Canoeists understand the silent satisfaction of the paddle-powered glide. The late John Jerome, who wrote often of water and of the Adirondacks, described the aesthetics:
“[W]e paddled long enough that I began to feel the enticing sphere of energy in the water beside the boat — all the water I could comfortably reach with the paddle — and got the sense that by shaping it, pushing and pulling against it, carving it, molding it, I could make the canoe go where we wanted it to go. Playing with that added fundamentally to the sensual pleasure of the trip.” If you’d like to increase your paddle pleasure, “obedience classes” for canoes are held each summer in the Adirondacks. Equal parts woodcraft and ballet camp, the Adirondack Freestyle Symposium promises to add “efficiency, grace and fun” to your boating. Registration just opened for this year’s gathering, which will be held July 19-23 at Houghton College’s Star Lake campus. American Canoe Association–certified instructors will teach a variety of levels, from basic travel technique to omering (an off-keel solo method).
More proof that camping remains an inexpensive vacation option came this late last week when the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced that advance camping reservations are currently up 6 percent, noting that State Parks are booking record numbers of vacations.
According to the state, there are already 45,300 advance reservations for campsite, cabins and cottages for the 2009 season, a level that is more than 2,650 ahead of the total at same time last year. Advance reservations at state parks campgrounds have been steadily increasing in recent years, with a record 137,000 bookings in 2008. OPRHP oversees 67 campgrounds with more than 8,000 campsites, 800 cabins and 41 vacation rentals. Reservations are accepted for campsites and cabins, from one day to nine months in advance of the planned arrival date by calling toll free 1-800-456-CAMP or online, www.nysparks.com.
The USSA FIS Nor-Am Cup Alpine Finals will return to Whiteface this weekend, March 12-15. Over 100 athletes are expected to compete in this prestigious event that is a way up-and-coming alpine racers progress to the next season’s World Cup circuit. Every racer who wins a discipline title in the overall season’s events, as well as the runner up, will gain access to the World Cup tour. The Nor-Am competitions have not only seen many young racers move on to World Cup competitions, but many of these skiers have also moved on to compete as Winter Olympic athletes. The ladies’ super combined and men’s super G will kick off the competition on Thursday, March 12 at 10 am and 1 pm. Men’s super combined and ladies’ super G will be held begin Friday, March 13 at 10 am and 1:15 pm. Men’s giant slalom and women’s slalom can be seen Saturday, March 14 at 9:30 am and 1 pm. The final events held on Sunday, March 15 will be the ladies’ giant slalom and the men’s slalom, beginning their first runs at 9:30 am.
Spectators are invited to come out and watch as some of the finest young Alpine athletes compete on courses that will be set up on the Draper’s Drop and Wilderness trails.
Volunteers are still needed for this event. If interested, contact Brian Fitzgerald at 518.946.7001 or via email at email@example.com. Each email should include individual skiing ability and the volunteer position desired.
U.S. Figure Skating has announced that Lake Placid will host 2009 Skate America. The international figure skating event is one of six stops on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. Competition will take place Nov. 12-15, 2009, at the 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena. The inaugural Skate America was held in 1979 in Lake Placid and this marks the sixth time the state of New York has hosted the event, and the fourth time it has been held in Lake Placid (1979, ’81, ‘82). Skate America is an Olympic-style international figure skating event featuring three days of competition in ladies and men’s singles, pairs and ice dancing. The event attracts dozens of world-class figure skaters from all over the globe. Past champions include five-time World and nine-time U.S. champion Michelle Kwan, 2002 Olympic bronze medalist Timothy Goebel, 2002 Olympic pairs champions Jamie Sale and David Pelletier of Canada, 1992 Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi and 1984 Olympic champion Scott Hamilton.
Other stops on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series each year include Skate Canada, the Cup of China, Trophée Eric Bompard (France), the Cup of Russia and the NHK Trophy (Japan). The Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final takes place each December and rotates among the countries that host the ISU Grand Prix Series events.
2008 Skate America was held at the Everett Events Center in Everett, Wash., where U.S. skaters won medals in all four disciplines and four of the 12 total medals. Johnny Weir, the 2008 World bronze medalist, won the men’s silver, while reigning U.S. champion Evan Lysacek took the men’s bronze. Reigning U.S. pairs champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker garnered the silver in pairs, and five-time U.S. champions Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won ice dancing silver.
The ISU also recently announced that Lake Placid will host an event in the 2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. The event will be the second of seven in the series and take place Sept. 2-6, 2009.
