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Young mountaineers

Lake Placid Outing Club gears up for a busy summer

May 4, 2018
By ANDY FLYNN - Editor ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Outing Club - offering outdoor activities to local children - wrapped up its winter season this past weekend and invites families to help create a summer schedule of outdoor trips at the annual meeting next week.

Six middle and high school students ranging in age from 13 to 18 years old, plus a handful of parent leaders, traveled to New Hampshire's White Mountains on Friday, April 7 for a backcountry ski trip to Tuckerman Ravine, a glacial cirque sloping eastward on the southeast face of Mount Washington. It's a popular destination for backcountry skiers in the spring, a challenge designed for expert skiers only, according to LPOC board member Debbie Erenstone, who made the trip with the group.

"These are kids that have been participating with the club for years, since they were as young as my kids are now, 5 and 9," Erenstone said. "They have just been growing with the club each year, going on more and more challenging trips."

Article Photos

Students, parents and leaders from the Lake Placid Outing Club pose on top of Mount Washington Saturday, April 28 during their ski trip to Tuckerman Ravine in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. From left are Pat Manning, Gunner Anthony, Dan Kelleher, Kai Frantz, Noah Tavares, Tim Kelleher and Debbie Erenstone.
(Photo provided — Ben Frantz)

Four of the most experienced students were able to ski the headwall, which is the most challenging portion, and the two youngest students skied the Lobster Claw, "which a little less challenging, but they are really excited to come back next year and try the headwall," Erenstone said.

It's about a 2-mile hike to the base camp, and then skiers climb to the top of the ravine before skiing down.

"And it's a real culture up there," Erenstone said. "There's tons of backcountry skiers. So not only was it the challenge for the kids, but it was seeing the whole culture of mountaineers out there."

Now that the 14 winter trips are wrapped up for the season, it's time for the LPOC board and families to plan their summer schedule.

The annual meeting - including a sign-up - will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 in the Lake Placid Elementary School cafeteria. Pizza and dessert will be served. All families - including parents, children and grandparents - are encouraged to attend.

The annual meeting has two goals. First, the LPOC board wants to attract new families. Second, they will be gathering a list of summer trips, based on what trips parents want to lead. It's all volunteer.

"At this meeting with start out with what this club is all about," Erenstone said. "We have some kids talk about the trips they've gone on. We talk a little about logistics. And then at the end of the meeting, we build our calendar for the summer."

Summer trips will include hiking, biking, paddling, rock climbing and whitewater rafting. The LPOC is open to all youths of any age and any residency and operates without any dues or membership fees. Most students are between the ages of 5 and 18.

Those up to age 7 are required to have a parent attend the trips, and those 8 and older can attend without one of their parents. The LPOC has trips for students of all abilities.

"So we have the most basic trips from a scavenger hunt at Mid's Park to really extreme ice climbing trips," Erenstone said.

The Lake Placid Outing Club celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, offering mountaineering experiences, outdoor education and fellowship for youths and their families since 1993.

"The whole goal of our club is to encourage healthy lifestyles and choices by getting kids out into the woods and creating a non-using peer group in the schools," Erenstone said.

More detailed information about LPOC, schedules and upcoming events, may be found at or by contacting board chairman Dave Balestrini (518-524-0446) or advisor Ben Frantz (518-524-4748).



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