Friday, January 24, 2014

Skiing to Moose Pond Near Saranac Lake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was another cold but brilliant day in Saranac Lake. I skied to Moose Pond on my lunch hour, a pristine water body with knockout views of Moose Mountain and Whiteface Mountain.

As usual this winter, I was worried about the amount of snow cover and so was glad to discover that the trail has been skied a lot in recent days. There were well-packed ski tracks all the way to the pond. Snowshoers also have been using the trail. I want to thank them for hiking to the side of the ski tracks. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

ADK’s Winterfest: Wet, But Not Washed Out

Brian Delaney 2The Adirondack Mountain Club’s Winterfest on Saturday January 11th was wet, but not washed out. While snow was in short and diminishing supply the level of enthusiasm and good cheer held firm against conditions that would dismay the most stalwart event planner. Indeed throughout New England all manner of activities were canceled in face of the fourth rainy weekend in a row that once again had highway crews on flood alert.

The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and the staff of their Adirondack Loj had put together an extensive schedule of activities, most free, as a way of enticing people of all ages to come out and enjoy fun in the snow. Trips were planned up Algonquin and Mount Jo and to Avalanche Lake; Heart Lake was cleared of snow for skating and curling activities; lessons in Telemark turns, cross-country skiing, and waxing were offered; snowshoes, skates, a wide-array of back country skis, and crampons were available along with a treasure hunt, kids obstacle course, food, live music, and more. Surprisingly, in light of at times heavy rainfall, is how many of those activities took place. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Skiing To High Rock on the Oswegatchie

Sue Bibeau, and her dog, Ella (Bibeau photo)Earlier this winter, after several long days in the office, I went to bed dreaming of my first backcountry ski trip of the season, a jaunt to High Rock in the Five Ponds Wilderness. Conditions would be perfect. Over the last few days, we had received eight inches of fluffy powder.

Then I woke up. Outside, it was twenty-four below zero, according to my Weather Channel app. Like any sensible person, I immediately broadcast this fact to Facebook. A few people suggested I postpone my trip.

“I have skied at 20 below, but I was 14 and foolish. Stay home, for god’s sake,” posted a former colleague.

But most of my Facebook friends were surprisingly indifferent to the possibility of my freezing to death.

“Burrrrrr & Enjoy!” wrote one. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New DEC Sporting and Game System Online

Thnys dec logoe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) new computerized sporting licensing system is operational, allowing sportsmen and sportswomen to conduct license transactions.

The transition of hunter, angler and trapper data required a temporary shutdown for sales of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, recreational marine fishing registrations and harvest game reporting. The data transfer has been completed and individuals can resume normal transactions and reporting on the new system. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Annual Dome Island Winter Ice Expedition

Dome Island in Winter LGLC Annual Expeditin 2011Though the recent fluctuation in temperature has not been conducive to cross-country skiing, it has allowed my family to explore some frozen Adirondack lakes and ponds.

Being able to access those frozen waterways during the winter is one of my family’s greatest joys. When the ponds are safe to cross, the ability to reach normally inaccessible shorelines opens up a different avenue for exploration. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Backcountry Skiing: Fresh Snow, But More Needed

Evergreen-flats-web-600x4143We got several inches of light snow over the weekend, so I went to the Jackrabbit Trail on my lunch hour Monday to check out the ski conditions. I skied the two miles from McKenzie Pond Road to McKenzie Pond. The woods were beautiful, with fluffy snow adorning the branches of the evergreens. The trail looked nice, too.

Unfortunately, there was little or no base underneath the fluff. For the most part, this was not a problem. In several places, though, roots and rocks lurked beneath the surface. The diciest spots were on two small downhills on the return trip. Both sections have rocks. I took these slowly. If the trail gets skied and the snow scraped off, I imagine the downhills will get worse. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Busy Year In The Backcountry For Lean2Rescue

Lean2RescuePic1_w400The past year was productive for Lean2Rescue, the volunteer organization that helps rebuild and refurbish Adirondack lean-tos and other back-country infrastructure.  According to an e-mail sent to volunteers by Paul Delucia, one of Lean2Rescue’s organizers, the group worked on or assessed 16 lean-tos, 3 bridges (Calkins, Windfall Trail #1 and Windfall Trail #2), and the fire tower on Woodhull Mountain.

“All of this happened because of you – a very special group of people willing (and eager) to give up their free time to make the Adirondacks a better place for others,” DeLucia wrote to volunteers. “That speaks volumes about who you are.” He also pointed out the many collaborations with other organizations and groups, including DEC whose partnership he called “the keystone of our success.” DeLucia singled out the DEC Operations Crew at Cranberry Lake for special praise. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Body of Missing Australian Man Found On Scarface

capt_paul_mckay_australian_soldier_missing_in_new_yorkOn January 15, 2014, New York State Forest Rangers located the body of a man who is being identified as missing Australian soldier, 33-year-old Paul J. McKay.