The 41st Annual FIL Luge World Championships will be held at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid this weekend, February 6-8 . This is the second time that Lake Placid has hosted this prestigious competition, with the first being in 1983. That competition marked the first time ever that the FIL Luge World Championships were held outside of Europe. The 2009 World Championships features athletes from over 20 countries competing in the three disciplines of men’s singles, women’s singles, and doubles luge. This is the last major sliding event for the lugers leading up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. The 41st Annual FIL Luge World Championships begin Friday, February 6, with the doubles competition at 10 AM. The women’s competition follows at 1 PM. Saturday, February 7, features the men’s races beginning at noon. The Lake Placid World Fest party starts at 3 PM and runs until 6:30 PM at the Mirror Lake Beach. This free community festival will have live music, food vendors, games, a kids’ area, fireworks and more! The final event of the World Championships is the team relay competition on Sunday, February 8. The team relay consists of a men’s singles slider, a women’s singles slider, and a doubles sled from each country, with the lowest combined time of all three disciplines winning.
Two-time defending Olympic Champion and five-time World Champion Armin Zöggeler currently leads the men’s World Cup overall field after seven races with 601 points. The Italian has won four of those seven races, the most recent World Cup race in Altenberg. Germany’s David Möller sits in second place with 525 points, followed by teammate Jan Eichhorn with 430 points.
Defending 2008 World Champion Felix Loch – the youngest luge world champion ever at the age of 18 – is currently in sixth place in the standings. The young German missed the first three races of the season after being injured during a training session in Whistler, British Columbia. 2002 American Olympian Bengt Walden is in 14th position in the standings while teammate Tony Benshoof is still completing extensive physical therapy and hopes to make his return to the ice on his home track during the World Championships.
The top three positions in the World Cup standings for the women are claimed by the Germans. Tatjana Hüfner, the reigning World Champion, leads the field with 670 points, having won four races so far this season. Teammate Natalie Geisenberger sits in second place with two wins on the season and 600 points. Anke Wischnewski has 462 points to take third. American Erin Hamlin is currently ranked sixth overall, with 268 points.
The Italian doubles team of Chistian Oberstoltz and Patric Gruber is leading the World Cup standings with 580 points. Oberstoltz and Gruber have won four races this season and have a 96-point lead over the 2002 Olympic gold medal team of Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch of Germany. Austrian brothers and 2006 Olympic Champions Wolfgang and Andreas Linger are just 14 points back at 474 points in third place. Olympians Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin of the United States have 268 points, which puts them in sixth place in the standings heading into the World Championships.
Tickets for the 41st FIL World Championships are on sale now. Single day tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for juniors (ages 7-12) and seniors (65 and over). Guests may purchase a Silver Pass good for all three days for just $19. Tickets may be purchased at the Olympic Center Box Office in person or by phone (518) 523-3330, online, or at any area Price Chopper store. Visit the ORDA Store on Main Street in Lake Placid to pick up FREE tickets, while supplies last. Visit www.lakeplacid2009.com for all ticket packages and more event information.
The FIS Freestyle World Cup Tour will come to Whiteface / Lake Placid this weekend, January 18-19. The event features a nighttime aerials competition on Sunday evening at the Olympic Jumping Complex, and for the first time ever on the East Coast, a world cup competition in ski cross at Whiteface. The event kicks off with the men’s and women’s ski cross qualifications Sunday, January 18 on the Lower Valley trail at Whiteface. The women begin with qualifications at 9:45 AM with the men following at 12:20 PM. Ski cross debuted on the World Cup Tour last year, and this is its inaugural event at Whiteface. Many of the athletes competing are looking for a spot on the Olympic team as ski cross was added to the roster of events for the 2010 Vancouver Games. Ski cross consists of four freestyle skiers going down the run at once, and has course features similar to snowboard cross such as rollers, banked curves and jumps.
The aerialists take flight starting at 1:30 PM with the women’s qualifications at the Olympic Jumping Complex. The men follow suit with their own qualifications at 5:15 PM. The Freestyle Funk Fest gets the party started at 6 PM with live music from Peter Price and Moon Boot Lover. The top 12 women and men from qualifications advance to the finals, slated to begin at 7:40 PM.
The ski cross athletes get their chance to win gold on Monday, January 19 at 11 AM with the men’s and women’s skier cross finals at Whiteface.
Prior to the competitions, fans have a chance to meet U.S. Ski Team members at Whiteface on Saturday, January 17. From 12 PM – 1:30 PM is the freestyle athlete autograph signing session and the “U.S. Ski Team – We Ski & Snowboard Challenge.” Skiers and riders may enter to win a chance to show off their Wii skills against the freestylers. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place finishers. Plus, the Whiteface Cash Cube will be on hand for even more fun.
