Saturday, September 17, 2016

American Alpine Club Chronicles Climbing Accidents

2016-accidents-croppedFor those who climb, Accidents in North American Climbing, issued annually by the American Alpine Club, should be required reading—not because climbers are morbid, but because they can learn from others’ mistakes, too many of which are fatal.

The 2016 edition, which was published recently, describes dozens of rock-climbing and mountaineering accidents from the previous year. Most occurred out west or in Alaska. The only incident in the Adirondacks involved a climber who fell on Wallface, a large and remote cliff in the High Peaks Wilderness.

I wrote about the Wallface accident on the Almanack soon after it happened. The climber, a 23-year-old man from Carmel, NY, plummeted 60 to 80 feet after his protection failed to hold on a popular route known as the Diagonal. State forest rangers and volunteer climbers carried out a complicated rescue and managed to get the victim to a hospital that night. He was knocked unconscious in the fall and suffered a deep head gash, but he was able to leave the hospital early the next day.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, September 16, 2016

DEC To Turn Away Vehicles From High Peaks Access Road

Adirondack High Peaks March 4 - 2016 by John Warren

State forest rangers will be turning away motor vehicles from the Adirondack Loj Road on weekends this fall due to an excessive number of hikers and vehicles that have been showing up there.

On busy weekends recently hikers have parked on the Adirondack Loj Road after the Adirondack Mountain Club’s parking lot reached its capacity at 200 vehicles. Now motor vehicles will be turned away after the lot is full. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Adirondack Surfing, With A Canoe

p2lkchampwaves“Surfing” is popular in many forms in the Adirondack Park. There’s wakeboarding, windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayak surfing in rapids, and other options. One of the greatest thrills I’ve ever experienced on the water is what I’ve since referred to as “canoe surfing,” sometimes riding hundreds of feet on large waves. It’s not a recommended activity, and this is not a suggestion to try it. In fact, the first time I did it was serendipitous: I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch a wave.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch windsurfers and kiteboarders locally, check out this video taken in June on Plattsburgh’s Cumberland Bay, just outside the Park. As you’ll see, the mountain views from Lake Champlain are spectacular and the boarding action is exciting. (Simple searches will yield more videos.) » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Adirondack Rail-Trail Design Process Begins

NYC Railroad from Lake Clear LodgeA stakeholder process to determine the design and operation of the recreational trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake on the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor has begun, according to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Bob Stegemann.

The core stakeholder groups consist of the executive elected official or designee of the four towns and three villages along the trail, a representative from the Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates and representatives from the three primary user groups – cross country skiers, bicyclist and snowmobilers. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Early Black Bear Hunting Season Begins Locally Saturday

black-bear-season-map-2016The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the start of early bear hunting seasons in New York State.

In southeastern New York, the early bear season runs from September 10 – 25. The early bowhunting season for bears will open in the entire Southern Zone on October 1, followed by the regular firearms season beginning November 19.

In northern New York, the early bear season runs from September 17 – October 14 in WMUs 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F, 6H, and 6J. Bowhunting season for bears also begins on September 17 in Northern Zone WMUs 6A, 6G, 6K and 6N. Muzzleloader season opens in all northern WMUs on October 15, followed by the regular firearms season for bears on October 22. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hiking The Logging Roads Near Boreas Ponds

Not everyone who visits Boreas Ponds goes there to paddle. Some people just want to see the ponds and walk in the woods. But since the state has yet to create or mark any trails, what are hikers to do once they get there?

Last Sunday, my girlfriend Carol and I scouted out the old logging roads in the vicinity in the ponds. The next day I went back alone and hiked a loop around the ponds with side trips to White Lily Pond and the headwater pond of the Boreas River.

I rode my mountain bike to the dam on Boreas Ponds, as allowed under the interim-access plan, so I’ll use that as my starting point in the description of my itinerary. If you start your hike from the parking area on Gulf Brook Road, you’ll need to add 3.6 miles to the distances.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Newest Class of ECOs, Forest Ranger Graduates

DEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the graduation of 31 Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and 17 Forest Rangers from the agency’s 20th Basic School for Uniformed Officers.

The 48 new officers received their diplomas in a formal ceremony at the Kallet Theater in Pulaski.

The Basic School was held at the Division of Law Enforcement’s Training Academy in Pulaski, which runs along the Salmon River. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Adirondack Diversity: The Challenges and Opportunities (Part 2)

adk diversity advisory council logoThis is the part two of our report on the issues raised at the recent Adirondack Diversity Symposium. Part one can be found here.

One aspect of making the Adirondacks more welcoming is in how we treat people; do we provide all who come here the kind of welcoming experience we’d desire if we were traveling abroad or to differing parts of our country?

