10 a.m., Dec. 16)
gym owner survives harrowing experience on NY mountain
By Fred Sherwin
Park gym owner Adrian Delorey is happy to be alive after
surviving a harrowing experience on the second highest
peak in the state of New York.
Degree Fitness owner Adrian Delorey was all
smiles before he began his ascent of Algonquin
Peak in upstate New York. PHOTO SUPPLIED
owner of 180 Degree Fitness had planned to climb Algonquin
Peak in the Adirondacks on Dec. 9 as a warm up for a future
trip to Mt. Danali next summer.
preparation for the Adirondack climb he bought a slew
of equipment including a portable power source for his
cell phone and a compass. Unfortunately, as things would
turnout, he never bothered to acquaint himself with his
new gear, especially the compass.
climb was supposed to be a fairly simple three and a half
hour assent and then another three and a half hours back
down the mountain to his car.
started out well enough. The weather at the bottom of
the trail was sunny and calm and the first three-hour
hike through the tree line was relatively uneventful.
wasn’t until he crossed paths with a couple of climbers
who had decided to turn around before making the submit
due to high winds, that he started to have second thoughts.
then I met two more climbers who were heading back down
who said it was pretty windy, but they still managed to
make the submit,” explains Delorey, whose confidence was
renewed by the second encounter.
wasn’t until he exited the treeline and began the final
ascent up the rock face that he realized the challenge
ahead of him. The gale force winds had created knee deep
drifts across the path, which severely limited his mobility.
one point I took a misstep and fell into a hole about
three feet deep,” recalls Delorey safe and sound in his
Canotek Park gym. “I was still wearing my crampons which
turned out to be useless in the snow, so I switched to
extricating himself from the crevice, Delorey eventually
made it to the submit, but what is normally a 30-minute
climb from the treeline to the top of the mountain had
turned into an hour of tough slogging.
dusk fast approaching, Delorey gave himself a few minutes
to enjoy the view before starting his descent. It didn’t
take very long for him to realize that getting off the
mountain would be a lot more challenging than climbing
wind and the snow had completely wiped out my tracks and
covered the trail,” says Delorey, “and it was starting
to get dark real quick.”
the conditions worsened and with visibility deteriorating
by the minute, the confidence that usually comes naturally
to the successful personal trainer and entrepreneur began
to deteriorate as well.
not lying. I started to get pretty scared,” admits Delorey.
cold and with darkness having descended on the mountain,
he decided discretion was the better part of valour and
member of the N.Y. Forest Ranger Service (left)
gives Delorey some food after making it back
to the cover of the treeline. PHOTO SUPPLIED
phone was dying and I wanted to call 9-1-1 while they
still could pinpoint where I was using my GPS,” says Delorey.
9-1-1 operator transferred the call to the New York Forest
Ranger Service which tried to direct him back to the path
and the treeline using the compass he had bought. The
only problem is that the compass had a design flaw that
made reading the directions practically impossible.
other more pressing issue was his phone. It wasn’t taking
a charge from the portable power source because the cord
Forest Ranger dispatcher stayed on the phone with Delorey
until it eventually died at 7:30 p.m. He would have to
wait another two hours before they eventually found him,
thanks to a set of strobe lights he had activated on the
portable battery pack.
was pretty relived to say the least,” says Delorey.
Forest Rangers helped guide him back to the tree line
under his own power and after taking on some fluids and
energy bars, they brought him down to the parking lot.
It wasn’t until he got back to his hotel that he whole
experience began to sink.
was rough. I went through every emotion you can imagine,”
says Delorey. “from frustration and anger to fear and
panic. It was a constant battle with my own mindset which
I teach all the time.”
say the ordeal was a humbling experience for the usually
self-assured Delorey is an understatement, but it was
also a learning experience from which he has gained a
tremendous amount of personal growth.
won’t deter me from other chal-lenges, but I’ll be 100
per cent more prepared and not so naive to think I can
do it on my own again,” says Delorey. “It was a very humbling
and powerful experience that I will never forget.”
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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