Daron Rahlves, the most successful U.S. male downhill skier, retired after 13 years on the U.S. Alpine Ski Team following the 2006 Olympic season. He wanted to continue skiing, and has since made the transition into the ski cross world. Four-time Olympian and six-time U.S. Champion Casey Puckett retired from the U.S. Alpine Ski Team in 2002. He quickly set his sights on ski cross and has become a superstar of the newest Olympic sport after winning X Games gold and dominating the Ski Tour and Jeep King of the Mountain. Joining them is former speed skier Jake Fiala.
Two-Time Olympian Jeret Peterson leads the U.S. aerial contingent. Along with fellow Olympians Emily Cook and Ryan St. Onge as well as teammate Scotty Bahrke, these athletes hope to secure the top spots in Lake Placid.
This is the second stop on the World Cup Tour for the aerialists and the fourth for skier cross. Leading the men’s aerial field is Alexei Grishin from Belarus, followed by China’s Ke Li and Canadian Warren Shouldice. Lydia Lassila of Australia tops the women’s field, followed by China’s Shanshan Zhao and Canada’s Veronika Bauer.
Hedda Bernsten of Norway sits at the top of the women’s ski cross field with 145 points. France’s Ophelie David is second with 130 points while Katharina Gutensohn of Austria is third with 130 points.
Austrian Andreas Matt leads the men’s ski cross standings with 180 points. Michael Schmid of Switzerland sits in second with 140 points, followed by Canadian Christopher Delbosco, who has 116 points.
Daily tickets for the aerials training, qualifications and finals at the Olympic Jumping Complex are $14 for adults, $8 for juniors/seniors. Spectators may view the ski cross competition at Whiteface from the base lodge for free. Those wanting to watch from alongside the course may purchase a lift ticket.
Lookout Mountain, Whiteface’s third peak, is set for its Grand Opening on Thursday, January 8, at 1 PM. [UPDATE: Due to the weather conditions at Whiteface this will take place 11 AM, Friday, January 9]. The new peak will include three new trails beginning with The Wilmington Trail. This run is a 2.5-mile long intermediate cruiser overlooking the Wilmington Wild Forest. Lookout Mountain’s other two trails are expert runs called Lookout Below and Hoyt’s High. Lookout Below is about 1/5 of a mile long. Hoyt’s High was named in honor of Whiteface veteran ski patroller Jim Hoyt, Sr. He has been employed at Whiteface for over 50 years. This trail has a long and consistent expert pitch over its 4,182-feet length. Both runs will be opened later this winter. The official ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 PM will include ORDA Chairman Joe Martens, ORDA Board Members Ed Weibrecht and Serge Lussi as well as Wilmington Town Supervisor Randy Preston. Following the on-mountain grand opening activities, a special dedication to the Whiteface Region Visitors Bureau members will be made at 2 PM in the Lookout Café, located within the main base lodge. Complimentary hot chocolate will be served.
The Domtar land purchase – now known as Sable Highlands and located in Franklin and Clinton Counties near Lyon Mountain – has been finalized with the protection of 104,000 acres, an area seven times the size of Manhattan. New York State purchased a conservation easement from the Lyme Timber Company on December 24, 2008 and that transaction ended four years of efforts to preserve the acreage once owned by Domtar Industries in the northeastern corner of the Adirondacks. In addition to the continuation of sustainable forestry, the conservation easement also includes access to nearly 30,000 acres that have been off-limits to the public for decades, including Sugarloaf Mountain, the Norton and Plumadore Ranges, and Barnes, Grass, Figure Eight, and Fish Hole Ponds. Combined with the 20,000 acres of new state lands, the public now has access to about 50,000 acres in a part of the park that has had limited opportunities for public recreation in the past. The Sable Highlands includes 220 miles of permanent and seasonal streams, 2,600 acres of wetlands, and 20 lakes and ponds in the St. Lawrence and Lake Champlain drainages. Among the lands protected in the Domtar deal are Lyon Mountain (14,400-acre habitat for Bicknell’s thrush), Ellenburg Mountain (1,700-acre tract of roadless forest that adjoining 7,100 acres of Forest Preserve lands), Whistle Pond / Keniston Meadows (920-acre tract adjoining existing state Forest Preserve), and East Chazy Lake.
