Wednesday, July 19, 2017

NYS Forest Ranger Ranks Stagnant While Workload Rises

Forest Ranger Rob Praczkajlo covers the district just east of the High Peaks Wilderness, namely the towns of Jay, Elizabethtown, and part of North Hudson. Due to the high rate of search and rescue operations in the adjacent High Peaks, he is just as likely to be found there as he is patrolling his own district.

The High Peaks district had more than 100 emergency incidents in 2015 and they do not occur in a vacuum. They are not handled exclusively by the half dozen rangers stationed there. Rangers from all parts of the Adirondacks, and the Forest Preserve they protect, are affected by the drain from so many incidents. The following chronicles one week in July for Ranger Praczkajlo. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Climbing Moss Cliff In The Wilmington Notch

Don Mellor climb Nestlings, a variation of Touch of Class, on Moss Cliff Why would a climber want to visit something called Moss Cliff? Though the name conjures up some dank, low-angled slab wrapped in a living green carpet, the reality is quite different. This best of Adirondack cliffs is not so mossy. In fact, it’s among the cleanest, driest, most appealing rock walls in the Northeast — in my opinion, the most Adirondack of all Adirondack crags.

The name probably comes from a misreading of the 1953 USGS topographical map that put the unflattering label on a dirty slab about a mile to the west of the clean and elegantly sculpted wall that we now call Moss Cliff.

Moss Cliff isn’t hard to find. You’ve all seen it looming high above the Ausable River on the Sunrise Mountain shoulder of Whiteface. Zooming by at 55 mph, however, doesn’t give you the chance to pick out the climbers, the colorful little dots who have been playing out the evolution of climbing, out of sight, but in plain view if you ever stop to look. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Efforts Underway To Address Crowds In The High Peaks

hikers on Big Slide Mt on a prime autumn dayhikers on Big Slide Mt on a prime autumn day The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) owns land with trailheads for some of the most popular mountains in the High Peaks Wilderness, but you wouldn’t know that from their recent promotions on social media and traditional print publications. That’s because the club does not want to exacerbate overcrowding in the High Peaks.

Instead of encouraging people to climb Mount Marcy and Algonquin Peak, ADK is teaching people backcountry ethics, including Leave No Trace principles. “People are coming no matter what, so we don’t need to promote it, and what we need to promote is how to recreate responsibly,” said Julia Goren, ADK’s education director and summit-steward coordinator.

The education campaign is just one of several ways that ADK, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and other organizations are addressing the overcrowding issue. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Photo Contest: Show Us Views From Moderate Mountaintops

The Adirondack Explorer‘s next “Views of the Park” photo contest is focusing on everyone’s favorite type of photo: from the summit of a mountaintop.

And in light of the ongoing problem of overcrowding in the high peaks region, we’re asking you to post photos from the mountains you’ve hiked that are “Under 4,000” feet, or outside the forty-six high peaks.

Post your photos to Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #adkexplorerpix. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Tim Rowland’s Fourth Of July Adventure

view of Giant from High BankI am a firm believer in the celebrated “Ten Essentials” that every hiker should carry in his pack when he sallies forth into the bush — which for me generally amounts to a map, a compass and eight Advil. Of course the list of essentials includes a lot of other stuff, as well, and is readily searchable online.

It’s good to be aware of the list because you never know about weather, you never know about a bad step on a rock, you never know when you are going to need a little extra gas in the tank and, well, you just never know. It’s amazing to me how just a few steps off a well-beaten path can leave you feeling just as lost as Fred Noonan over the South Pacific.

But we all backslide a bit. I frequently fail to carry Essential #10, Emergency Shelter on a two-mile out-and- back to Baker Mountain. But within reason I’m pretty good about it, partly out of prudence, partly because I don’t want to get “that look” from other hikers on the trail, the one that says “Look Carol, he is wearing COTTON. To the STAKE with him.” » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Ausable Ride For The River Set For Sunday

ride for the riverThe 6th Annual Ride for the River planned for Sunday, July 16 will feature a new format that allows guests to experience the conservation work of the Ausable River Association (AsRA). The family-friendly event is a fully supported road cycling tour featuring three distance options, all showcasing the Ausable River watershed in the heart of the Adirondacks.

Registration is open online.

Ride for the River was created by AsRA in 2012 to celebrate the resilience of local communities following the devastating flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene. In partnership with Cycle Adirondacks, the 2017 ride will feature new interactive route stops allowing cyclists to learn about the impacts of road salt, invasive species and undersized culverts on Ausable streams and habitat. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

DEC Conducting Survey of Freshwater Anglers

DEC will be conducting a survey of licensed anglers who fished New York waters in 2017. This survey will be conducted primarily online and participants with valid e-mail addresses will be selected at random from their sporting license database. If you have not already provided your e-mail address when you purchased your license and want to be considered for the survey, e-mail DEC your name, fishing license ID # and e-mail address.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Grants Available For Adirondack Athletes, Organizations

uisf grant winners 2016Adirondack Foundation’s Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund (UISF) is accepting grant applications from individuals and organizations for 2017.

