December 1, 2010
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Well, it really is starting to look a lot different out here. As my fourth week of training (getting ready for a few winter peaks!) continues , I have found my way back to Marcy Dam. In part, I’ve come here in support of the search for Wesley Wamsganz. Wes has now been missing for more than a week. From what I’ve heard, every trail and lean-to in the High Peaks region, and more, have been searched. The search will now be scaled back. The Rangers will keep looking, on their regular patrols, and everyone else will keep Wes in mind as they traverse the woods. There’s over 6 inches of snow up till Marcy Dam, and the ice there is now frozen over. As I head up past the dam, and up the trail to Colden, it’s more like a foot of snow! I see lots of ribbons on the trees that were used to mark the recent grid searches. On one of my breaks, along the way, I spotted what looked like a large squirrel. As he came towards me, though, I realized it wasn’t a squirrel, but more like a weasel, or perhaps an ermine. I’ve never seen one of these out here, and it’s great to be able to catch a glimpse of some of the varied critters that inhabit these woods. I stopped at Lake Arnold, just to scout around, and also, take a few pictures. The weather was warming up, and there was a mist that was floating over Colden. From Lake Arnold on, the trail was icy, so I put on the crampons. It seems like every time I climb Colden, the skies are clear a the bottom, and it clouds up when I get to the top, and today was no different! Actually, it didn’t turn out to be too bad at the top, especially for this time of the year! I had the usual PBJ at the top, and took some pictures, and looked around a little bit. Every once in a while, a helicopter would fly over, real low, as this was one of the few days they’ve been able to safely fly and search. Back down on the main trail, I ran into a few people, around the area Wesley was last seen. When I checked out, I saw that Wes’s dad was still out there keeping the search going. We will all say a prayer for Wes and his family.