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Naming Mountains

Thursday, January 19, 2012
While some of our trips are pretty obviously named (see: Rock Climbing and Fourteen Peaks), some of our adventures have names that might seem more obscure. The naming of areas in the New York region was done long before we came around, we just adopted them!

Here's a brief synopsis (much of it thanks to Wikipedia) of Native American names that have stuck with the land and features of New York

Why is it calledÒStorm King"?
ÒThe tallest mountain is ... looked upon as the most sure foreteller of a storm. When the white cloud-beard descends upon his breast in the morning ... there is sure to be a rain-storm before night. Standing aloft before other mountains in the chain, this sign is peculiar to him. He seems the monarch, and this seems his stately ordering of a change in the weather. Should not STORM-KING, then, be his proper title?"

"A Lenape verb meaningÒit is smoky air" orÒthere is smoky air". Its noun-like participle is schawank, meaningÒthat which is smoky air". Adding the locative suffix gives us shawangunkÒin the smoky air". It has been suggested that the name derives from the burning of a Munsee fort by the Dutch at the eastern base of the ridge in 1663."

Minnewaska is a Lenape word meaningÒGood Water." Minne= water, waska=good.

Mohonk is a Lenape word meaningÒLake in the Sky."

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