UISF supports nonprofits and community organizations that foster and promote life-long sports and healthy lifestyles for local kids. The fund also supports local athletes’ achievements, with a new emphasis on those who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Two Weeks In The Adirondacks: 3 Dead; 15 Search and Rescues; 1 Remains Missing

DEC Forest RangerNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the Adirondack backcountry.

What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Safe Boating Course Offered In Ray Brook July 15-16th

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is offering a free two-day boater safety course at its Region 5 headquarters in Ray Brook on July 15 and 16.

Anyone born after May 1, 1996, must pass an approved boater safety course to legally operate a motor boat. In addition, New York State Law requires a boating safety course for the operation of personal watercraft (PWC).

The Safe Boating Course is a comprehensive course that provides the fundamentals of safe boating operation and is approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). Certified Instructors and DEC Environmental Conservation Officers teach the course, which includes eight hours of classroom instruction over two days. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Your Dog And The Adirondack Forest Preserve

dog on leash

Dog owners should act responsibly and always ensure that their dogs are under the control; for the safety of the dog and wildlife, and to allow an enjoyable outdoor experience for other recreational users.

Wildlife approached by dogs may feel threatened and defend themselves, causing injury to the dog. Porcupines, racoons, coyotes, bears, moose and deer can all cause injury to dogs when cornered. Also there is a danger of rabies, distemper or other wildlife diseases being transmitted to the dog.

Dogs harassing wildlife can be seriously detrimental, especially in winter. Animals may be injured or killed if caught. This is more likely to happen to young animals, which may also be separated from their parent losing protection and nourishment. Also, animals may be injured while fleeing a pursuit, too. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Creeping Cascadeism: A Visit to Owls Head

owls headI try to stay away from the more popular Adirondack peaks during the summer season, because at my age I’m always afraid some college kid is going to stop me on the trail and ask me to sit for an oral history project.

But I figured I needed to climb Owls Head in Keene before it closes later this year due to overuse and the poor manners of hikers whose cars were blocking the driveways of homeowners on the privately owned property.

I had seen Owls Head many times as I descended from the Cascade lakes on Rt. 73. I’d always thought to myself, What a cute little mountain; I wonder why nobody ever climbs that? This shows what an idiot I am, because apparently about 7 million people a day climb Owls Head, part of the creeping Cascadeism that turns the stunning pass into a three-mile parking lot on the weekends. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 30, 2017

High Peak Trails And Creeks Flooding, Large Saranac River Rise

The following Adirondack trails as well as many creeks are flooding or at flood stage:

Ward Brook Trail/Sewards flooded

South end of Avalanche Lake flooded to Lake Colden register

Indian Falls not passable – water waist deep

Indian Pass Brook toward Street & Nye flooded

Water crossing at Ore Bed Lean-To Not Passable

Bushnell Falls crossing to John Brooks Valley is not passable

MAJOR RISE ON SARANAC RIVER: The water at Lake Flower is 22” above the dam and dam will be lowered by 8” tomorrow to relieve the pressure.  People are encouraged to stay off the Saranac River.


Friday, June 30, 2017

DEC To Reopen Saranac Chain Lower Locks July 1

Repairs and rehabilitation work on the Lower Locks in the Saranac Chain have been completed and the locks will be open for use on July 1.

Improvements included rehabilitating the fill and release doors and the wicket (main) doors, including replacing all seals and bearings; completely replacing the hydraulic system including hydraulic arms, lines and operating system; repairing concrete walls; replacing and re-equipping the Locks Operator Shed; and replacing all tie downs, ropes, and other equipment. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Spencer Morrissey Hikes 1,000th Adirondack Peak

On Sunday, June 25, Spencer Morrissey reached a major milestone in his hiking career: he climbed his thousandth Adirondack peak.

“It was kind of a sigh of relief,” Morrissey said. “It was kind of surreal, because I didn’t ever really think I’d get to this point.”

Morrissey chose Peaked Mountain near North Creek for his thousandth peak. He picked the mountain because it has a trail to the summit, which would make it easier for people to join him. Eleven people did.

Morrissey’s goal is to hike all of the Adirondacks mountains that are open to the public, or that he’s allowed to do through permission of the landowners. He’s counted 1,817 possible peaks. He’s not aware of anyone who has hiked 1,000 peaks, let alone all of them.

» Continue Reading.


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