Remembering Matthew Potel

The death of Matthew Potel, who fell in the Trap Dike on Mount Colden last week, has led to an outpouring of sympathy for a personable young man who loved the outdoors.

Potel, 22, of Croton-on-Hudson, slipped in the dike while leading a group of fellow students from Binghamton University. He expected to graduate in December with a major in environmental studies and a minor in comparative literature.

Matthew Potel. Courtesy of Potel family.
Matthew Potel. Courtesy of Potel family.

“The outdoors was the world to Matt, the Adirondacks especially,” his father, Mark Potel, said this morning. “He was never as happy as when he was in the North Country.”

On Tuesday, hundreds of people attended a memorial service at Temple Israel of North Westchester. You can read about the service by clicking here.

Potel lived last summer in Saranac Lake and worked for the Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smith’s College, warning boaters about aquatic invasive species. The Adirondack Daily Enterprise spoke with people who knew him in Saranac Lake and published their remembrances today.

Meantime, a Matt Potel website has been established to pay tribute to him. Friends also are posting tributes on his Facebook page.

Potel, who climbed all forty-six of the High Peaks, was a former camper and counselor at Poke-O-MacCready Camps in Willsboro. His family asks that memorial contributions be sent to the camps’ Adirondack Scholarship Foundation.

About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

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