Posts Tagged ‘Rafting’

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Phil Brown Paddles The Hudson River Gorge In A Ducky

phil_raft-600x388From time to time I’ve played with the idea of putting together a list of quintessential Adirondack adventures. It would include, for example, climbing the Trap Dike on Mount Colden, skiing Mount Marcy on a bluebird day, and scaling the eight-hundred-foot cliff on Wallface.

Last summer, I ticked off another adventure on my bucket list: rafting the Hudson Gorge.

My friend Mike got me into this one. He arranged a trip with North Creek Rafting Company with the intention of writing an article for the Associated Press. I readily agreed to shoot some photos and video.

Our Hudson Gorge outing differed from most in one important respect: instead of riding in rafts, we piloted inflatable kayaks, known as duckies. These vessels are open, like canoes, but as in a kayak, you maneuver with a double-bladed paddle and sit with your legs stretched out.

“It’ll be like going down the river in a lawn chair,” remarked Nate Pelton, the thirty-eight-year-old owner of North Creek Rafting.

Sure … if the lawn happens to be experiencing a 6.0 earthquake. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Adirondack Adventure Festival in North Creek

 Adirondack Adventure Festival 2011 562There are so many times that I wish I could be in two places at the same time. Though my family is committed and looking forward to hiking The Grand Hike from Westport to Essex on May 3rd, the Adirondack Adventure Festival in North Creek is taking place around the same time.

 

According to Director of Gore Mountain Region Chamber of Commerce Lisa Salamon this year’s Adirondack Adventure Festival will be hosting even more family-friendly activities on May 3-4, 2014. The event is bringing back its popular children’s trout fishing tournament along with more games, face painting and Adirondack crafts.

» Continue Reading.



Monday, December 16, 2013

Hudson River Rafting Owner Fined $25,000

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe owner of Hudson River Rafting Company has been fined $25,000 for sending customers on whitewater trips without a licensed guide—violating a court order just a few days after reopening his business following earlier legal troubles.

Supreme Court Justice Richard Giardino found Pat Cunningham, owner of the North Creek business, guilty of contempt of court, in a decision dated December 3.

Hudson River Rafting sent customers on trips with an unlicensed guide at least five times in July and August. In each instance, the guide put in the river at railroad tracks near the hamlet of North River. The rapids there are not as big as in the Hudson Gorge, but the first part of the trip takes place on a stretch of river where state law requires companies to provide licensed guides.

» Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

State Seeks To Shut Rafting Company Again

cunningham-300x246The state attorney general’s office is seeking once again to shut down Hudson River Rafting Company, alleging that the company violated a court order by sending clients on whitewater trips without a licensed guide.

Assistant Attorney General G. Nicholas Garin says in court papers that the company and its owner, Patrick Cunningham, violated the order a month or so after resuming business this summer.

Last fall, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against Cunningham accusing him of running an unsafe business. He sought to shut Hudson River Rafting permanently, but state Supreme Court Justice Richard Giardino ruled in May that Cunningham could resume operations under certain conditions, among them that he deploy only licensed rafting guides on trips on the upper Hudson River, including the Hudson Gorge. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Adirondack Challenge Finale Festival in Indian Lake

ADK ChallengeThe Governor’s Inaugural Adirondack Challenge, a week of events and activities celebrating Adirondack rivers, lakes and streams culminates this  Sunday, July 21st in Indian Lake with a Whitewater Rafting Race down the Indian River, flat water boat races on Indian Lake and the Adirondack Challenge Festival at Byron Park.

The Festival will take place from 11am until 7pm, and the town’s streets, restaurants, stores, and public places will be alive with things to do, taste or see.  Byron Park’s activities will feature the Taste of NY tent for samples of many  NYS local products,  three live bands playing throughout the day,  classic Adirondack guide boat and canoe displays by several local Adirondack craftsmen, many children’s activities including Wii Whitewater Rafting, the award ceremony for the water races (3:15 pm) and much more. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Author, Artist Event in Indian Lake This Weekend

Abanakee_newThe 15-mile flat-water canoe race, dubbed the Adirondack Challenge, may be the cause for all the commotion happening around Indian Lake and beyond, but it is the full two weeks of daily events that are bringing people from far and wide to these quiet Central Adirondack hamlets.

