Monday, November 5, 2012

Barkeater Trail Alliance Makes Tracks

I’m following Keith McKeever and his friends up a mountain-bike trail on a bright summer afternoon. The trail climbs smoothly but unrelentingly as it switchbacks up the side of Winch Mountain in Wilmington.

I’m feeling good at first, legs spinning, tires grabbing the soil. But after a few minutes I start to feel an ache in my chest, my breathing gets more labored, and my speed falters. Soon I come to a stop. Sweat drips off my forehead as I hunch over the handlebars and re-oxygenate my lungs.

Keith looks back as he turns up the next switchback. “Nice job!” he yells. “You’re almost halfway up.” Then he disappears around the bend. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Outside Story: The Clinker Polypore Fungus

If you’ve seen a well-developed clinker polypore (inonotus obliquus) protruding from a tree, there’s a good chance that you remember it. This fungus causes large, black, cinder-like growths, sometimes neatly conical, but often rough and ragged. Also called the birch polypore, you can find these conks on all species of birch, as well as on hophornbeam and occasionally on other hardwoods. By the time the fungal tissue is visible on the outside, the inside of the tree is likely to be rotten to the core.

Much is yet to be learned about this organism, but it seems that infection often occurs after another fungus, called Nectria, has invaded a tree. Injuries, too, allow the clinker polypore to get a foothold, and once it has settled in, death – though sometimes a slow death – seems to be inevitable. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cabin Life: Leaving Storm Worries Behind

There’s snow flying around in the air.  It’s been snowing on and off all day, with some sticking to my car this morning, but there’s none on the ground.  I noticed the slightly silvery coloring of the pines and hemlocks from snow sticking to the branches, though.  I’m glad it’s not sticking on the ground yet, but it won’t be long, and even though it’s been cold, we’ve been lucky that the snow didn’t start flying a week or two ago.

They say that this is the remnants of Hurricane Sandy, which at the cabin turned out to be a whole lot of nothing.  We had a wind storm last winter where I could hear trees coming down with a fair amount of regularity, but this past Monday night didn’t add up to much.  There was one branch down on my road, so it turned out I didn’t need to bring my chainsaw with me.  But I guess it’s good that I was prepared to cut my road clear to get to work.  Or maybe it’s not good.  I don’t know. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures

The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and Lost Pond Press have released Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, a full-color guidebook that offers recommendations for canoeing and kayaking trips throughout the  Adirondack Park.

Written by Phil Brown, Adirondack Almanack contributor and editor of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine, the guidebook gives detailed descriptions of more than 60 trips on the region’s lakes, ponds and rivers. It also includes GPS coordinates for put-ins and takeouts, driving directions, color maps and more than 150 color photos of landscapes, wildlife and wildflowers. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches: Fear in the Wild

I take a break from economics, tourism and telecommuting this week to honor my favorite holiday, Halloween, and the fear and imagination it is meant to celebrate.

It is a crisp Adirondack morning, barely six AM and the water is glass. A dense mist hangs on the lake and the air is heavy with silence.  Just a few yards into my paddle across to Osprey Island the canoe has become enveloped, leaving me to make the trip only on instinct and the experience of dozens of similar journeys.  There is nothing but white to be seen, that and the slate gray surface of the water, disturbed only slightly by the ripples spreading out from the bow.  » Continue Reading.


Friday, November 2, 2012

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights


Friday, November 2, 2012

Adirondack Events This Weekend (Nov 2)

We’ve gathered the best links to regional events calendars all in one place. Visit the Adirondack Almanack every Friday to find out everything that’s happening around the Adirondacks.

The Almanack also provides weekly back-country conditions reports for those headed into the woods or onto the waters this weekend.

Region-wide Events This Weekend » Continue Reading.


Friday, November 2, 2012

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Nov 1)

This weekly Adirondack conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio.

The Outdoor Conditions Report also runs each Friday at Saratoga Wire.

 

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Climbing The Wiessner Route On Upper Washbowl

We took advantage of some fall sunshine last week to climb the historic Wiessner Route on Upper Washbowl Cliff with Matt Wiech, a guide with the Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School.

Fritz Wiessner, a top climber in his day, put up the route in 1938. Like most of his routes, this one is regarded as moderate in difficulty, but it’s great fun, with interesting problems, thrilling exposure, and spectacular views of Chapel Pond Pass and the Great Range.

The crux (hardest part) comes at the very beginning when climbers have to squeeze past and then surmount a rectangular block. This pitch is rated 5.6 on the Yosemite Decimal System scale, which is pretty easy by today’s standards, but the pitch would have been a lot harder in Wiessner’s era, when climbers wore mountaineering boots instead of sticky-soled slippers. In fact, one of Wiessner’s partners, M. Beckett Howorth, avoided the block altogether, according to the guidebook Adirondack Rock. » Continue Reading.


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