The El Niño event that had started to slowly develop and was expected to strengthen and influence weather patterns across our continent, suddenly vanished. (El Niño is a cyclical warming of the surface water in the western tropical Pacific Ocean and helps to establish a broad area of high pressure over this equatorial region which can greatly impact weather patterns over the U.S., especially in the northeast.) » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘skiing’
Volunteers helped Dewey Mountain Recreation Center begin the installation of new signs and introduce a new trail map Sunday. The signage and a loop-based trail system are designed to improve flow and clarity on 13 kilometers of cross-country ski trails. Dewey Mountain, a multi-season recreation facility owned by the Town of Harrietstown, also features 10 kilometers of in-town snowshoe, mountain-bike and walking trails.
The bold new signs were funded by a mini grant from North Country Healthy Heart Network’s Creating Healthy Places program, funded by the New York State Department of Health. One of the program’s goals is to increase opportunities for North Country residents to be physically active. The signs are designed to make trails more welcoming by clarifying routes and level of difficulty. The intent is to make it easier for visitors and newcomers to mountain sports to navigate trails safely. » Continue Reading.
Skiers will have more terrain choices this winter at Titus Mountain, in Malone. 15 new trails, eleven of which are glades, have been added, bringing the ski area’s trail count to 42. The new terrain encompasses all ability levels, from beginner to expert. A second terrain park has also been added, and a major expansion of the ski area’s base lodge is underway. “We’ve completely gutted and renovated the lodge,” said Bruce Monette, Principal at Titus. “People will not recognize the place.”
The expansion comes less than a year after Monette and his two brothers, Brian and Christopher, purchased the ski area from long-time owner Paul Augustine. “With all the changes, upgrades and excitement, we’ve modernized the logo and website and are calling ourselves the “New” Titus Mountain.” » Continue Reading.
Nov. 5-10 – FIBT World Cup Bobsled and Skeleton. The 2012-’13 World Cup season opens for bobsled and skeleton where last season ended, on the combined bobsled/luge and skeleton track at the Mt. van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex. Last February, the United States bobsled and skeleton team captured a record five medals, including four gold, when the one-mile long track played host to the 2012 FIBT world championships. » Continue Reading.
When I first set out to explore Lost Brook Tract one of my burning curiosities was to discover what views there might be. After all I knew the land was situated on the side of a high ridge surrounded by significant mountains; surely there had to be some great sights. Like everyone reading this I love my Adirondack views, so I could hardly wait to go hunting. » Continue Reading.
Gore Mountain is introducing new activities and installing several new attractions for visitors this spring, with a Grand Opening slated for Saturday, July 7. Several amenities have become available during June weekends, including “The Rumor Climbing Wall,” the “Wild Air Bungee Trampoline,” disc golf, and daily hiking excursions.
Other attractions coming soon include a huge inflatable obstacle course, base area and Bear Mountain interpretive walks, several educational opportunities featuring cooking classes, yoga retreats, photography camps, and jewelry workshops, and Friday evening Happy Hours. The Northwoods Gondola Skyrides and downhill mountain biking will also be open. » Continue Reading.
It’s official. The 2011-12 ski season was the worst in 20 years. That’s according to the National Ski Areas Association’s (NSAA) preliminary end-of-season survey released last week. Nationwide, skier visits were down by more than 15%, to their lowest levels since the 1991-92 ski season. The season was characterized by low snowfall and mild winter weather across nearly the entire U.S.
All this comes as no surprise to skiers or anyone who enjoys winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondacks. Natural snowfall was sparse, and a lack of cold temperatures hampered snowmaking operations all season long. By the end of March, every ski area in New York State had closed for the season, casualties of the month’s record-setting warmth. Jon Lundin, Public Relations Coordinator for the Olympic Region Development Authority (ORDA), which operates the Gore and Whiteface Mountain ski centers, estimates a 14% decrease in visitation across all of ORDA’s venues for the 2011-12 season. » Continue Reading.
What follows is a guest essay by Kirsten L. Goranowski, a 2012 graduate of Paul Smith’s College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies. This is part of our series of essays by young people from Paul Smith’s College.
It was a rainy wait for the Face Lift chairlift at the base of Whiteface Mountain on March 9th. I overheard a woman complain to her husband about the unpleasant weather. There was mention of an alternative plan for the day. I myself contemplated an alternative, yet I had bought a season pass and still had to get my money’s worth. Winter of 2010-2011 was the first time I picked up the sport of snowboarding, and I’m now questioning whether any of it was a worthwhile investment. » Continue Reading.
