Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tony Goodwin: Ski Trips on New State Lands

boreas pondsOver the past five years, the unprecedented addition of sixty-five thousand acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands to the Forest Preserve has opened up many new recreational opportunities. To date, the most publicized opportunities have been for paddling and, more controversially, snowmobiling and mountain biking. Opportunities for cross-country skiing have not been mentioned as often. Now that these acquisitions are complete, it seems to be a good time to take stock of what’s also now available for cross-country skiers.

The three main areas with new opportunities for skiing are the Hudson Gorge, Essex Chain Lakes, and Boreas Ponds tracts. The good news for skiers, especially after last winter’s non-winter, is that all of these areas typically have abundant (or at least some) snow. Furthermore, the Essex Chain and Boreas tracts have relatively smooth roads that don’t need all that much snow to be skiable. While not as exciting to ski as some of the popular routes in the High Peaks and elsewhere, the views at the destinations make up for any lack of outright skiing interest. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Dave Olbert: Boreas Ponds Classification Commentary

What is Wilderness, Wild Forest, Primitive, and so on as we apply these terms to our Adirondack Park? They are labels we give to parcels of land within a line drawn on a map. These terms only regulate what we can and can’t do within the corresponding boundaries on the lands that all New Yorkers own. Unless we force all the people who have inholdings to give up their property, remove the road systems, remove the man-made structures, and eliminate some towns, the Adirondacks will never be like the wilderness areas out West.

The concept of what wilderness is as we have applied this term to our Adirondacks is misleading. Is the High Peaks area really wilderness with the extensive overuse it is experiencing? Is sitting at Blue Ledge Pool in the Hudson River Gorge a wilderness experience when 50 whitewater rafts pass through it on any given Saturday? When this question is put to wilderness advocates they simply do not respond; they do not have an answer, or do not want to admit that it is not a “Wilderness Experience.” » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tim Rowland: The Cub Hunter At Old Forge

bald mountain post cardDespite visiting the summits of the hallowed 46 High Peaks over the years, I believe it’s still hard to beat the view from lowly Bald Mountain just north of Old Forge. I know it’s officially known as Rondaxe Mountain today, but I still call it Bald Mountain in the way that old people still call NYSEG “the light company.”

I first climbed it when I was 6; at that time it seemed quite the mighty massif, but by the time I was 10, scooting up the gentle slopes barely took the edge off of a mischief-seeking boy. » Continue Reading.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Don Mellor Publishes New Ice-Climbing Guidebook

Don Mellor’s second edition of Blue Lines: An Adirondack Ice Climber’s Guide, published this month, describes almost 600 ice-climbing routes — a testament to the popularity of an erstwhile fringe sport.

The growth in ice climbing is mirrored by the growth in the heft of previous guidebooks.

In 1976, Tom Rosecrans published a slim guidebook called Adirondack Rock and Ice Climbs. Though rock and ice received equal billing in the title, only nine of the 124 pages were devoted to ice climbing. Only a few ice routes were named and described.

In the 1980s, Mellor came out with a bulkier guidebook, Climbing in the Adirondacks, with a substantial section on ice climbing. The 1995 edition described more than 140 routes.

Mellor published the initial edition of Blue Lines in 2006, the region’s first guidebook devoted exclusively to ice climbing. It described about 350 routes.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, January 13, 2017

World Cup Freestyle Skiing In Lake Placid This Weekend

world cup mogulsFIS Freestyle moguls and aerials athletes return to competition in the new year this week at the Putnam Investments Freestyle Cup in Wilmington and Lake Placid.

The moguls competition held on Whiteface Mountain’s Wilderness Trail is slated for Friday, January 13, while the aerials event takes place, Saturday, January 14, at the Olympic Jumping Complex.

Freestyle athletes from around the globe have been competing at Lake Placid for more than 30 years and this week’s event features more than 160 athletes from 17 nations. Lake Placid and its neighbor Wilmington began hosting this event in 1985, five years following the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Night Skiing in the Adirondacks

My family has been enjoying all the fresh snow at some our favorite downhill ski resorts. Sometimes it can be disappointing, after a great day of skiing, to have to call an end to the day. It’s those times that we are grateful for these local mountains that let the fun continue through the night.  These family- style ski resorts have special nighttime events or dedicate the week to extended skiing under the lights.

Saranac Lake’s own Mount Pisgah offers night skiing during the week until 8 pm. This multipurpose recreational area also offers tubing and adjacent cross-country ski trails. The lodge has an open view of the lighted trails so parents and caregivers can give children a bit of independence on the slopes while they warm up by the fireplace. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Snowmobilers Reminded to Ride Safely

Rail-Trail Plan Could End Snowmobiling Along CorridorNew York State is reminding snowmobilers to ride responsibly and exercise caution.

