Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Don Mellor On Climate Change And Ice Climbing

Dan-Plumley-ice-climbing2I have been asked whether the freeze-thaw cycles ushered in by climate change will improve conditions for ice climbing. The theory is that meltwater from a thaw will refreeze, rejuvenating ice routes that had been poked full of holes by axes.

First, the Republican disclaimer “I’m not a scientist, but …”

Look at the Catskills: shorter, warmer winter means shorter ice season. No question. Yet freeze-thaw does produce ice, as long as the bedrock is cold. Note that a viciously cold night here in autumn does very little. Yet that same night in March makes for some good new routes, like those Ian Osteyee fast-freeze routes at Poke-O. The drips hits cold rock and freezes, same as in the formation of black ice on roads. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Clarkson Students Unveil Hut-to-Hut Proposal For Saranac Lake Region

HutsAlmanackImagine hiking for five days in the wild — past lakes, ponds, and streams; over peaks with marvelous views — all the while carrying just the clothes on your back and some essential items in a small pack.

Four Clarkson University students have proposed a hut-to-hut route in the Saranac Lake region that would allow you to do just that.

Sonja Gagen, Dustin Jochum, Kayla Jurchak, and Conor Drossel created the plan as part of Clarkson’s Adirondack Semester program. They worked with Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System (ACTLS), a nonprofit organization that is working on developing hut-to-hut trails throughout the Adirondack Park. Two other Clarkson students designed environmentally friendly huts for the route. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Route Announced For 2016 Cycle Adirondacks Bike Tour

Day 1 riding from Saranac Lake to Star Lake on Sunday, August 23, 2015.The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has announced the route for  Cycle Adirondacks — a week-long road bike tour through the Adirondack Park scheduled to take place August 2027, 2016.  This will be the tour’s second year; registration is now open.

The 2016 route starts and ends in Hadley-Lake Luzerne, NY, and includes overnight stops in Ticonderoga, Keeseville, Saranac Lake, Indian Lake and Northville. There will be a “layover day” in Saranac Lake where riders can pedal an optional route that tours Lake Placid or take a day off the bike to enjoy the amenities available in the Olympic Region. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 7, 2015

More Development Planned For Wilmington Wild Forest

Wilmington Wild Forest Map-page-001The Wilmington Wild Forest management plan was completed in October 2005. The plan provided for the design and construction of multiple-use recreational trails. Over the past 10 years these trails have been built.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is now planning to amend the Wilmington Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) to reroute some trails, add others, build two more parking lots and more. Public comments are being accepted through January 22, 2016.

The Draft Plan Amendment and a copy of the presentation made to the Adirondack Park Agency by the DEC are available online.

Among the proposals in the new management plan are: » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Survival Skills Courses Planned In Elizabethtown

Hiking and Camping Sign - Public Domain Promotional ImageThe Champlain Area Trail Society (CATS) and Pok-o-MacCready Camps have joined together to present two Survival Skills courses on Saturday, December 12, 2015. The courses will be taught by a Pok-o-MacCready instructor on the Blueberry Hill Trail System in Elizabethtown.

“We want people to feel comfortable when they hike and explore new places,” CATS executive director Chris Maron said in a statement announcing the courses. “Our trails are pretty well-marked and with the new hiking opportunities in the Champlain Valley, being prepared will lead more people to visit the new trails.” » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Official Responses To Rail-Trail Plan Comments

Adirondack Scenic RailroadThe wrangling over the future of the state-owned rail corridor that stretches 119 miles from Remsen to Lake Placid has proved to be one of the most contentious issues in the Adirondack Park in recent years.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Transportation received hundreds of public comments, raising many of the same questions that have appeared in articles and comments on Adirondack Almanack.

In their final plan for the corridor, the departments summarized the comments and provided their official responses. Given the public interest in this topic, the Almanack is reprinting those comments and responses. The result is a post that is much longer than usual. Of course, you don’t have to read all the comments, but we bet some people will.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Adirondack Downhill Ski Season Begins Thursday

2015 Whiteface Ski SeasonThe 2015-16 Adirondack skiing and snowboarding season will kick-off on Thanksgiving morning at Whiteface Mountain. The season is beginning on schedule at state facilities with extensive snow-making operations, despite a warmer than normal autumn.

