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Nation & World

New York's Adirondack Mountain Received Snow Earlier Than Usual

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Winter came early this year to much of the Central and Eastern United States that can cause problems for people traveling. It can also be gorgeous. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann went trekking in New York's Adirondack Mountains and sent us an audio postcard.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: It's a super cold November morning. It's about 17 degrees out - sunshine coming through the trees. You can hear kind of a dry snow underfoot. I am setting out on this beautiful day for the summit of Algonquin.

Algonquin is New York's second-tallest summit, about a mile high. On this day, it's a big white dome against blue sky. The trail is steep, my snowshoes digging into knee-deep drifts of powder.

I'm in the stand of the forest up high on the side of Algonquin. And it's just frozen, buried under snow and ice coating the trunks of the trees. It is just hard, hard winter here, which is amazing for the week before Thanksgiving.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER FLOWING)

MANN: The world isn't entirely frozen. I find a gap in the ice, a fast-running stream, golden brown rocks catch the sunlight. I climb higher up above the tree line where there's no shelter. For the first time, I face a fierce, arctic wind.

I'm climbing over open rock. There's no color here at all. The ground is just blown snow and ice.

A couple weeks ago, this place was warm, brilliant with fall color, maple and birch. Now, the sun looks like a silver coin. The world is a frozen moon. I reach a jumble of boulders on the summit and crouch out of the wind.

It's really howling up here. But it's a stunning view - 360 degrees - the full sweep of the Adirondacks all just carved out in black and white.

Darkness comes early, so I didn't linger. I climbed down toward a view of frozen lakes and wild, empty valleys. It's a winter landscape that will last now until next May. Brian Mann, NPR News, in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.