Posts Tagged ‘Cross-Country Skiing’

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Lucky Backcountry Ski Trip Near Irishtown

Sign - 723compressedBetter late than never. I had wanted to ski the Irishtown Trail on St. Patrick’s Day because, well, it just seemed appropriate. But as Robert Burns observed, the best laid schemes of mice and men don’t always go as planned. My trip was postponed by a few days, but the delay was a blessing in disguise, since the trail was now topped by a few inches of fresh dry powder from a post-St. Patty’s snow shower.

Starting on Route 28N, the trail traverses Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest for six miles, passing several ponds, and terminating at Irishtown. My goal, though, was to turn around at Stony Pond, a four-mile round trip that climbs about 700 feet. Beyond the pond, the trail is frequented by snowmobilers who access it from Irishtown, and skiers are advised not to compete with them for the trail. For a longer trip, a better option is to ski on the frozen surface of Stony Pond, circumnavigating its shoreline. » Continue Reading.



Monday, February 24, 2014

Siamese Ponds Wilderness: Skiing The Botheration Trail

Siamese-Ponds Botheration Trail headI had lots to do on Saturday, but just couldn’t say ‘no.’  The blue sky and 40 degree weather was too much of a siren call, so I grabbed my skis and headed to the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area.   This may be my last chance to ski for the season, so the errands will just have to wait.

The Siamese Ponds area is deservedly one of the most popular spots in the southern Adirondacks for backcountry skiing, containing routes for skiers of all abilities.  My late start and the impending darkness meant that today’s choice would have to be short and fast, so I picked Botheration Pond as my destination.  I started at the Old Farm Clearing parking lot, where skiers compete each weekend for the 30 or so parking spaces, but today there are only a few other cars.  I won’t see any of their occupants though – for the next two hours, I’ll share the trails with only chickadees and an occasional squirrel. » Continue Reading.



Monday, February 24, 2014

Checking Out Ski Conditions After The Thaw

Phil at VICLast week’s rain and thaw bummed out backcountry skiers, but things could have been worse. We still have a solid base, but we could use several inches of powder on top of it.

Unfortunately, there are no sizable snowstorms in this week’s forecast. We got a dusting of snow last night, and we may get a total of an inch or so over the next few days. Small snow showers also are predicted later in the week.

The Adirondack Ski Touring Council is recommending that skiers stick to groomed trails until we get more snow. “The only exception is that it never warmed up all that much at the elevation of Lake Colden, so skiing there is still pretty good—just not so good getting there,” the council says on its website.

I went skiing both Saturday and Sunday to check out the post-thaw conditions.

» Continue Reading.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cross-Country Skiing:
An Adirondack Nocturne at the Paul Smith’s VIC

Twilight at the VIC, S. Hildreth

Nocturne: a work of art dealing with evening or night especially; a dreamy pensive composition for the piano that has a soft and somewhat sad melody.  – 2014 Merriam Webster Dictionary

It was Valentine’s Day, about 8 pm, and I walked out the back door, stepped into my x-country ski bindings, put on my gloves and slipped my hands through the straps on my ski poles, flipped on my headlight and silently glided into the stillness of the night. As I looked up the trail, snowflakes filtered down glittering into the beam of my light.

It was the Full Moon Friends of the VIC Ski Party and this was the evening after the big Nor’easter dropped about 10 inches of fresh snow on what was already a good solid base. There was a nice crowd at the Paul Smith’s College VIC, live music by Split Rock lighting up the great room, but I might as well have been a solitary skier. I met two other skiers coming back to the building right as I started out, and then just two more as I skied across the floating bridge on Heron Marsh. The rest of the evening was mine alone, and it was magical. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Annual Dome Island Winter Ice Expedition

Dome Island in Winter LGLC Annual Expeditin 2011Though the recent fluctuation in temperature has not been conducive to cross-country skiing, it has allowed my family to explore some frozen Adirondack lakes and ponds.

Being able to access those frozen waterways during the winter is one of my family’s greatest joys. When the ponds are safe to cross, the ability to reach normally inaccessible shorelines opens up a different avenue for exploration. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cock-A-Doodle Shoe Snowshoe Race Saturday

Cock A Doodle ShoeIt may be raining now, but it looks like we may be getting winter back on track this weekend with some colder temperatures and new snow. Some of my favorite trails have lost their base layer and the paths are better suited to crampons than skis. Despite the dreary sounding conditions there is still plenty to do to get outside and enjoy the Adirondack winter wonderland.

