Welcome to the
The logistics for getting to the starting line and the finish (and back again?) is the sole responsibility of each runner. However, there will be one Dam Bus ride at 4:30 in the morning - from the finish at Wakely to the start at Piseco for those who checked "YES" on their application. You may leave a drop bag on the bus (clearly marked with your name) and it will be returned to the Finish Line for you for pick up after the race. Sorry, but the Damn Wakely Dam Ultra cannot be responsible for lost valuables left on bus so please use discretion with what you send back on the bus.
Runners who have not signed up for the Dam Bus may not be able to ride!
The Damn Wakely Dam Ultra Crew will be at Wakely Dam the evening before and the morning of the run. There are about 8 primitive campsites at the dam and by Friday night, these sites will be full. There are outhouses, fire pits and picnic tables. There are abundant primitive campsites just down the road from the dam (around 60) ranging from a 10 minute (6 miles) to a 30 minute drive down a dirt road. These sites are tucked back off the road and are very private. They have outhouses, fire pits and a table. All of the primitive sites at the dam and down the road are free, but you wouldn't want to show up after dark and expect to find and set up your camp. There is no running water or electricity at any of the sites. There is a fresh water spring about 5 minutes down the dirt road.
There are many official State camp sites in the area with more civilized amenities (like running water). The Poplar Point campground is a very nice park with 21 campsites and is about a mile or so from the start. Further south on the west side of Piseco lake is Little Sand Point campground which has 75 sites. Reservations are recommended but not necessary. You can find other nearby sites and make reservations online at Reserve-America. There are also quaint Motels and B&Bs in the villages between Piseco and Indian Lake (see Lodging).
At approximately 4:30AM we will head to the start at Piseco - a little over an hour's drive. Those who have made prior arrangements to leave their vehicles at the finish and take the Dam Bus to the start should be at Wakely and ready to go by 4:30AM Saturday. Ouch!
The run will begin
promptly at 6:30AM. (please
be at the start by 6:00ish)
Runners must sign-in at the start and sign-out at the finish.
The Finish Line will be manned for 12 hours, after which runners will be required to sign out at our campsite, the location of which will be announced on run day. The woods start getting dark early, so if you like to take your time, consider your capabilities and the likelihood that you may be sleeping on the trail.
The course is fairly well marked with blue markers.
But occasionally, you may run into an intersection with another trail that could confuse you. Keep your map handy and you should have no trouble figuring out which way to go. Most of the through trails will have a sign that tell you where they go. Trails to Lean-to's may not. Sometimes the markers are removed for souvenirs as may have been the case with the signs below. Bottom line, just stay on the main trail and don't make any unmarked deviations unless you're sure.
(One of the blue markers for the
NPT is missing)
Navigation of the trail is not wise after dusk. Runners who cannot complete the course before dusk due to injury or other reasons are urged to stop at one of the lean-to's. There are many Lean-to's on the course, the last two are at miles 22.2 and 28.3. See trail Section 2 descriptions for these and other options. Lean-to's are public property and it is unlawful to turn away any hiker (or runner). Most people you encounter on the trail are very generous in this regard. It can get quite cold at night even in the summer so be prepared. A simple space blanket/bag weighs only 8oz. and could mean the difference between an unexpected campout and a miserably cold night with the bears. (see What You'll Need).
Trail Etiquette (Your mother already taught you this, but for the sake of completeness....)
Leave not a Trace - If you carry it in, please carry it out. The Sweep Runners are not there to pick up litter - though they will if they have to (if fact, so should everyone).
Share the Trail - Hikers will be using the trail too. They will be carrying heavy packs and are not as mobile as you are. Announce your presence, offer a pleasant greeting and carefully walk around the hikers.
Groups - There is some precedence that suggests running in groups of 15 people or more in NOT desirable once you reach the wilderness area some seven miles into our run. It has been our experience that this simply does not happen due to the nature of the event. However, if you find yourself in a large group of runners, "Get a room."
Due to the remote location and difficult access, there will be no emergency or medical personnel on the trail and cell phone reception is not available. In case of emergency or debilitating injury, it is best to leave one person with the injured party and send another to contact the Wakely Crew or phone the Rangers. If you are alone and become ill or injured and cannot make it out, stay on the trail or at a lean-to so you can be located. Help could be a long time coming. Emergency officials will be notified in the morning if a registered runner does not make it to the finish & sign out before nightfall.
NYS Rangers Dispatch 518-897-1300
John Seifts, Piseco (518) 548-5794
Thomas Eakin, Lake Pleasant (518) 548-4132
Bruce Lomnitzer, Moose River Plains (518) 648-5246 (closest to Wakely)
Greg George, Blue Mtn. Lake (518) 352-7676 (back up if needed)
Hamilton County Sheriff Dispatch 518-548-3113
If you end up spending the night and are ambulatory, please try to make it to the finish as soon as possible to avoid an unnecessary search. A rescue in the Adirondack Park could be very expensive and shall be the sole responsibility of the injured party - so please, run within your capability, watch your footing at all times and be wary of natural hazards.
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