Indian Lake’s Adirondack Challenge consists only partly of Governor Cuomo’s Invitational Whitewater Race for state and local elected officials. The other component is the Flat Water Race, organized by MAC’s Canoe, for professional and amateur four-person teams competing for a cash purse. Preregistration closed Mondy for the July 21st race starting from the NYSDEC Indian Lake Island Campground boat launch. » Continue Reading.



Monday, May 20, 2013

Judge: Hudson River Rafting Company Can Resume Business

cunningham-300x246A state Supreme Court judge has ruled that Hudson River Rafting Company must post a $50,000 performance bond to stay in business and pay $12,000 in fines for violations of the law.

However, Justice Richard Giardino refused the state’s request to shut down the rafting company for good. He also dismissed the state’s claim that the company had engaged in false advertising by billing its rafting trips as safe. » Continue Reading.



Friday, April 26, 2013

AG Puts Spotlight On Cunningham’s Raft Business

cunningham-300x246The owner of Hudson River Rafting Company knew a guide had a drinking problem, but he continued to let him take clients on whitewater trips, one of which resulted in the death of a client who fell out of a raft and drowned last year, according to sworn statements.

The guide—Rory Fay of North Creek—later admitted he was intoxicated at the time of the accident. He pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

In a statement to state police, Fay said Pat Cunningham, who owns the company, and one of his assistants, Mark Lebrecque, knew he drank heavily. At the time, Fay was living in a guides’ house owned by Cunningham. » Continue Reading.



Friday, April 26, 2013

Judge Says Rafting Company Violated Law

cunningham-300x246The state attorney general’s office has won the bulk of its lawsuit against Hudson River Rafting Company and its owner, Patrick Cunningham.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard Giardino ruled on March 29 in favor of the state on three of four causes of action, finding that Hudson River Rafting violated the law by repeatedly sending customers on whitewater-rafting trips with unlicensed guides and transporting them in buses with unlicensed drivers.

The judge has yet to determine any penalties, but he continued an order forbidding Hudson River Rafting from running whitewater-rafting trips. The whitewater season began a few weeks ago. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hudson River Guide Gets Jail In Rafting Fatality

Hudson River (John Warren Photo)A rafting guide whose client drowned in the Indian River last September has been sentenced to a year in jail and five years of probation.

Rory Fay, 37, of North Creek admitted he was drunk when he and the client, Tamara Blake, 53, of Columbus, Ohio, fell out of the raft on the morning of September 27. Blake’s boyfriend stayed in the raft and paddled to shore. Fay also managed to get to shore. Blake’s body was found five miles downstream in the Hudson River.

Fay, who worked for Hudson River Rafting Company, pleaded guilty in November to criminally negligent homicide, a felony, as well as two misdemeanors, driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cunningham Acquitted In Rafting Case

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA rafting outfitter who sent a father and daughter down the Indian River without a guide was acquitted of reckless endangerment today after a three-day trial in Hamilton County Court.

Pat Cunningham, the owner of Hudson River Rafting Company, had been indicted on two misdemeanor reckless-endangerment charges stemming from separate incidents in August 2010. One of the charges was dismissed because the witnesses did not want to testify, according to Marsha Purdue, the county’s district attorney. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cunningham Trial: Rafting Customer Tells Of Scary Trip

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen Robert Carson asked his daughter Savannah how she wanted to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, she told him she wanted to take a whitewater rafting trip. Carson did some research on the Internet and booked a trip with the Hudson River Rafting Company in August 2010.

Initially, the father and daughter planned to ride in a guided raft with other customers down the Indian and Hudson rivers, but as things turned out, they would start their trip in an inflatable kayak, a two-person vessel with no room for a guide. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hudson River Rafting: Pat Cunningham’s Rocky Ride

On March 30, 2012, Hamilton County Court gave Patrick Cunningham a second chance. It came with conditions and a warning.

Judge S. Peter Feldstein told the defendant: “My goal in this matter, as I said at the beginning, was to affect how you do business. Now, I understand, Mr. Cunningham, through your attorney, that you do not feel that you’ve committed any crimes and you’re perfectly within your rights and you’re innocent before this court, but I want to be sure you understand that if you engaged in the behavior alleged in the indictment, I have no doubt that you committed crimes.” » Continue Reading.



Monday, November 26, 2012

Rafting Guide Admits Negligent Homicide Charge

A whitewater rafting guide pleaded guilty today to criminally negligent homicide and two other charges arising from the accidental drowning of a client in the Indian River this fall.