For the second year The New Land Trust in Saranac has teamed up with Dion snowshoes to host the annual Cock-A-Doodle Shoe on January 18 at 10 am.  This year race organizers added a 5K to the existing 10K snowshoe race format. According to Race Organizer Jeremy Drowne the event is on. Drowne feels that this warm front will soften the base and the new snow will add a nice layer for the upcoming race. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

POSTPONED: Lake Placid Loppet Now Set For March 8

LOPPETUPDATE: Due to the poor snow conditions the Lake Placid Loppet and Kort Loppet have been postponed until Saturday, March 8. This story has been updated to reflect the change.

The 32nd Lake Placid Loppet cross-country ski races will be held Saturday, March 8, at the Olympic Sports Complex Cross Country Ski Center, in Lake Placid.

Over the past 31 years, thousands of skiers have enjoyed skiing and racing on the Mt. Van Hoevenberg trails at the Olympic Sports Complex course.   As a member of the American Ski Marathon Series, this event attracts hundreds of skiers from across the United States and Canada. It consists of a 50 kilometer Loppet (30.1 miles) and a 25-kilometer Kort Loppet (about 15 miles). » Continue Reading.



Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Weekends Planned at Camp Santanoni

santanoni winterThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the Town of Newcomb, and the Adirondack Ecological Center have announced that historic Camp Santanoni, located off Route 28N in Newcomb, will be open for three special weekends this winter. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Western Adirondacks Best Bet For Nordic Skiers

The view this morning from Baker Mountain outside Saranac Lake.The Tug Hill region east of Lake Ontario got clobbered by a lake-effect snowstorm Tuesday.  I was hoping we’d get a decent snowfall in Saranac Lake, but we received only a little more than a dusting. The woods on Baker Mountain looked pretty this morning, but they would have made for ugly skiing.

The western Adirondacks, however, picked up several inches of fresh snow.

Chris Tapper, business manager of Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company in Old Forge, said the Old Forge area got about five inches of light snow. The area now has about eight inches on the ground, and Tapper said most trails favored by Nordic enthusiasts should be skiable.

“Wider skis are going to be the tool of choice, because it’s light, fluffy snow,” Tapper said.

Rick Kovacs, owner of the Wanakena General Store, said Wanakena area received about six inches of snow Tuesday on top of a two-to-three-inch base. He said skiing should be good on most trails. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DEC Advisory: Winter Conditions In The Adirondacks

DSCN5129The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued an advisory today reporting that the recent snowstorm provided great conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondack backcountry.  Backcountry visitors should be prepared with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice and cold to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience.

Snow depths range from 8 – 20 inches or more. The deepest snows are in the western and southwestern Adirondacks and the thinner depths in the northeastern section. Snow depths are deeper in the higher elevations like the High Peaks and other mountains over 3,000 feet. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pigeon Lake Wilderness:
A Ski Refuge in Snowmobiling Country

cascade lake near inlet map by Nancy BernsteinLast winter, a former colleague got in touch to see if I wanted to go skiing in the Inlet area. Not one to turn down a chance to ski or catch up with a friend, I suggested we do the loop around Cascade Lake in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness.

We agreed to meet for lunch at the Hard Times Café in Eagle Bay, a few miles west of downtown Inlet. When I arrived, just before noon, the restaurant was packed with snowmobilers. I felt a little out of place in my cross-country-ski boots. Tim, who lives south of Utica, walked in about ten minutes later. He couldn’t find a space in the lot, which was largely occupied by snow machines, so he had to park across the road. » Continue Reading.



Monday, October 7, 2013

More Access For Sable Highlands Easement Lands

sablelmapA number of new facilities and access opportunities on the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands in Franklin and Clinton counties (former Domtar Industries lands near Lyon Mountain) are now available for public use, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. DEC and its partners have constructed new parking lots, opened some roads for motorized use, and installed informational kiosks. Roads and trails have been opened through private lease areas to provide access under sporting leases to areas open to public use.

The Sable Highlands easement lands include more than 28,000 acres of lands distributed over 14 public use areas, all of which are open and available for public access and recreation in accordance with the April 2009 Interim Recreation Management Plan. More than 56,000 acres of the Sable Highlands easement lands are leased by the landowner to hunting, fishing and recreation clubs for their exclusive private use. » Continue Reading.



Monday, April 8, 2013

A Skier’s Plea to Hikers: Don’t Post-Hole

Marcy-in-winterOn Saturday I skied Mount Marcy and was surprised at how good the snow conditions were. I began at the start of South Meadow Road and had to take my skis off only once, on a fifty-yard stretch of the Marcy Dam Truck Trail.

