Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mount Marcy Rescue: Another Perspective

Marcy RescueI take issue with Peter Nelson’s piece on the rescue of a woman and her two children on Mt. Marcy in March. Although perhaps the mother taking her children up Mt. Marcy in predictably harsh winter weather didn’t deserve “some of the nastiest condemnations… seen in the online world,” the situation does deserve serious objective assessment, and the lessons learned need to be repeated loud and often. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Pete Nelson: Inclusion, Access and Wilderness

The recent news that the State of New York has acquired the 6,200 acre MacIntyre East property, which abuts the High Peaks Wilderness, has reignited the usual debate over classification: Wild Forest or Wilderness?

This debate, which has many layers and levels, often takes place around the notion of access: how can features of the parcel, including mountains, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, be accessed (presumably for recreation) and, via inference, by whom? Access to Wilderness is by foot or paddle only (and to a limited extent, horses). So what about those for whom access via a typical (read tough) Adirondack trail is difficult or impossible? Many people bring up the elderly as a class for whom a Wilderness designation would severely limit access. Others mention people who have disabilities. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 8, 2015

New State Lands: Paddling MacIntyre East

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrian Mann and I had been on the water for several hours when we came to a fallen tree stretched across the river. We pulled over to a sandbank to carry our canoes around.

“Human footprints,” Brian remarked.

“So I guess we’re not Lewis and Clark,” I replied.

If we weren’t intrepid explorers, at least we could pretend. For even if we weren’t the first, we must have been among the first to paddle the upper Hudson River and Opalescent River since the state purchased the 6,200-acre MacIntyre East tract from the Nature Conservancy in April. The land was formerly owned by the Finch, Pruyn paper company.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Clean and Safe Boating Tips for 2015

Lake George BoatingThe ice is gone and the boating season has begun on Adirondack waterways.

New York Sea Grant offers the following top 10 tips for boaters in 2015:

. Learn about Suddenly In Command training so everyone aboard can be prepared to act calmly and properly in the event of an emergency on the water.

.  Learn how to conduct an easy-to-do Clean, Drain, Dry inspection of your watercraft, trailer and gear to remove aquatic invasive species and debris each time you enter and leave new water. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Champlain Area Inn-to-Inn Hike May 9th

IMGP5379Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is hosting its second Grand Hike to highlight walking on trails and scenic backroads from hamlet to hamlet in New York’s Champlain Valley on Saturday, May 9th. “One of our goals is to provide residents and visitors with trails that connect our communities,” CATS Board Chair Katherine Preston said in an announcement to the press.

“This hike promotes that idea, builds for stronger economic vitality, and provides a fun outdoor springtime activity for all.” Last year over 200 people came out for the hike and block party. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Backcountry Gear: Down or Synthetic Sleeping Bags

Highlite sleeping bag on Cat MtnSleeping bags are crucial pieces of outdoor gear; nearly a third of the time during an overnight backcountry trip is spent in one. A perfect bag provides for a good night’s rest, a necessity after an arduous day climbing through blowdowns, balancing on beaver dams and weaving through a forested obstacle course. Ideally, a sleeping bag should be warm, comfortable and convenient, yet still lightweight enough to carry wherever curiosity demands without agitating one’s own back. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Magazine Recommends Alpine Trek In Adirondacks

Will-high-in-dikeThe May issue of Climbing magazine contains a section on alpine treks, including one in the Adirondacks. They all combine hiking with rock climbing or scrambling.

The other treks are in the Sierras, the Grand Tetons, and the North Cascades, so we’re in good company. The authors, however, evidently struggled a bit to come up with an alpine adventure to rival those in the big mountains out west. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

DEC Proposes Trail, Lean-to In Pepperbox Wilderness

Pepperbox Wilderness by Dan CraneThe 22,560-acre Pepperbox Wilderness in the western Adirondacks is one of the smaller wilderness areas in the Park, but it also is one of the wildest. It has no lean-tos and only two miles of foot trails.

The State Land Master Plan observes that the lack of a trail system “offers an opportunity to retain a portion of the Adirondack landscape in a state that even a purist might call wilderness.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Former Girl Scout Camp Little Notch Saved

Camp Little Notch (Fort Ann)The efforts of a group of former campers and staff and community supporters have saved a wilderness camp that for more than 70 years has taught generations of young women life skills and environmental stewardship.  Camp Little Notch a former girl scout camp abutting the Lake George Wild Forest in Fort Ann, Washington County, has been purchased by the non-profit Friends of Camp Little Notch (Friends of CLN) from the Open Space Institute (OSI).