Rory Fay of North Creek, 37, admitted in Hamilton County Court that he was intoxicated on the morning he and a client were thrown from their raft.

The body of the victim—Tamara F. Blake, 53, of Columbus, Ohio—was found five miles downstream in the Hudson River. Blake’s boyfriend, Richard J. Clar, 53, also of Columbus, managed to stay in the raft and steer it to shore. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Upper Hudson Wilderness Area Proposed

Protect the Adirondacks has released a proposal calling for the creation of a new 39,000-acre Upper Hudson River Wilderness Area. This proposed new Wilderness Area would be centered on 22 miles of the Upper Hudson River that stretches from the Town of Newcomb to North River and would include over five miles of the Cedar River and four miles of the Indian River as well as dozens of other lakes and ponds.

The new Wilderness Area would be created from roughly 19,000 acres of former Finch Paper lands to be purchased by the State of New York from The Nature Conservancy and 20,000 acres of existing Forest Preserve lands in the Hudson Gorge Primitive Area (17,000 acres) and in the Blue Mountain and Vanderwhacker Wild Forest Areas (3,000 acres). » Continue Reading.



Friday, October 19, 2012

Judge Rules Against Rafting Company

Blue Ledge on Hudson River GorgeA State Supreme Court judge ruled today that Hudson River Rafting Company cannot operate until a final decision is made in a lawsuit filed against the company by the state attorney general’s office.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Hudson River Rafting and its owner, Patrick Cunningham, a few weeks after one of its clients drowned in the Indian River. He accuses the company of running unsafe whitewater excursions, sometimes sending customers on trips without licensed guides or with no guides at all. Click here to read the account of one unhappy customer. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Man’s Experience with Hudson River Rafting Company

Tomorrow there will be a hearing in Hamilton County Supreme Court (convening in Fulton County, in Johnstown) as the New York State Attorney General’s Office seeks a formal court order requiring Hudson River Rafting Company to cease operations until a list of safety concerns can be addressed.

As one of the company’s guides remains jailed on a charge of criminally negligent homicide in the death of a customer who drowned last month, Hudson River Rafting Company and its owner Patrick Cunningham also face a Hamilton County District Attorney motion to reinstate two 2010 charges of reckless endangerment. The DA argues that Cunningham violated the terms of a dismissal agreement by sending passengers down the wilderness whitewater of the upper Hudson River this summer in unguided boats.

Following are verbatim excerpts from one affidavit, an account by Richard Belson, from Pennsylvania, who says Hudson River Rafting Company launched him and a friend in an unguided inflatable kayak even though they had no paddling experience. To read the full affidavit, click here.
» Continue Reading.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oufitter: ‘No Idea’ Guide Was Drunk

The owner of the Hudson River Rafting Company said today he couldn’t comment on a fatal accident on the Indian River last week other than to assert that he did not know if the employee guiding the raft was intoxicated.

“We had no idea he was drunk,” Pat Cunningham said, “and I don’t know all that happened.”

State Police say the guide, Rory Fay of North Creek, was indeed intoxicated when he undertook the whitewater trip last Thursday morning. They arrested him on a charge of criminally negligent homicide, a class E felony. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DA Seeks To Reinstate Charges Against Cunningham

The owner of a rafting company in the spotlight after a drowning last week is accused of violating a court agreement stemming from criminal charges lodged two years ago, according to court papers.

Patrick J. Cunningham, the owner of the Hudson River Rafting Company, was indicted in November 2010 on misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment.

In one count, Cunningham was accused of sending two customers downriver in an inflatable kayak even though they lacked kayak and whitewater experience. Free-lance writer Mary Thill reported last year that the customers capsized in the second rapid and then hitched a ride in an overloaded raft, which also flipped. » Continue Reading.



Friday, September 28, 2012

Rafting Guide Arrested in Drowning

A woman drowned on a rafting trip in the Adirondacks yesterday morning, and State Police say her guide was intoxicated.

Rory F. Fay of North Creek, a guide for Hudson River Rafting Company, faces a charge of criminally negligent homicide, a felony, according to state troopers.

Fay was guiding two clients from Columbus, Ohio—Richard J. Clar, 53, and Tamara F. Blake, also 53—on a trip down the Indian and Hudson rivers. Before they made it to the Hudson, Blake and Fay were ejected from the raft, police say. Clar stayed in the raft and steered it to shore. » Continue Reading.



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