Thursday, December 17, 2020

Mount Marcy: The Name, The Climb, The Legacy

The first known ascent of Mount Marcy occurred on August 5, 1837 when a team of New York State Geologists, led by Ebenezer Emmons, spent a glorious five hours on top of the peak.

But it was not Emmons that best described what his team saw that day. Instead, it was his intrepid guide, John Cheney, that historians most often quote. Looking out over the vast range of mountains and lakes below them, Cheney observed, “It makes a man feel what it is to have all creation placed beneath his feet.” What Emmons did make note of on that brilliant August day was the presence of ice patches up to a half-inch thick scattered about the summit. Still, the lead geologist for the New York State Survey could not comprehend the existence of huge boulders, or erratics, that were left behind by glaciers. Emmons thought at the time that they were there as a result of a biblical-type flood.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Hamilton County hunter injured from falling out of tree stand

tree standRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Arietta
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Dec. 12 at 11:25 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was notified via radio by Forest Ranger Milano about a 60-year-old hunter from Long Lake who had fallen out of a tree stand. While on routine patrol in Sargent Ponds Wilderness Area, Ranger Milano noticed a truck parked at the end of North Point Road and saw an injured man crouched next to his vehicle waving frantically. The Forest Ranger had recently transferred into the Long Lake area and was in the right place at the right time — North Point Road is a dead-end road with no cell phone coverage and the hunter had not informed anyone he was going into the woods. Ranger Milano called dispatch to request an ambulance and administered medical care while waiting for the Long Lake Rescue Squad. Once the ambulance arrived, the hunter was transported to a local hospital for additional medical care. DEC’s Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Buswell and Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigators (BECI) Unit were notified to investigate as a possible elevated hunting incident.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Paul Smith’s readies 5K trail network for Nordic, Biathlon competitions

Paul Smith’s College, working in conjunction with USA Nordic and US Biathlon, is in the position to have its new five-kilometer Nordic Trail network approved by the International Ski Federation FIS and the International Biathlon Union IBU for elite level racing.

Once the project is completed, Paul Smith’s will be the sole collegiate facility in the US with sanctioned trails for Nordic Skiing and a biathlon range on campus. This will set Paul Smith’s College on route towards its goal of becoming the top Nordic and biathlon school in the country.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Tupper Lake Triad Supports the Friends of Mount Arab

Mount Arab fire towerTupper Lake Triad continues the tradition of supporting mountain restoration efforts with a $1,000 contribution to the Friends of Mount Arab (FOMA). Tupper Lake Triad was established by Charlie Hoffer, a retired physical education teacher in Tupper Lake. The challenge consists of the three family-friendly hikes of Goodman Mountain, Coney Mountain, and Mount Arab.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Missing hunter turns up dead in Fulton County

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Ohio
Herkimer County
Wilderness Search:
 On Dec. 2 at 7:21 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an overdue hunter in the area of North Lake/Ice Cave Mountain. Forest Ranger Lt. Murphy responded, along with Forest Rangers McCartney, Hanno, Candee, and Evans. Once on scene, Rangers spread out on key terrain and fired signal shots to see if the hunter would respond. The Rangers heard a shot in return, proceeded east into West Canada Lake Wilderness in the direction of the shot fired, and made voice contact with the 59-year-old hunter from Beaver Falls. At 2:14 a.m., Lt. Murphy advised that Rangers had located the subject cold, but otherwise in good condition, and were assisting him out of the woods. Earlier in the afternoon, the hunter’s GPS died and with the heavy snowfall, he was unable to follow his own tracks and became lost about three miles from camp. The hunter was returned to his camp at North Lake at 3:47 a.m.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Three winter treks that can also work in the shoulder season

Winter in the Adirondacks is unpredictable, but whether there is snow or not, you can always hike. Your footwear will just differ, depending on the conditions.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

ADK members recognized for North Country Trail work

Dedicated trail volunteers Norm Kuchar and Walt Hayes were recently honored with the North Country Trail Association ADK Affiliate Honor Award. For the past 12 years, these two members of the Schenectady Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club have taken more than 120 trips to scout and GPS routes for the eastern Adirondack section of the North Country National Scenic Trail. Norm and Walt have been critical partners to DEC planners and foresters as they’ve helped define the best route for this trail in the Adirondacks. Congratulations to Norm and Walt on this well-deserved honor!

