Start the morning with a calorie-banking fried-fish sandwich at Walt’s Diner (315-369-2582) in Old Forge. Gather any necessary equipment at Old Forge Hardware (315-369-6100). Sign up for a weekend-long class at the Adirondack Winter Mountaineering School (from $340, including lodging; winterschool.org ), which introduces students to their first ice ax. Regale fellow mountaineers over spiked cocoa at the Adirondack Loj (518-523-3441). Or skip the class and just hole up at the grand Lake Placid Lodge (lakeplacidlodge.com).
After breakfast, strap on cross-country skis for a five-mile trek to the Santanoni Preserve, site of a whole-log cabin that once hosted Teddy Roosevelt. Warm up with lunch at The Lake Placid Pub and Brewery (ubuale.com) with bacon-topped corn chowder. For a nighttime activity, catch a screening of “First Ascent: Alone on the Wall,” part of the traveling Banff Mountain Film Festival starting January 31 (lakeplacidarts.org).
Wrap up the weekendwith a journey to a frozen-lake ice shanty with guide Gary Marchuk of Bear Cub Adventures ($65 per half-day, includes gear and transport; mountain-air.com), who will teach you how to jig for perch. Or snowshoe to Tahawus, the village where Roosevelt was summoned for his legendary 1901 night ride to Buffalo to be sworn in after President McKinley’s assassination. Clean up for supper at taxidermy-stuffed Maggie’s Pub inside the Lake Placid Lodge, which plates hearty, warm roast-beef sandwiches.