A Beautiful And Wild Winter Day In The Adirondacks North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann trekked over sun-swept snow and crackling ice to the summit of Noonmark Mountain in New York's Adirondack Park.
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A Beautiful And Wild Winter Day In The Adirondacks

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A Beautiful And Wild Winter Day In The Adirondacks

A Beautiful And Wild Winter Day In The Adirondacks

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Some parts of the country are already being reminded of the not-so-fun parts of winter - scraping car windows, shoveling snow, falling on ice. But we're going to take a few minutes to enjoy the season and to listen to what's happening now in New York's Adirondack Mountains. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann has been climbing there.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: I'm heading for Noonmark Mountain, a crag of rock. The trail takes me past a sun-swept alpine lake framed by high bluffs. I keep hearing a sound like someone smashing dinner plates. It's been so cold here. There are already big sheets of ice on the cliffs.

But now on this day, the sun is just soaking it, and it's lit up. And daggers of ice are just calving off, making this amazing sound that's kind of echoing through the valley.

(SOUNDBITE OF ICE SHATTERING)

MANN: It's icy enough that I strap spikes to my boots to give me traction as I work my way up the rocks.

It's just silent. I can hear just little, tiny traces of water moving under the snow. The soft wind will move the trees just a little. And the chickadees are moving high above me.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHICKADEES CHIRPING)

MANN: The day is a chemistry of sun and ice. It's so warm that I strip to my T-shirt. But then I find gardens of little, icy sculptures.

(SOUNDBITE OF ICE SHATTERING)

MANN: It's called needle ice, caused by water squeezed up out of the frozen ground.

When you touch them, listen to this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ICE SHATTERING)

MANN: I hike on, scrambling over icy ledges. The trail suddenly opens to sky and sun and a horizon of snowy peaks.

I've climbed up to this big stage of rock at the top of Noonmark. It almost looks like water, like waves of mountains that stretch out.

The wind comes up bitter cold, and I pull on my coat. The sun is already dropping below the ridge as I start for home. Brian Mann, NPR News in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHESSBOXER'S "CALON LAN")

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