The multi-agency search for a missing skier, Constantinos “Danny” Filippidis, continued through the weekend and continues today, Monday, February 12, 2018. Filippidis, age 49, of Toronto, Canada, was reported missing at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 7, 2018. He was last seen at the Whiteface Mountain Ski resort’s mid-station between the hours of 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Since that time, teams led by the Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers in coordination with the New York State Police and staff from Whiteface Mountain have been searching for Filippidis. » Continue Reading.
Last Saturday night was the coldest night of the winter so far in Keene. Cold even by old-timers’ standards. These kinds of temperatures descend with considerably less frequency than they used to, and I hate wasting rare opportunities, so I concluded to rise early and take in the most frigid air of the year with a hike. » Continue Reading.
State Police and Forest Rangers have announced that around noon Monday, September 18, 2017, the body of missing hiker Alex Stevens was located in the vicinity of Wallface Mountain, near Wallface Pond.
Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw responded to the scene and authorized the removal of the body to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for an autopsy expected to take place Tuesday.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers and the New York State Police have been searching for Stevens since September 10th, when he was reported missing by a family member. » Continue Reading.
Regular Almanack readers are used to hearing me stress the importance of perspectives from outside the Adirondack Park. Today I’ve got one from way outside the Adirondack Park, specifically Norway, where my wife Amy and I are traveling for two weeks. While here I have enjoyed the geologic kinship Norway shares with the Adirondacks. I have also enjoyed the fact that my experiences so far have reinforced the sentiments I expressed in my last Almanack column, namely that we should not overreact to busy trails in the High Peaks. If you think we have a problem in the Adirondacks, you should see the hiking traffic here. And if you think that pervasive cultural experiences of pristine, wild places can’t place their fragile value at the heart of an entire society, you should see this country.
Yesterday Amy and I climbed Preikestolen, one of Norway’s most popular hiking destinations and a national icon. In some ways Preikestolen is Norway’s answer to Indian Head: a massive, open rock slab with a spectacular view, positioned far above a narrow body of water that is set between mountain ridges. However the scale is far greater: Priekestolen’s height above the water is three times that of Indian Head and the body of water is a sizeable fjord, not a small lake. For the purposes of this article, a better comparison is our own infamous Cascade Mountain. Cascade’s trail involves several hundred feet more vertical ascent than Preikestolen, but both routes are 2.4 miles and, more important, both trails are crammed with people who want an accessible but authentic regional mountain experience. Like Cascade, Preikestolen is a challenge that a neophyte hiker or ambitious family might take, an intimidating but doable workout with major parking problems down below and a show-stopper payoff on top. The difference, once again, is scale: Preikestolen’s foot traffic makes Cascade look like Allen Mountain. » Continue Reading.
On July 1st I attended the grand opening of the Adirondack Experience’s new multi-million-dollar exhibit Life in the Adirondacks. Situated overlooking Blue Mountain Lake, The Adirondack Experience (formerly the Adirondack Museum) is a regional icon with an unparalleled collection of Adirondack historical artifacts. Their new exhibit, intended to interactively place visitors in the context of the Adirondack Park in all its human dimensions, is located in the former Roads and Rails building.
Life in the Adirondacks is a dramatic change in approach and style for a museum renowned for its depiction of history through objects of every description from the last two centuries of human activity in the region. I spoke with one of the staff who manages collections and she told me the count of items on display in this exhibit space was down from 3,000 to roughly 500. Those who know the former exhibit will see a much cleaner, streamlined, modern presentation with a number of new “hands-on” interactive displays. Life in the Adirondacks is bracketed by two video presentations. The first is a visually striking short film in a small theater that introduces visitors to the spectrum of human passions concerning the Adirondack Park. The second, near the exit, is an excellent collection of short interviews with various leaders and advocates in the Park, representing different sides of the difficult questions we debate here, from land use to preservation to local economies. » Continue Reading.
“These are mere deserts on both sides of the river St. Lawrence, uninhabited by beast or bird on account of the severe colds which reign there.”—Samuel de Champlain.
“One cannot see a more savage country, and no part of the earth is more uninhabitable.” —Pierre Charlevoix, 1756. And about winters in the north: “It is then a melancholy thing not to be able to go out of doors, unless you are muffled up with furs like the bears…. What can anyone think, where the very bears dare not show their face to the weather for six months in the year!”
The last quotation (1767) is from John Mitchell, who cited the above comments by Charlevoix and Champlain in assessing New England, New York, and Quebec during discussions about the future of the American colonies. His writings at that time supported a solution Mitchell had proposed a decade earlier, one that would have drastically altered today’s map of the Americas and seriously revised the history of the Adirondack region. » Continue Reading.
Those of us who cherish classic Adirondack winters suffered mightily through the depressing, bare-grounded blandness that was last winter. Thank goodness for sweet redemption: the accumulating snow pack in the mountains this year has purged a lot of disappointment.
Things started looking up early in the season. Although there were ups and downs through December, we eked out a White Christmas down in Keene and did better aloft: the upper portion of Pitchoff East rewarded our holiday family climb with nearly two feet of lush snow. My January expedition to explore the Opalescent’s source high on the shoulder of Mount Marcy found a good five feet. Snow in early February added to the total and had Amy and me breaking trail to Round Pond in a foot of new powder. » Continue Reading.
In keeping with some old-fashioned parlor games and modern trivia fun, here are 15 questions incorporating the names of some of the 100 highest mountains in the Adirondacks. See how well you do answering them off the top of your head, or use a mountain list here or here to help figure out the correct responses. Subtle clues are built into each description. After the final question, you’ll find the list of answers … so don’t ruin the fun by peeking!
A High Peak’s name fills the blank in a 1950 movie title, The _____ Trail. It’s the story of an American scout aiding the British during the French and Indian War. Assisting him is an Indian blood brother, Sagamore.
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