Everyone operating a snowmobile should be familiar with safe riding practices and all applicable laws, rules and regulations. The best way to learn is by taking a snowmobile safety course. To find a course, click here.  A safety certificate is required for youth between ages 10 and 18. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Champlain Area Trails Completes Tradeland Transaction

Champlain Area Trails (CATS) completed its first “tradeland” transaction at the end of 2016 when it accepted the gift of a 21-acre property in Crown Point and immediately sold it to fund its work to make trails and save land.

“Ray Asmar of Danbury, Connecticut contacted me in early 2016 about the property which he purchased in 1972,” said Chris Maron, CATS executive director in an announcement sent to the press. “He and his wife camped there occasionally but were now looking to find a new owner. Their children didn’t want it and selling it would have incurred capital gains taxes. So, he contacted me about donating it to us as a nature preserve. We inspected it and decided that although it was entirely forested, it didn’t meet our conservation criteria. I suggested he give it to us as a “tradeland” which we would sell and use the funds to advance our mission. He liked that idea because he could use the property for a beneficial purpose, get the tax benefits of donating the property at its current market value, and not be taxed for its increase in value if he sold it.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 9, 2017

DEC Lifeguard Qualifying Procedures Begins Jan 21

New Yorkers that love the outdoors and are looking for summer employment are invited to participate in free lifeguard qualifying procedures beginning January 21, 2017.

Seasonal lifeguard positions are available at DEC campgrounds throughout the Adirondack and Catskill parks this summer. The current hourly rate for NYS DEC lifeguards is $13.27. Additionally, most facilities offer free housing. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Take Precautions Against Hypothermia and Frostbite

Every winter, I receive questions about hypothermia and about the dangers and symptoms of both hypothermia and frostbite. Most are from concerned parents of younger children.

We’re certainly not strangers to cold weather. After all, this is the North Country. And winter is the season of snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, ice climbing, winter hiking, winter camping, sledding, tobogganing, tubing, ice skating, snowballs, snowmen, snow forts, snow sculptures, and winter carnival parades. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Great Camp Santanoni Winter Weekends Planned

Camp Santanoni, photo by Nancie BattagliaThe first of three Winter Weekends at Great Camp Santanoni in Newcomb is set for Martin Luther King Day weekend, January 14-16. Additional open house events will take place during the President’s Day holiday weekend, February 18-20, and the weekend of March 18-19.

In the community of Newcomb, WinterFest is being celebrated on January 14, coinciding with the first Santanoni Winter Weekend. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Guided Snowshoe Hike At Bolton Landing’s UpYonda Farm

It has been a few years since Bolton Landing’s UpYonda Farm has offered guided snowshoe hikes at the 75-acre property. According to UpYonda Administrator Matt Sprow there is currently more snow on the trails than was available at this same time last year.

“We have a calendar full of public programing,” says Sprow. “Our hikes go on, regardless of the weather. Right now the snow is okay. Snowshoes are included in the fee for the hike or people can bring their own. If the weather changes we will still hold our guide hike, but it may turn into more of a walk.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Adirondack Mountain Club’s ADK Winterfest Saturday

adk mountain clubThe Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) will host Winterfest, part of National Winter Trails Day on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at the Heart Lake Program Center in Lake Placid.

ADK Winterfest is a free, family friendly event created to encourage participants to discover the many forms of winter recreation. Visitors can check out and participate in winter activities, demo gear such as snowshoes, skis and skates, enjoy live music, food and more. Winterfest will include telemark lessons, ski waxing clinics, nordic ski workshops, guided snowshoe hikes, ice skating, a ski race, kid’s paintball biathlon, a kid’s activity area, family scavenger hunt, a dog sled clinic and more. Local retailers and national gear vendors will have tents with equipment to demo and purchase. This event begins at 10 am and continues through the evening. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lake George Village Boat Launch Update

Lake George Boat Launch photo by Ed BurkeThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Lake George Village Boat Launch on Beach Road remains open to use by boaters.

DEC does not plow the main parking area to protect the porous pavement. When snow depths increase or ice forms on the lake the gate will be shut and the launch will be closed. Ice anglers and others will be able to access the ice on the lake by parking in the auxiliary parking area on the south side of Beach Road.

DEC will put up temporary fencing to create a path with packed snow from the parking area to the lake. Snowmobiles are prohibited in the main parking area outside of the fenced path as they will damage the porous pavement. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What’s New In The Adirondack Explorer

Some time ago I came across a book titled Fifty Favorite Climbs: The Ultimate North American Tick List. The author, Mark Kroese, asked fifty celebrated climbers to reveal their favorite climbs on the continent.

Most leaned toward big or exotic routes. Conrad Anker, for example, picked an alpine rock climb on Baffin Island near the Arctic Circle. Alex Lowe chose the Grand Traverse, his eight-hour dash over seven summits in Wyoming’s Tetons.

But I was especially interested in the choice of Jeff Lowe, one of the greatest mountaineers of his generation. Lowe (no relation to Alex) has climbed all over the world and put up hundreds of first ascents. His favorite climb in North America? A four-pitch ice route on Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain that overlooks the Northway. It’s called Gorillas in the Mist.

» Continue Reading.


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