Brief Bio: Deb Zack

Deb Zack

Age: 65.

Birthplace: Newark, NJ.

Residence: Chestertown

Accomplishments: Earned master’s degree in public health, started an educational nonprofit in Hartford, CT (still running today), and instituted the “ididaride!” Adirondack bike tour.

Favorite Hike: “Up Mount Marcy for my sixtieth birthday. While I am not a peak-bagger or Forty-Sixer, I wanted to mark my milestone by climbing the highest peak in New York. As development director for the Adirondack Mountain Club for many years, I had heard countless stories about this peak, piquing my interest in this mountain, and admired the summit stewards working to protect the alpine vegetation. We followed the Phelps Trail on a warm day in September under a deep-blue sky. My friend and colleague Laurie Schweighardt hiked from Adirondak Loj and met us on the summit. We had a perfectly clear view of the Great Range, McIntyres, and the entire High Peaks region.”

Favorite view: “Gothics. We climbed it early April. The ice-crystal formations formed by the wind were amazing.”

Why I live in the Adirondacks: “I live here because it is the most beautiful place in the world. Clean air and clean water, an outdoor experience around every bend. I had been brought here as a child, and something about these mountains made me feel at home, so I moved here with my two young girls in 1995, promising them ‘a year of adventure.’ I met my life partner that year, and my family never looked back. I love the truly wild character of the Park. And the people here are incredibly independent, yet working together to find solutions for balancing land/water management and economic development.”

Memorable wildlife experience: “The sights and sounds of the growing loon population on Loon Lake (in Chestertown). Also, a bald eagle flew over me while I was kayaking on the lake.”

If I were in charge of the Park: “I would work to provide high-speed internet to those areas of the Park unable to get it and encourage other providers to come to the region to offer better solutions than currently available. I would require ORDA to offer free lessons and ski passes to all the residents in the towns in which it operates. I would mandate all railroad lines/beds suitable for conversion to trails be so converted. Rail trails improve property values and increase year-round recreational opportunities accessible (free) to the public.”

About Adirondack Explorer

The Adirondack Explorer is a nonprofit magazine covering the Adirondack Park's environment, recreation and communities.

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