Trip Leader Biographies
Bill Bechtel Sept.-Nov. 2006 Newsletter
I have always been a hiker. As a youth I hiked the "Blue" and "South"
Mountains in Pennsylvania. Those are local names for the mountains bordering the north and
south sides of Lebanon Valley. The Appalachian trail runs along the "Blue" mountain
ridge. I have hiked some of this trail and after hiking the Adirondacks I can tell you it is
I grew up in Lebanon, PA, attended Penn State University for much too short a time, and have
been working for General Electric in Schenectady since 1970. When I went on my GE interview I
had no clue where Schenectady was. However, now after hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, canoeing
and sailing in the Adirondacks and Catskills, I would never return to Pennsylvania or move
farther South as so many of our friends are doing.
My wife Karen and I have been living in Glenville since 1972. During that time we raised
three sons and now in addition we have three daughter-in-laws and five wonderful
grandchildren with another on the way. I am sure that some or all of them will become my
hiking buddies as I grow older.
Ray Bouchard July-Sept.2005 Newsletter
Ray is one of those guys who probably wishes he bought the life-time membership to ADK.
He's been part of the GF-S Chapter for 25+ years. Whew!
If the name sounds familiar, it probably is. After a brief hiatus, he is back leading for us.
Yea! A retired Saratoga Springs High School chemistry teacher, he's been paddling in the
Adirondacks for many years while mixing in a little hiking, snowshoeing and skiing to balance
out the year. Also familiar to lots of vet leaders including: Jack, Jim, John S. and Jacki.
With over 10+ years as a Disaster Relief Volunteer with the American Red Cross and Catholic
Charities, helping others is certainly part of who Ray is. We're glad he's in tip-top
shape, and taking some time away from the home-owner chores and his garden to share his
enjoyment of the outdoors. Good to see you, Ray!
Jessica Gottung Jan.-March 2005 Newsletter
Jessica is a lifetime resident of Saratoga county and member of ADK for about 4 years. She
has been hiking for 10 years and is looking forward to sharing her experience and love for
the outdoors by leading hikes and snowshoe excursions. She is interested not only in the
challenging high peak hikes, but also strolls around wilderness lake and other areas for
well-rounded Adirondack fun that people of all levels can enjoy.
As a registered dietitian, Jessica is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle for all, so
keep an eye out for her activities.
Jill Gruben September-November 2011 Newsletter
Jill Gruben, our chapter's newsletter editor, is eager to lead family friendly events. Gruben,
a past president of the Mosaic Outdoor Club of Albany, Inc., and half-way to being a 46er
(having been on High Peak hiatus until her children are older) is excited to offer a few beautiful
and rewarding fall hikes focused on nature-loving families.
"I'm sure there are other ADK members like myself and my husband Michael Rubinstein who love to be
outside and are determined to expose their children to all the fun and awesome experiences one can
have while being in the woods," Gruben said. "And hopefully they will be able to join us!"
Gruben, a downhill skier and yoga affectionado, expects to lead events that little and big kids
alike will find enjoyable. Gruben and her husband hike with their 14-month-old boy/girl twins
and 4-year-old son.
Sarah leads on monthly geocache trips with Maureen Coutant and participates in mid week hikes and
kayak trips. She is also the Programs Chair for the Glens Falls Saratoga ADK Chapter.
Rich Myette May-July. 2009 Newsletter
Rich has been hiking, camping and boating in the Adirondacks and other places around the country all his life.
He has led many excursions. He also enjoys ice and in-line skating, biking, skiing (nordic and alpine), snowshoeing,
bushwhacking, swimming and hugging trees. He's a counselor in his other life and active in community organizations.
Welcome Rich and we will look forward to your outings.
Wayne Richter May 2015
Wayne Richter, our Chapter's Outings Chair, began serious hiking with a hiking and backpacking class in college
that took him to the White Mountains and the Franconia Ridge. And so began a serious and still worsening addiction to summits.
After graduate school in the flat lands of Iowa, Wayne returned to the northeast to spend a few years in New Jersey,
and to hike the Jersey Highlands and Catskills. During this time Wayne also contributed to an edition of the Long Path Guide.
It was then on to Florida where hiking opportunities were, well, rather limited.
In 1990, Wayne gratefully followed his wife to her new job at Skidmore College because he knew the hiking would be great
(well, that wasn't the only reason for coming north, but it was a good one). He soon joined ADK but, with a young daughter,
his time on the trail was limited. With his daughter through high school, Wayne returned to hiking in a big way, becoming
a 46er a few years ago. Along the way, he began participating in club hikes, and soon took the next step to become a leader.
Wayne is now working on the winter 46 and likes helping others enjoy the trail as Outings Chair.
Nick Ringelberg May 2014 Newsletter
I have been wandering around in the woods since my teens, but I did not seriously start hiking the Adirondacks until I needed
something for rehab of the knee operation from a fire department mishap in the spring of 1987. The orthopedic / sports doctor
who did the arthroscopic surgery said I probably would never run again, so I started out with lots of smaller hikes to strengthen
the knee. I still remember vividly counting 100 steps uphill and resting. And the downhill felt like my knee was going to just
keep bending past the normal straight leg and that I would roll down hill, head over heels, or "ass over teakettle", as my
grandmother used to say. Eventually my 100 steps evolved into longer hikes and my first ascent was Gothics on 10/15/1987.
3 1/2 years later I finished my Winter hikes before my Summer ones on Whiteface on 3/19/1991 and the Summer ones 7 months later on
Cliff on 10/23/1991.
Family responsibilities brought me back to Clifton Park and my hiking and canoeing became family and scouting
events. Now, with my family grown, I am looking northward and upward to see if things have changed. In the past couple of years
I have followed and led on a couple of dozen high peaks and top 100s and I can only say that they have gotten a little more busy
and the trailless 46er peaks that I remember aren't really trailless any more. The people out there are the same though, still
fun to be with, out enjoying the great outdoors.
Bill Schwarz March 2014 Newsletter
Having stayed a number of times at ADK Loj on vacation, I made it a priority to join ADK when I moved from NYC
to Glens Falls in 1998 on a job transfer. I had led cycling and XC ski trips for HI/AYH for 20 years and became
an ADK leader soon after moving to the area.
I specialize in fall hikes (bugs find me tasty during the summer) and cross-country ski day trips, especially to
lesser-known areas. I enjoy hiking with other leaders who know more about the Adirondacks than I do. My favorite
walks are in Moreau Lake State Park and the 13th Lake region.
Rich Speidel May 2015
Rich grew up in Waterford and lives in Warrensburg, after a 31 year career with DEC and State Parks.
He joined ADK in 1998, and with the help of trip leaders completed the 46 high peaks in 2001.
Rich has since visited lesser peaks, fire tower summits, and wildlife areas in the Adirondacks.
Rich enjoys offering spring birding field trips for the Chapter throughout the region, and appreciates
all the folks who have come along since 2005. He also assists with field trips for Friends of the Washington
County Grasslands Important Bird Area (Fort Edward) and Southern Adirondack Audubon.