Keg summit

Said a Queens man to the Adirondack Almanack after he was ticketed by the DEC for a gathering atop Phelps Mountain (one of the High Peaks) that involved a keg and keg stands (he denies he was the organizer): "I was simply on the summit with some friends, and some friend of a friend brought a keg." [Adirondack Almanack via @JimmyVielkind]


Important to note that the ticket was for exceeding the group size limit, nothing to do with the celebration otherwise. That limit and other regulations exist for a very good reason, but due to death by a thousand cuts policies of the last couple of decades DEC struggles to enforce them. There's nothing stopping anyone from hauling a keg atop all 46 high peaks, though there's no patch for that, and maybe there should be.

This is more a story about social media and optics than about the Adirondacks and conservatism.

The reasons for discouraging keggers on mountaintops are pretty straightforward.

1) You're being selfish. State-owned parks are a public goods. We share them with each other. If you make a nuisance of yourself, you detract from the experience for others.

2) You set a bad example. People hiking with young kids shouldn't have to explain why people are drinking and a young woman is making an ass of herself doing kegstands. As for teens, we've got more than enough problems with underage drinking. We don't need to suggest more places where they can hang out and drink...and drive home afterwards.

The only prize you deserve for carrying a keg (large or small) up a mountain is the booby prize. That an ADK 46er who thought the kegger was fine and dandy (he posted the photos) is particularly appalling. If you can't go hiking without alcohol, stay home.

The worst part of this is DEC is basically writing a ticket for posting a photo of an Adirondack mountain summit showing more than 15 people on it.

People involved with the 'kegger' already have said their group was less than 15. No ranger or DEC representative was there to determine otherwise. The photos seem to indicate this as most of the people in the photos are sitting, facing away from their group. DEC ticketed the person who posted the photo and not the organizer. As B stated above, the ticket has nothing to do with the alcohol or the fact that it shows a keg / kegstand.

Sooooo, if you've posted photos of a crowded Mt Marcy, Whiteface, or Cascade summit showing over 15 people in the frame... you're at risk of being ticketed by DEC.

I hope the guy fights the ticket, although it will probably be easier and cheaper for him to pay since he lives so far from the area. :(

I was interested in seeing a picture of the legs of the man or woman who hauled that keg up the mountain. As someone who always over packs when backpacking, including bringing beer, I am impressed.

Wow, ~L, pretty reactionary. Lots of people bring alcohol on trips to peaks, and you'd probably never know it. Nothing wrong with a can or two or some good bourbon in a flask -- as long as there're no glass containers. The fact that people drink in and of itself on a mountaintop isn't a problem, and frankly isn't any of your business.

I wasn't there. I can't say how disruptive it was. I can say that I've seen behavior that's, as you say, selfish, from plenty of people on a summit that has nothing to do with drinking. The fact is that at times some high peaks have 50+ people at the summit, eating lunch, taking selfies, letting their dogs (and kids) run off-leash, making phone calls, listening to radios, and generally... being crowds. Lots of other activity that is selfish and sets a bad example. Do you discourage dogs, cell phones, cameras, radios, and kids on summits too?

People do things. Sometimes dumb things. Anytime I've been on a summit and not alone, someone has done something that bothered me. You know what I do? I suck it up, because as long as it's not obviously dangerous or harmful they have every right to be there and enjoy it how they like. I haven't seen any evidence that these people left any trash, required assistance on the way down, or drove drunk. If there is I might change my tune. I have no idea how many drinks each person consumed, because I wasn't there. I don't hike on the back of a high horse, so I'm not going to make assumptions.

Paul brings up the actual important issue. The evidence is very circumstantial, and there's a reason for that; there isn't enough enforcement to go around, so nobody in a position of authority actually witnessed anything. This is the real travesty. Beyond that, would any of us have known about this if it wasn't posted to facebook? If they took only photos and left only footprints, what did they do wrong other than offend a few particularly delicate sensibilities? Over 500 people became 46ers in 2104 alone, do you realize just how many people are in those mountains on any given day? You have no clue what's happening up there on a daily basis, and you're outraged at this?

Sorry for the long post.

Harold, I thought the same thing! Can't wait to start the 46 High Kegs challenge.

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