Organizers say it is the only former Girl Scout camp in the United States to have been purchased by an alumnae organization and operated as an independent camp. Situated between Lake George and Lake Champlain, the property is an important migratory pathway for large mammals and a vital part of the Lake George watershed region. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Paddling Tips For New Opalescent, Hudson River Areas

Upper HudsonWhen researching my Adirondack Paddling guidebook a few years ago, I canoed a stretch of the upper Hudson River and the lower Opalescent River. At the time, legal options for accessing both rivers were limited, despite their proximity to County Route 25, the road leading to the Upper Works trailhead.

I parked along the road next to a Forest Preserve sign and put in the Hudson from a sloping boulder with poor footing. In the book, I recommended people paddle downriver to the Opalescent and then paddle back up the Hudson a few miles to take out at a bridge on County Route 76, the road that leads to the former NL Industries mine.

It was frustrating, because there were plenty of better places to take out along County 25, which parallels the Hudson, but the land was owned by the Nature Conservancy. With the state’s acquisition of MacIntyre East, that is no longer the case.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Searching For Quiet Waters In A Solo Canoe

Chapel Pond Cliffs 2(1)Moving to the Adirondacks in 1998 offered new opportunities to explore the lakes and rivers in my solo canoe near Keene. I first tried Upper Cascade Lake and Chapel Pond, the lakes visible from Route 73 near Keene Valley on the way to Lake Placid. I had admired those lakes for decades while vacationing in the High Peaks.

Launching my Hornbeck at the Upper Cascade Lake was easy as it only weighted 15 pounds. Hugging the south shore, admiring the small streams cascading over the moss-covered rocks at close range was magical. But the noise from the traffic on Route 73, amplified across the lake, caused such an annoyance I soon paddled back to shore in disappointment. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

What’s New On The Otter Creek Horse Trails?

Alpacas on the Otter Creek Horse Trails this winterThe snows are gone and mud season has begun on the Otter Creek Horse Trails. Those hearty folks that stay North for the winter have been enjoying snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and even trekking with Alpacas, and now look forward to another season on the trails.

The Otter Creek Horse Trail system is located just outside Lowville on the Independence River Wild Forest, and the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests along the western border of the Adirondack Park in Lewis County.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cycle Adirondacks Bicycle Touring Event Planned

cycle adirondacksThe Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS’s) Cycle Adirondacks bicycle touring event will take place August 23-29, 2015. During the ride, cyclists will pedal amid the forests, lakes, and streams that make the Adirondack region a world-class destination.  Wildlife experts will be on hand to serve as wildlife and natural history guides. This year’s tour starts and ends in Saranac Lake and includes overnight stops in Star Lake, Boonville, Camden, Old Forge and Long Lake. There will be a extra day in Old Forge where riders can pedal an optional route or take the day off the bike and visit Old Forge and Inlet.

Registration includes three catered gourmet meals daily, free beer tastings each night, nightly live entertainment, a wellness area offering free massage, local shuttle services, fully stocked rest stops, prime camping spots, hot showers, baggage service, on-course safety support, activities for traveling companions not riding, and more. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pete Nelson: Critics In Marcy Rescue Out Of Line

Amy's LookoutIn the summer of 2001 my family and I undertook an adventure deep into the floor of Indian Pass. The lore related to its unexplored talus cave passages and its rumored near-impassibility had sparked our imaginations for years. Expecting that the journey would be challenging we equipped ourselves with climbing rope, headlamps and a first aid kit. After a good hour of work and having dealt with a number of dangerous obstacles we came to a pile of stacked boulders that rose precipitously from the floor, well above the surrounding trees. With the massive rampart of Wallface towering above us, all we could think about was to climb this talus pile and be lofted into the space above us where surely the best view in the Adirondacks awaited. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 17, 2015

One Last Weekend At Gore, Whiteface

Whiteface on Apriul 15 2015There will be one more weekend of skiing and riding on spring conditions at Gore Mountain in North Creek and Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington. Both will open Saturday and Sunday, April 18-19, for what will likely be the last runs of the 2014-2015 season.

Gore plans on opening about 40 trails and four lifts (Northwoods Gondola, the Straight Brook Quad, High Peaks Chair and Topridge Triple), with a special rate of $30 per person. Beginner terrain is expected to be limited; last weekend only intermediate and expert terrain was available. At Whiteface, adult lift tickets will be $48, tickets for teens $38, and $28 for juniors. At press time Whiteface was not reporting what facilities they expect to have open, but visitors should expect about 40-50% of their terrain open with beginner, intermediate and expert terrain; the Cloudsplitter Gondola has closed for the season. » Continue Reading.


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