Winter Survival 101

by Rebecca Northrup

Winter Survival 101

Cold and snow transform the Adirondacks into a winter playground and create an unparalleled outdoor classroom. Head north to learn winter skills, local history, and experience backcountry travel this winter.


Beat Cabin Fever

Visit the Adirondack Experience in Blue Mountain Lake for a Cabin Fever Sundays lecture, held once a month from January through April. From a rollicking fiddle concert to the rugged biography of an Adirondack guide, this series delivers knowledge in a cozy museum setting.


Hone Primitive Instincts

Heat, shelter, navigation. Learn the fundamentals for safe winter recreation at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center. Two-hour Primitive Skills Workshops focus on fire making, snow shelters, or orienteering. These workshops are taught by instructors with proven field experience and take advantage of the VIC’s 3,000-acre outdoor classroom.


Go For Gold

Discover your inner Olympian in Lake Placid, home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games. Test your skills at world-class venues: carve downhill turns at Whiteface Mountain, or combine cross-country ski trails with a shooting range for a biathlon experience at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. Certified coaches and instructors break down complex sports – you may even catch Olympians-in-training whizzing by.


Forever Wild, New Season

Local experts reveal winter secrets! Since 1922, the Adirondack Mountain Club has taught all ages and abilities how to recreate outdoors responsibly. Winter classes cater to first-time snowshoers, backcountry photographers, aspiring winter hikers, and backpackers looking to tackle a weeklong winter camping trip. Sessions are based at their High Peaks Loj and at field sites throughout the Adirondacks.


Get Vertical

Climb on at Mountainfest, an international mountaineering festival started by the Mountaineer gear shop in Keene Valley 22 years ago. This grassroots event brings renowned ice climbers and seasoned mountaineers to the High Peaks for specialized instruction. Learn to lead climb ice, pick your way over mixed ice and rock routes, and make decisions in avalanche terrain. Rendezvous for slide show presentations after, because new skills mean better stories to share later.