Temperatures in Lake Placid are forecast to be near 50 on Thursday and Friday. Gore Mountain in North Creek will open on Friday – no other ski facilities are expected to be open this weekend.

You can learn more about downhill facility improvements and plans for the upcoming season in Jeff Farbaniec’s 2015-16 Ski Season Preview. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rail Trail Commentary: Get To It, Tupper Lake!

Tupper Lake DepotWith the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) having signaled its inclination to support the proposed amendment to the Remsen – Lake Placid Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan that would refurbish the rails between Big Moose and Tupper Lake and replace the rails with a multi-use trail between Tupper lake and Lake Placid, the time for endless argument over the merits of this proposal needs to come to an end. Instead it is time to begin the work to maximize the great economic potential of this project. That’s right, Tupper Lake: I’m talking to you. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Paddling In Nessmuk’s Adirondack Wake

Will_Madison - NessmukThe nineteenth-century writings of George W. Sears – best known as Nessmuk – have inspired countless Adirondack paddlers. Among the most recent is his great-great-great-grandson Will Madison.

In September, the twenty-two-year-old St. Lawrence University graduate retraced much of Nessmuk’s 1883 canoe trip from the Old Forge area to Paul Smiths and back. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Recent Search And Rescues: Missing Hunter, Injured Hiker, Lost Runner

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 backcountry.

What follows are reports, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.
» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Adirondack Lean-tos, Mice and Hantavirus

Sand Lake Lean-toLean-tos provide some of the comforts of home in the Adirondack backcountry – a respite from inclement weather, and a comfortable place to cook, eat and socialize. Unfortunately, a potential hidden danger lurks in every corner, and hikers may be unintentionally contributing to the problem.

The threat is the Hantavirus, a nasty virus in the Bunyaviridae family. These viruses infect, but leave unharmed, a variety of local rodent species.  Unfortunately, the virus can produce a potentially fatal disease in humans, brought about by contact with rodent urine, saliva or feces. Deer and white-footed mice are frequent visitors to Adirondack lean-tos. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

2014 Tourism Study: Hiking, Paddling, Water Sports Big Draws

2014 Adirondack Tourism SurveyVisitors to the Adirondack region were drawn by outdoor recreation, were slightly younger, and more brought their kids according to the 2014 Leisure Travel Information Study commissioned by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST).

Of those who said they visited the Adirondacks for outdoor recreation, 85% said they came for hiking. In terms of water sports, 55% said they visited for paddling, 36% for fishing and 25% for boating. Winter sports were much less of a draw with 17% visiting to ski or snowboard, 9% to cross-country ski, 8% to snowmobile, and 8% to hunt. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Easy Camping At John Dillon Park

Grampus LakeMy canoe buddies and I decided to camp this year at John Dillon Park, just north of Long Lake, for our annual canoe outing. We were pleased to find many amenities that made for a pleasant camping experience. Six of us stayed in two neighboring lean-tos in a wooded section of the park – very private, shielded from other campers. Each lean-to had plank beds (no pads) and separate fireplaces, with a wheel chair accessible shared outhouse. Paul Smiths students on staff for the summer helped us carry our canoes to the water and schlep our gear to and from the lean-tos in their club cars.

When John Dillon Park opened in 2006 it was the first park in the country designed to provide a wilderness experience for people with disabilities. The 198-acre park is the centerpiece of International Paper’s donation of a 15,802-acre conservation easement to New York State, in honor of John Dillon, retired president of the company.  Mr. Dillon has close ties to the Adirondacks – born in Schroon Lake, raised in Newcomb, and a 1958 graduate of Paul Smiths College. He retired in 2003 and frequents the park often, as a proud steward. The easement protects the wilderness character of the Park compatible with the surrounding working forests. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

APA Seems On Board With Rail Trail

rail_bikes_adiks_10-08-15_ncprThe Adirondack Park Agency intends to seek public comment on a plan to remove the railroad tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake to create a recreational trail, but agency officials do not foresee any legal obstacles to the controversial proposal.

The APA has little authority to alter the proposal. Rather, its role is to determine whether it complies with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.

If all goes as planned, the state would open the recreational trail in 2017 at the earliest. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Recent Adirondack Rescues: Lost Hikers, Injured Climber

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 backcountry.

What follows are reports, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.

» Continue Reading.


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