The body was located near the summit of Scarface Mountain in the town of North Elba shortly after 11 a.m. State Police forensic investigators were flown to the mountain by State Police helicopter.

No signs of foul play have been determined in the initial investigation. Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw authorized the removal of the body.

The body was then transported to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake by New York State Police Aviation.  An autopsy will be performed by Dr. C. Francis Varga on January 16, 2014, to determine the cause and manner of death. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cock-A-Doodle Shoe Snowshoe Race Saturday

Cock A Doodle ShoeIt may be raining now, but it looks like we may be getting winter back on track this weekend with some colder temperatures and new snow. Some of my favorite trails have lost their base layer and the paths are better suited to crampons than skis. Despite the dreary sounding conditions there is still plenty to do to get outside and enjoy the Adirondack winter wonderland.

For the second year The New Land Trust in Saranac has teamed up with Dion snowshoes to host the annual Cock-A-Doodle Shoe on January 18 at 10 am.  This year race organizers added a 5K to the existing 10K snowshoe race format. According to Race Organizer Jeremy Drowne the event is on. Drowne feels that this warm front will soften the base and the new snow will add a nice layer for the upcoming race. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

POSTPONED: Lake Placid Loppet Now Set For March 8

LOPPETUPDATE: Due to the poor snow conditions the Lake Placid Loppet and Kort Loppet have been postponed until Saturday, March 8. This story has been updated to reflect the change.

The 32nd Lake Placid Loppet cross-country ski races will be held Saturday, March 8, at the Olympic Sports Complex Cross Country Ski Center, in Lake Placid.

Over the past 31 years, thousands of skiers have enjoyed skiing and racing on the Mt. Van Hoevenberg trails at the Olympic Sports Complex course.   As a member of the American Ski Marathon Series, this event attracts hundreds of skiers from across the United States and Canada. It consists of a 50 kilometer Loppet (30.1 miles) and a 25-kilometer Kort Loppet (about 15 miles). » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Weekends Planned at Camp Santanoni

santanoni winterThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the Town of Newcomb, and the Adirondack Ecological Center have announced that historic Camp Santanoni, located off Route 28N in Newcomb, will be open for three special weekends this winter. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Celebrate the Sochi Olympic Games in Lake Placid

Sochi Olympics LogoLake Placid officials have announced a series of programs and events that celebrate the international spirit of the Olympic Winter Games and Lake Placid’s robust winter sports heritage leading up to and during the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

The Village of Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Business Association (LPBA), the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) have collaborated to lead the community in celebrating its Olympic pride and the Sochi Games.   » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Western Adirondacks Best Bet For Nordic Skiers

The view this morning from Baker Mountain outside Saranac Lake.The Tug Hill region east of Lake Ontario got clobbered by a lake-effect snowstorm Tuesday.  I was hoping we’d get a decent snowfall in Saranac Lake, but we received only a little more than a dusting. The woods on Baker Mountain looked pretty this morning, but they would have made for ugly skiing.

The western Adirondacks, however, picked up several inches of fresh snow.

Chris Tapper, business manager of Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company in Old Forge, said the Old Forge area got about five inches of light snow. The area now has about eight inches on the ground, and Tapper said most trails favored by Nordic enthusiasts should be skiable.

“Wider skis are going to be the tool of choice, because it’s light, fluffy snow,” Tapper said.

Rick Kovacs, owner of the Wanakena General Store, said Wanakena area received about six inches of snow Tuesday on top of a two-to-three-inch base. He said skiing should be good on most trails. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gear Review: Montbell U.L. Down Jacket

Montbell UL Down Jacket

For years, synthetic fleece has been a standard material in almost every backcountry enthusiast’s gear repertoire. Jackets, sweatshirts, hats, gloves, socks, pants, there is almost no piece of clothing safe from the material, except for perhaps underwear briefs.

The popularity of the material is reflected in the multitude of different types of fleece invented, ranging from Polar to Windstopper. That the material is made of polyethylene terephthalate, the same plastic used to make soda bottles, often appears to be lost on almost everyone.

Despite the versatility and popularity of fleece, I have all but abandoned the material in my own backpacking during the warmer months, with the exception of the extremities, like gloves, hat and socks. Instead, my fleece sweatshirt endures the loneliness of my dresser drawer now, replaced by a jacket that is just as warm, but with a fraction of the weight and eminently more packable.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ADK Winterfest and Winter Trails Day

ADKLojski_newMy family spends a fair bit of time at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Adirondack Loj High Peaks Information Center. With Heart Lake being a popular gateway into the High Peaks, we hike their trails, drop off groups and introduce guests to its range of outdoor activities.

Since the Adirondack Park is a multi-season playground, the ADK Heart Lake Center is offering a free day full of winter opportunities to showcase that the 700-acre Heart Lake property is more than just a parking lot for the High Peaks. In conjunction with the 19th Winter Trails Day, ADK has gathered volunteers and staff to host its first Winterfest on January 11. » Continue Reading.


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