Dive Into the Icy Waters with Local Polar Bears!

Okay, so…not real polar bears. In this case we mean those denizens of winter insanity known as the Polar Bear Clubs!

Yeah, so, here’s a phenomenon that has always been something of a mystery to us: diving into freezing waters in the middle of the Adirondack winter…for fun!?!?  Seriously folks, what’s up what that?

Organizers are quick to point out that this – admittedly odd – compulsion does have its purpose.  Most polar bear events raise quite a lot of money for charity.  It’s our understanding that the late Charles “Papa Bear” Albert, according to the Troy Record, founded the Polar Bear tradition, in the early 1970s.

Last year alone around 900 people participated in the annual New Year’s Day tradition – or should we say craziness – plunging themselves into the bone-chilling 38-degree waters of Lake George. This year it’s back, taking place on January 1st 2013 at Shepard Park Beach at 1:00pm!  Which begs the question: was this a winter sporting event or a mass suicide attempt?

The “sport” is definitely gaining popularity – Long Lake has also added a Polar Bear Plunge, scheduled for Saturday, December 29th at 1:00pm., to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Plunge registration is from noon until 1pm at the Adirondack Hotel at 1245 Main Street in Long Lake. More information can be found on the Town of Long Lake’s website at mylonglake.com.

Head up to Caroga Lake to the Caroga Lake Marina (2279 State Highway 10) this year for their New Year’s Day Polar Plunge. Fun starts at 1pm with a tug of war and the polar plunge takes place at 2pm, food and drink will be available for purchase.

Mayfield has also added some polar bear fun, with their polar dip on Jan 19th, more details to come as we gather the information.

So, we wanted to know, how many of you, our readers, have participated, or plan to participate, in this crazy frolic?

Leave us your comments and tell us about your experiences taking the Polar Bear plunge!  Who knows, if there is such an interest in freezing your butt off, maybe we should organize our own Sacandaga Lake Polar Bear Plunge!