Wilderness Podcast

March 4, 2020

Adam Bronstein hosts a terrific wilderness podcast from his home base in the Pacific Northwest. We recently sat down to discuss Adirondack wilderness history. Early Adirondack History | Thomas Welch | Adirondoc | Ep. 028 Here is a link to the full podcast. [www.wildernesspodcast.com/early-adirondack-history]

Release Date: March 4th, 2020

In this episode, Adam Bronstein speaks with Thomas Welch, retired pediatrician, Adirondack guide and amateur historian about early Adirondack history. We begin with the first ascent and expedition up Mount Marcy (the tallest mountain in the Adirondacks) with geologist Ebenezer Emmons (Geologist), William Redfield (Meteorologist), John Torrey (Botanist) and their scientific pursuits. We then talk about Verplanck Colvin and his surveying expeditions which latest from 1872 to 1900 where he mapped and measured the entirety of the Adirondack Park. We also discuss Bob Marshall and his formative years on Saranac Lake and his time climbing and exploring the high peaks, inspired by Colvin’s surveys. Bob’s time in the Adirondacks inspired his essay “The Problem with Wilderness” and led to his deep appreciation of wilderness values and its importance to the human spirit. Thomas also tells the story of Vice President Teddy Roosevelt and his harrowing descent of Mt. Marcy after learning of the assassination of President McKinley.

About Thomas:
Dr. Tom Welch is a physician and outdoor educator, who splits his time between the New York Adirondacks and Florida. A graduate of Princeton, McGill, and the University of Colorado, he recently retired as Professor and Chair of Pediatrics at Upstate Medical University and Medical Director of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, both in Syracuse, NY.  He continues part time clinical work in Syracuse in his specialty, pediatric kidney disease.  He is a medical investigator and educator who has presented widely at national and international meetings.  An associate editor of the Journal of Pediatrics, he has authored over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, as well as over 100 abstracts and book chapters.

Dr. Welch has maintained a parallel career in outdoor education.  He is a licensed professional guide in New York, and has led trips in the Adirondacks, as well as in Montana and Alaska.  He has been a certifying instructor and member of the advisory board of the Wilderness Education Association, and has taught WEA field courses through the Denali Foundation in Alaska.  He is also an active member of the Wilderness Medical Society, and has published articles on wilderness health and safety topics in both the professional and lay literature.  He is particularly interested and involved in wilderness water quality issues.  He writes a regular column for the Adirondack Mountain Club’s magazine, Adirondac, and teaches wilderness first aid and CPR courses regularly.