In December of 2004, Domtar sold all of its Adirondack holdings in Clinton and Franklin Counties to the Lyme Timber Company and The Nature Conservancy. Working in partnership with Lyme, the Conservancy, and local community leaders, New York State has now fulfilled an agreement to secure the permanent protection of those properties.
A few months ago, the state made an outright purchase of 20,000 acres as new public lands from The Nature Conservancy. The purchases help foster the Adirondack Park’s role as a conservation model for the world and is another important investment in the local forest products industry. Last week, the state purchased a conservation easement to protect 84,000 acres owned by Lyme Timber. This “working forest” easement promotes sustainable forest management and timber harvesting, restricts residential development and subdivision, and creates a balance of public recreational access and continued private recreational leasing on the property.
The recent state expenditures were previously budgeted to the Environmental Protection Fund from money provided primarily from a real estate transfer tax. Private contribution to The Nature Conservancy’s Sable Highlands Campaign since 2004 totaled some $4 million and also helped to offset the overall costs of conservation.
Billy Demong of Vermontville (Franklin County, NY) is a Whiteface / Lake Placid athlete won his career fourth World Cup last week in Ramsau, Austria (nordic combined). You can read the full story here.
Kendall Wyckoff from the Olympic Center Skating School claimed silver during the Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships in Boston to qualify for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships to be held January in Cleveland, Ohio. Wyckoff, originally from Panton, Vt., currently lives in Lake Placid and trains with Gilberto Viadana and Michela Boschetto of the Olympic Center Skating School. She placed sixth in the novice division at last year’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships and went on to represent the U.S. at the Triglav Trophy in Slovenia, where she finished second. This is Wyckoff’s first season competing at the junior level. Skating for the Vermont Skating Club, Wyckoff took the silver medal in the Junior Ladies division. The 16-year-old skater earned 127.11 total points, winning the free skate portion of the event. The gold medal winner was Kristiene Gong of the Skating Club of New York. Gong finished third in the free skate and won the short program, earning a total of 131.23 points. Third place went to Samantha Cesario, who also skates for the Skating Club of New York. Cesario placed sixth in the short program and second in the free skate to earn 123.46 points.
In October, Wyckoff won gold during the New England Regional competition in the Junior Ladies division. She earned 119.48 points, placing first in both the short program and free skate. By winning the event she qualified for the U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships. This event will be held next week, December 8-13, in Wyckoff’s home arena – the Lake Placid Olympic Center.
The Olympic Center Skating School is directed by Viadana. He coaches World and Olympic figure skaters and is an International Skating Union Technical Specialist. Boschetto is a professional ballet teacher and choreographer with demonstrated record of developing and building skills with all levels of skaters, developing creative choreography and coaching competitive skaters at national, international and Olympic levels. For more information on the school, visit www.lakeplacidskating.com.
The U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships will take place Dec. 8-13 at the historic Lake Placid Olympic Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y. More than 300 figure skaters from across the country are expected to compete at the four-day event, which is being hosted for the second time since 2003 by the Skating Club of Lake Placid and the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). Qualifying rounds begin Wednesday, Dec. 10 at the Herb Brooks Arena with the intermediate men’s event. The intermediate ladies short program will kick off the championship events Friday, Dec. 12 at the Herb Brooks Arena. Competition concludes Saturday, Dec. 13 with the intermediate men’s competition in the Herb Brooks Arena and the juvenile boys’ competition at the Jack Shea Arena.
The annual event crowns the U.S. champion in ladies, men’s, pairs and ice dancing in the first two levels of the U.S. Figure Skating competitive structure: juvenile and intermediate. The remaining three levels – novice, junior and senior – will compete Jan. 18-25, 2009, at the 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland, Ohio.
Skaters qualified for the U.S. Junior Championships by finishing in the top four at one of nine regional championships held throughout the country this fall. Past champions of the event include two-time World bronze medalist and two-time U.S. champion Evan Lysacek and 2008 U.S. silver medalist ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
Lake Placid and ORDA have also hosted the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships (five times), the annual Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships and the first event in the 2007 ISU Junior Prix of Figure Skating Series.