Another aspect has to do with how we expect others to live. We here in the Adirondacks love access to clean air, fresh water, and the wilderness experience. However, economics and race can temper that experience for many. Economics have a lot to do with where we live. The wealthy are taking over such locales as living on a lake, a lot with a spectacular view, and increasingly hamlet centers. The St. Regis lakes are, for all purposes, a gated community, and Lake Placid lake is all but the same. Try just renting a boat slip for the summer. Can you believe $3,800? When I was a boy, a fair number of middle-class families had camps on the lake, now a handful remain. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lorraine Duvall: Regarding Access To The Boreas Ponds

boreas-canoeAt Boreas Ponds, access is an issue, as it has been with most of the publicly-owned lands and waters that contain valuable natural resources. Restoration (or preservation) of these resources into a wilderness or near-wilderness condition requires careful thought.

An Interim Access Plan recently announced by the DEC will allow public access to the ponds by opening the Gulf Brook Road to motor vehicles for 3.2 miles from the state highway, Boreas – Blue Ridge Road. A gate will prevent further motor vehicle travel to the ponds. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

DEC Chief Refuses To Renew Cunningham’s Guide License

cunningham-300x246State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos has refused to renew the guide’s license of Patrick Cunningham, the owner of Hudson River Rafting Company in North Creek.

Cunningham has run afoul of the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s regulations on several occasions. In June 2015, DEC staff refused Cunningham’s request to renew his license.

Cunningham appealed that decision, but it was upheld by Administrative Law Judge Michael S. Caruso the following November after a hearing. Caruso said the department had ample reasons for denying Cunningham a guide’s license.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Adirondack Canoe Classic: The 90-Miler Begins Friday

90-MilerAbout 600 paddlers will hit the waters between Old Forge and Saranac Lake this weekend in the 34th annual Adirondack Canoe Classic. The event starts Friday morning at 8 a.m. on Old Forge Pond and finishes up Sunday afternoon on Lake Flower. This year’s event has attracted about 250 teams, which will be paddling canoes, kayaks, and SUPs and rowing guideboats.

The 90-Miler is organized by Brian and Grace McDonnell, who run Mac’s Canoe Livery and Adirondack Watershed Alliance in Lake Clear. The couple has run the race for 18 years.

A large portion of this year’s participants will be in the non-competitive open touring class, which consists of people looking simply to finish the course and not compete with the racers. However, the class is often full of people with interesting stories. For instance, Tom and Theresa Standing, who are from the Old Forge area and paddling a tandem canoe, will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Rock Climbers Discover Boreas Ponds Tract

Kittens and RainbowsThe newly acquired Boreas Ponds Tract has been touted as a destination for backpackers, paddlers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and snowmobilers. As it turns out, some of the earliest users of the land have been rock climbers.

Within a few months of the state’s purchase of the tract in April, rock climbers established nine technical climbing routes on the southwest face of Ragged Mountain, a small peak that lies less than a mile from County Route 84.

The Adirondack Rock website awards Ragged four out of five stars for the overall quality of the climbing. Most of the routes are hard, with ratings from 5.10 to 5.13 in the Yosemite Decimal System, which ranges from 5.0 (easy) to 5.15 (nearly impossible).

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

With Road Open To Vehicles, Boreas Ponds Sees More Visitors

When I lugged my boat more than six miles to paddle Boreas Ponds in early June, I saw exactly no one. That wasn’t the case this past Labor Day weekend.

Evidently, more people are willing to visit the ponds now that the state has opened up the first 3.2 miles of Gulf Brook Road to motor vehicles.

When my girlfriend Carol and I arrived at the new parking lot on Sunday morning, there were already seven other cars. We biked to Boreas Ponds, as allowed under an interim-access plan released last week, and then hiked for several miles on old logging roads in the vicinity of the ponds. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Recent Adirondack Search and Rescue Incidents

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.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Whitewater Kayaking Featured In Colton Labor Day Weekend

kayaker on Stone Valley section of the Raquette RiverWhitewater kayaking at Stone Valley is a highlight of Labor Day weekend activities in the Town of Colton. The last two water releases of the summer by Brookfield Renewable Energy for expert-level whitewater kayakers to paddle the Stone Valley section of the Raquette River are scheduled for Saturday, September 3 and Monday, September 5. The largest turnout is expected Saturday when paddlers will be doing timed runs in the afternoon on the Class 5 section of the river which begins just below the dam in the hamlet of Colton.

Spectators can expect to see expert kayakers who come from places within the eastern United States and Canada for the predictable and challenging conditions at Stone Valley on release days. They paddle the river at their own risk and on release days they usually get going by 10 am when the water is at the full release level. Beforehand paddlers will hike the trails to check conditions of the river. » Continue Reading.


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