To be sure, the trails were hard and sometimes icy on the approach to Marcy Dam and the first mile or so beyond, but above “50-Meter Bridge” (the second crossing of Phelps Brook), there was good snow: packed powder, with fluffier stuff outside the well-trodden track. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Peavine Swamp Trails: Skiing the Quiet Groves

peavineOn the Peavine Swamp trail system in the northwestern Adirondacks near Cranberry Lake I found a tranquil route through open forest, culminating on a knoll overlooking the Oswegatchie River. Removed from the more challenging terrain of the High Peaks backcountry, the trails allow the skier to settle into a soothing rhythm of kick and glide over level ground and rolling ridges. The occasional gully or steeper pitch is enough to rate the trail’s difficulty moderate or intermediate—but in a low-key way.

It’s a good trip for looking around and appreciating the forest, and on a clear day in early January, I was  accompanied by two skiers who were well qualified to be guides through these woods: Jamie Savage, professor at the Ranger School in Wanakena, and John Wood, senior forester for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Jamie uses these lands as an outdoor classroom for his students. And John, working with Jamie and other partners in the area, has been developing plans for increasing hiking and skiing routes near Cranberry Lake. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Backcountry Skiing: The Seven (or Eight) Carries

Google satelliteIf you know cross-country skiers, by now you’ve heard the complaints about the lack of snow. After last week’s thaw, the Adirondack Ski Touring Council reported that no part of the 24-mile Jackrabbit Trail between Saranac Lake and Keene could be recommended for skiing.

I’ve done a fair amount of the complaining myself, but I enjoyed perfect conditions this past weekend on the ponds in the St. Regis Canoe Area. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Paul Smiths VIC: A Sure Thing For Skiers

Heron Marsh at Paul Smith's VIC. Photo by Susan BibeauWinter started slowly, so after we received a few small snowfalls in late November, I jumped at the chance to go on my first ski of the season. Since we still had no base, I figured my best bet would be the Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths.

The VIC is fun to ski anytime, but it’s a particularly good choice early in the season or in a low-snow winter. Its smooth trails don’t need a lot of snow to be skiable. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Skiing on Oseetah Marsh and the Jackrabbit Trail

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOseetah Marsh just outside Saranac Lake is the destination of one of my regular lunch-hour ski trips. It’s short, easy, and scenic, with views of the McKenzie Range, the Sawtooth Range, and nearby Scarface Mountain.

Yesterday I did the trip for the first time this winter. Why did I wait so long? To get to the marsh, I follow a snowmobile trail through a beautiful pine forest. Until this afternoon, every time I reached the edge of the marsh I found a small pool of black water, bordered by very thin ice. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

31st Lake Placid Loppet Set for Mt. Van Hoevenberg

LOPPETThe 31st Lake Placid Loppet cross-country ski races will be held Saturday, January 26, at the Olympic Sports Complex Cross Country Ski Center, in Lake Placid, N.Y. The race is being presented by High Peaks Cyclery.

The Lake Placid Loppet has established itself as one of the best events of its kind in the country. Over the past 30 years, thousands of skiers have enjoyed skiing and racing on the Mt. Van Hoevenberg trails at the Olympic Sports Complex. As part of the American Ski Marathon Series, the event attracts hundreds of skiers from across the United States and Canada. It consists of a 50 kilometer Loppet (30.1 miles) and a 25-kilometer Kort Loppet (about 15 miles).
» Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Adirondack Family Activities:
Events At The New Land Trust, Newcomb AIC

AdirondackInterpretiveCenter_newThe recent warm front didn’t do the snowshoe/cross-country ski trails any favors, but it also didn’t completely wipe out the snow. Though some area ski centers around the Adirondack Park have taken a significant hit, most are grooming their trails for business. It has been tricky to find the places that are shielded enough to maintain a significant base for those of us looking to snowshoe or cross-country ski.

New Land Trust in Saranac, along with Dion Snowshoes, is hosting Cock-A-Doodle-Shoe as a Northeast regional qualifier for the 2013 USSSA National Snowshoe Championships on January 20. The 10K snowshoe race with cover a varied terrain from flat ground to rolling hills among the New Land Trust’s 287-acres. The competition is open to all levels and participants will compete for a $150 cash prize » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

CATS Protects 319 Acres in Willsboro

The owners of 319 acres of farmland and woods in the Champlain Valley have taken steps to protect the property in perpetuity and open it to the public for hiking and cross-country skiing.

Dick and Leanna DeNeale donated a conservation easement on their property to Champlain Area Trails (CATS), a nonprofit organization that has created twenty-three miles of hiking trails in the Champlain Valley since 2009. » Continue Reading.



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