors have taught us self-reliance, determination, and hard work. And for all that, were finally getting our chance to give back. Over the course of three weeks next summer, we will be following an epic 200+ mile route, bisecting the entirety of the Adirondack Park, south to north, blue line to blue line. Our expedition will be used to gain support and raise awareness for a Colorado-based charity called Big City Mountaineers. BCM transforms the lives of under-resourced youth from cities like Denver and San Francisco through outdoor and wilderness mentoring programs, teaching them valuable life skills and broadening their horizons.

We'll be raising money for BCM through their main fundraising program, Summit For Someone which will, after raising our pledged amount, allow us to head west later in the summer to climb Mount Rainier. Climbing Rainier will complete the circle we've been working our way around for the past five years. Advancing to the next step in our outdoor careers, mountaineering, while allowing some of the kids that need it most to have the opportunity to experience all that we have, and to learn all that weve been able to. Please help us reach our goal and help us spread the outdoors by supporting Big City Mountaineers and helping to support our Traverse and our climb next summer. Any donation you can make will be greatly appreciated by us, BCM, and the thousands of at-risk youth that you will be introducing to the wilderness and giving one of the greatest gifts possible.

Check out our website at www.AdirondackTraverse.org to follow our progress in fundraising and during the expedition. Well see you on the trail this summer!

Ryan Wichelns Gabe Messercola Adirondack Traverse 2013 The Route Bisecting the Adirondack Park roughly down the middle, our Adirondack Traverse route includes over 200 miles of hiking, biking and paddling through the Daks varying terrains. Starting where Route 309 crosses the Blue Line, our route is broken into 17 sections, each of which can be traveled in a day, including 17 of the Adirondacks most scenic lean-tos and two improvised tent sites before emerging through the town of Santa Clara and back across the blue line. Worked into the route are two regional classics, the Northville-Placid Trail which is completed in almost in its entirety, and the Seven-Carries Canoe Route. We have chosen to break the route up further into six sections, each separated from one another by a location where we will meet a support team to take on new food and clean clothes, offload garbage, etc. The route has also been designed so that it is at these points that methods of transportation may change, allowing us to meet, pass off our bikes and pick up a canoe, for example.

Within most larger sections we are also allowing ourselves one weather/rest day ensuring that we have ample time to enjoy our surroundings or hunker down in case of bad weather, without compromising our pre-planned meet-up date. Check out our site for a .gpx file of our route and more information.

The Cause Big City Mountaineers (www.bigcitymountaineers.org) is a Colorado-based charity that transforms the lives of under-resourced youth from cities like Denver and San Francisco through outdoor and wilderness mentoring programs, teaching them valuable life skills and broadening their horizons. By improving kids integrity, self-esteem, responsibility, decision-making abilities and communication skills, BCM has been able to increase kids likeliness to stay in school as well as decreased violence and drug use. The core Big City Mountaineers program is a week-long wilderness mentoring expedition where urban youth are given the opportunity to experience the beauty and challenges of the wilderness alongside supportive adult mentors. What had begun as a simple backpacking trip with an urban, at-risk teen 20 years ago has now evolved into a documented and well-tested progression of experiences coupled with opportunities for reflection and learning.

How Can You Help? This is the question we hear the most. Honestly, you're helping us accomplish some of our goals, right now, just by checking out our website, reading this, and learning about what were doing. One of the biggest things you can do to help is by simply spreading the word. Send our website to your friends via email or text, like and share our Facebook page with all of your online friends, retweet us, spread around our videos, and of course just talk to people. Even with today's technology, word of mouth is still king. Talk to your friends and co-workers and tell them about what were doing and how they can find out more and continue sharing! And finally, of course, you can donate. None of this would be possible without your financial support and every penny is appreciated. Whether that's a direct donation or a raffle ticket, everything counts. We have a lot of money to raise and we couldn't do it without you. RAFFLE TICKETS - Purchase a raffle ticket online or in person for a chance at a piece of $500 worth of gift cards to LL Bean and Eastern Mountain Sports! Two winners and $250 each for just a $5 donation to a great cause!