The 13th Annual Adirondack International Mountainfest is scheduled for January 16-18, 2008 in Keene Valley. Local guides Chuck Boyd, Emilie Drinkwater, Jeremy Haas, Carl Heilman, Matt Horner, Don Mellor, Jim Pitarresi and Jesse Williams will be returning to offer clinics on snowshoeing, mountaineering, avalanche awareness and ice climbing (pre-register soon). Guest athletes include Conrad Anker (a key member of the search team which located the remains of George Mallory on Mount Everest), LP Ménard (who with fellow Quebecer Max Turgeon climbed a new route up Denali’s 8,000 foot South Face in just 58 hours in 2006), Janet Bergman (who has climbed in Peru, Argentina, Canada, China, Nepal, South Africa and around the US) and longtime climber and guide Jim Shimberg (who has guided throughout North America and the world, including trips to Iceland, Peru, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, China, Scotland, Thailand and Canada. Jim has climbed in Alaska since 1987, with 7 expeditions to Denali, Mt Hunter, Mt Huntington, and more). According to the folks at the Mountaineer, who hosts the event:
Telluride Mountainfilm, one of the premier film festivals in the country, opens the Mountainfest on Friday night with a custom compilation of the best films from Mountainfilm’s 9-year history on tour, with a focus on ice climbing and mountaineering videos. This will be preceded by a short slide show by Olaf Sööt and Don Mellor about Alpine Americas, their new book of fantastic photographs and essays about “an odyssey along the crest of two continents.” Both authors will be available to sign books offered for sale before and after the Mountainfilm on Tour presentation. Friday evening’s festivities begin at 8pm at Keene Central School and entry is $12 at the door.
Jennifer Lowe-Anker and Conrad Anker will hold a special presentation about the life of the late Alex Lowe on Saturday evening at Keene Central School. Jenni’s new book Forget Me Not tells a complex and candid story of how three people’s lives became intertwined to a degree that none could have foreseen; Jenni and Conrad will tell the story through a slideshow and readings. Forget Me Not will be available for purchase before and after the presentation, and Jenni and Conrad will be signing books afterward. The evening’s presentation will be preceded by raffles and tomfoolery as well as a short award-winning film by Sam Lowe on the Antarctic. The show begins at 7:30pm at Keene Central School and entry is $10 at the door.
On Sunday evening Janet Bergman will present a slideshow of her often-humorous efforts to satiate the climbing obsession. Janet is a New Hampshire climber and world-class Mountain Hardwear athlete who has climbed in Argentina, India, Nepal, Peru and throughout New England. This show begins at 7:30pm and will be held at the KVFD fire hall on Market Street, just down the street from Keene Central School in Keene Valley. Entry is $10 at the door.
For more information visit the Mountainfest 2009 web page.
USA Hockey and the Olympic Regional Development Authority will host a pair of international tournaments simultaneously at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., from Nov. 4-9, 2008. The Women’s Four Nations Cup will feature the United States, Canada, Finland and Sweden, while the Men’s Under-18 Four Nations Cup will highlight the United States, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. The majority of the games will take place in the 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena, the location of the historic “Miracle on Ice” victory. The remainder of the games will also take place in the Olympic Center, at the 1932 Arena.
Both tournaments will get underway Tues., November 4, with the men’s championship games set for Sat., November 8, and the women’s championship games to take place Sun., November 9.
On the men’s side, the U.S. National Under-18 Team will take part in the event, which is part of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. For the women, the U.S. Women’s Select Team will play in the tournament.
The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) is bringing a little bit of wilderness to the Capital Region of New York when it hosts “A Wilderness Affair 2008: Get Wild for Wilderness!” from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Albany Marriott Hotel. This will be ADK’s 12th annual silent and live auction gala. The event is open to the public and guests will enjoy dinner, music by a jazz trio and an ale sampling hosted by the Cooperstown Brewing Co. There will also be a cash bar. Auction items will include original art, rustic Adirondack-style furnishings, sports gear, jewelry, adventure trips, getaway packages, concert and theater tickets, and unique gift baskets donated by ADK chapters. Items can be previewed at www.adk.org. There will also be a drawing for a canoe, a camping package and a handmade quilt. Proceeds will help support the club’s conservation, environmental advocacy, education and recreation programs. This is a great opportunity to find unique gift ideas for the holidays while supporting a good cause.
Fred LeBrun, columnist for the Albany Times Union, is honorary chair of the event, and Gregory McKnight will be the master of ceremonies. The auction will be conducted by Jim and Danielle Carter of Acorn Estates & Appraisals. Corporate sponsors include Velocity Print Solutions, JBI Helicopter Services, Ringer Leasing Corp., TD Banknorth and Cooperstown Brewing Co.
Tickets are $55 per person. Reservations are required and can be made online or by calling (800) 395-8080 Ext. 25. To donate an auction item or become a corporate sponsor, call (800) 395-8080 Ext. 14.
The Adirondack Mountain Club, founded in 1922, is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to protecting the New York State Forest Preserve and other wild lands and waters through conservation and advocacy, environmental education and responsible recreation.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
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