When completed, the North Country National Scenic Trail will stretch approximately 4,700 miles from North Dakota to Vermont, with about 160 miles passing through the central Adirondacks from Black River Wild Forest to Crown Point State Historic Site.


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Paying a visit to Debar Pond Lodge

Our Covid-19 socially distanced excursion last week took us to the Debar Tract on NYS Route 30, north of Paul Smith’s College and south of Malone. I wanted to see this area for myself after reading about the controversy over removal of the historic buildings on the shore of Debar Pond. (Click here for the latest article from Adirondack Explorer.)

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Saturday, December 5, 2020

DEC: Give the gift of the outdoors this holiday season

Are you looking for gift ideas this holiday season? DEC’s lifetime sporting licenses make a great gift for outdoors enthusiasts. In addition, for a limited time DEC is offering a one-year subscription to its award-winning Conservationist magazine at half price, as well as gift cards to DEC operated campgrounds.

Sporting licenses

Lifetime Licenses are available to New York State residents who have resided in New York for at least one year prior to purchase (proof of residency required). Lifetime licenses may be purchased at any license-issuing agent, by phone (866-933-2257), or online with a current NYS DMV driver or non-driver ID containing a valid New York State address. Allow 14 days for delivery of Lifetime Licenses purchased online or by phone.

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Ski centers gear up for a different kind of season

Some years ski season is in full swing by late November. That isn’t the case this year, but that hasn’t kept me from considering where I’ll be headed during the upcoming ski season.  And I’m wondering where everyone else will be headed.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Backcountry rescue for injured hiker on Buck Mountain

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Nov. 28 at 1:06 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance for a 57-year-old male hiker from Clifton Park with a possible leg fracture one mile from the summit of Buck Mountain. Forest Ranger Lt. Ganswindt and three Forest Rangers responded to assist. After locating the hiker, the Rangers splinted his injured leg and proceeded to carry him to a waiting ATV to drive him out of the woods. Once back at the trailhead, the hiker declined further medical assistance and the incident concluded at 5:14 p.m.


Saturday, November 28, 2020

OSI Protects Warren County Property in Southern Adirondack Foothills

Newly protected property, located west of the West Mountain Ski Area, aids in clean water protection and efforts to fight climate change

The Open Space Institute (OSI) has announced the permanent protection of land in the Town of Lake Luzerne- building on over thirty years of land protection in and around the Adirondack Park Preserve. The town is composed of hard and softwood forests and wetlands, within the Hudson River watershed. This acquisition will be providing protections for clean water, as well as contributing to the fight against climate change via the capture of carbon.

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Friday, November 27, 2020

Saratoga PLAN opens former dog-sled training grounds as public trails

This Thanksgiving weekend, Saratoga PLAN will be opening their latest public trail system, the Barkersville Trails, located in the Towns of Galway and Providence. Formerly grounds for sled-dog training, the Barkersville Trails are still privately owned by Dolores Arste and her husband David Hickey, and consist of relatively flat to hilly terrain, with winding pathways through moss-covered boulders and brooks.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Outdoor tips for winter hiking and other excursions

winter gearEarlier in 2020, Explorer intern Zach Lawrence wrote a series of articles that aim to help beginners get started with winter hiking.

Here they are, for a reference, as we gear up for the start of snow season:

Food essentials: Packing the proper—and right amount—of food for your backcountry winter excursions can be overwhelming when you’re first starting out. You can get ideas online, but the bottom line is you have to find out what works best for you.

Everyone’s dietary preferences and needs are different, but there are items everyone should include. This guide provides a baseline. READ MORE

Footwear: In the winter, there are several pieces of footwear that will be necessary depending on the activity you are interested in as well as the conditions of the trail you want to explore. What you put on your feet will be dependent on variables such as snow depth, ice, and the difficulty of your planned excursion. READ MORE

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Sunday, November 22, 2020

HISTORICAL PROFILE: Coon Mountain of Westport

Continuing my hikes and bushwhacks to various peaks in the Adirondacks and exploring their history,  I paid a visit to Coon Mountain in the Town of Westport, Essex County. From the trailhead located off a dirt road called Halds Road, I made the short, 0.7-mile hike along the leaf-littered trail to the bare-rock lookout point. From the lookout, I found a nice view of Lake Champlain and North West Bay (below), and the Green Mountains of Vermont across the lake. I should note that the true summit of Coon Mountain is about 0.25-miles north-northwest of the lookout point and requires a bushwhack to get to.

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