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Snow helps keep an annual New Year's tradition alive

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Snow helps keep an annual New Year's tradition alive
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It's an annual tradition in the North Country. Outdoor adventurers gather at Clarkson University to start the year by hitting the trails. Barry Wygel went to see what the tradition entails.

POTSDAM, N.Y. -- About 50 members of the Adirondack Mountain Club met in Potsdam Tuesday to continue an annual tradition.

"People go out skiing and snowshoeing as they like. Leaderless. It's very informal," said John Barron, the event's organizer.

Accommodating to all skill levels, people are free to roam the trails on either cross country skis or snowshoes at their own pace. They then meet up for a pot luck dinner at the Adirondack Lodge. People come from all over the North Country and Southern Canada for the event.

"I saw the ad in the paper and I decided to join up," said William Sommerfield, a participant from Massena.

Sommerfield has been snowshoeing for years, but after his partner died last year, he was looking for a new group to join.

"I've been with this group once before in the summer, I went kayaking. It was fantastic," said Sommerfield.

The recent snow accumulation makes for perfect snowshoeing and skiing weather, plus it's also a good way to lose some of those Christmas pounds.

"It's aerobic exercise. It's good for the heart, good for the mind as well," said Barron.

But no matter what the reason for doing it, the people here said they couldn't imagine spending their holiday any other way.

If you're interested in cross country skiing, the Adirondack Mountain Club will host a day for beginners on Saturday at Higley Flow State Park. It's free for anyone to come and take part.

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