Local historian Milda Burns, popular for costumed presentations stuffed with intriguing and often amusing details, will launch the John Thurman Historical Society’s 2012 speaker series with her program “Old Ski Train to North Creek.”
Burns, who grew up in North River the daughter of Finch Pruyn’s River Superintendent Jack Donohue, remembers well the D & H trains of the 1930s which brought weekend skiers to North Creek Depot. From there local families picked them up and shuttled them to boarding houses and homes with spare rooms, and ferried them to the new Ski Bowl for the novel “ride up, slide down” experience.
By one estimate, sometimes there were almost as many skiers as there were residents in the whole town. This past winter Burns was on hand to greet passengers riding the inaugural run of the new ski train operated by Saratoga and North Creek Railway.
The public is invited to attend this free program 7 pm, Tuesday, April 3rd at the Thurman Town Hall; refreshments will be served.
For more information, call Joan Harris, 623-2007. Thurman Town Hall is located at 311 Athol Road, Athol, just six miles from the Warrensburg Health Center via NYS route 418 and Athol Road.
Photo: A ski train at the D & H’s North Creek Depot in 1935. Courtesy The Adirondack Branch.
The annual charity event supports the Adirondack Ski Touring Council and the New York Ski Educational Foundation and allows back country ski enthusiasts a chance to demo equipment take clinics and enjoy an evening with Glen Plake on Saturday night at the Keene Central School’s “Beaver Dome” in Keene Valley at 7:30 pm.
Plake will be here compliments of Julbo, the glacier and fashion sun glass company. Other sponsors who are supporting the event and providing raffle items for Saturday night include Back Country Ski magazine, Dynafit, Primaloft, Voile-USA, Marmot, Madshus, Garmont, Scarpa, Mammut, G3, and adkbcski.com. A ski tour and Intermediate and Advanced back country ski clinics are guided by Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides of Keene Valley.
The event’s sponsors will also be providing demos for on snow testing from 10 to 2:30 on Saturday. Plake will be on hand and there will be free telemark, skinning and avalanche beacon clinics. The demo event location will be announced on the 27th.
Call The Mountaineer at 518 576 2281 or visit www.mountaineer.com for details.
Even with the lack of winter snow we have plenty to do to keep our family active outside. We’ve managed to use our Microspikes and crampons so much on every winter hike that my children automatically grab a pair to explore the icy parts of our yard.
With the recent dumping of snow it is with great pleasure to exercise our downhill muscles and toss our Microspikes to the bottom of our bag. We’ve gone downhill skiing this winter but our outings were not met with the same enthusiasm that 16” of fresh snow can bring.
For a family mountain, Old Forge’s McCauley Mountain can’t be beat. With an elevation of 2,330’ McCauley has something to offer everyone in our family.
The terrain park is the first thing we see as we pull into the parking area but we quickly pass it to the lifts and make the most of the day. There is one double chairlift and one T-Bar that access all 20 trails and a Rope Tow for the Mighty Mite. The second T-Bar is at the terrain park area. My kids are well past the Mighty Mite but it is still sweet to see that special place right in the middle of the mountain for those beginner skiers.
There is also the spectacular view of the Fulton Chain of Lakes. The Fulton Chain of Lakes is a portion of a river system that extends to Lake Ontario and was first dammed in the late 1700s. According to the Fulton Chain of Lakes Association the present dam at Old Forge holds back 6.8 billion gallons of water. Lower Fulton Chain starts at Old Forge Pond and travels to First Lake, Second, Third, Fourth Lakes to the Towns of Eagle Bay and Inlet and ending sequentially with Eighth Lake.
If you still have time or energy after riding the lift, there are 20 km of XC ski trails that can be accessed right at the base of the main lodge. For the month of March you can access the trails for free.
With March coming in “like a lion” we are looking forward to making the most out of the rest of this Adirondack ski season. Don’t forget that every Friday is “Crazy” at McCauley with $12 lift tickets.
McCauley Mountain is located in the center of Old Forge. From Route 28 (Main Street) follow the signs to McCauley Mountain. The road is very well marked. McCauley Mountain is located at 30 McCauley Road in Old Forge.
photo of McCauley Mountain Ski Area used with permission of Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities™.
Diane Chase is the author of Adirondack Family Time Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities in Lake Placid and the High Peaks. Her second Adirondack Family Time Four-Season guide for the Champlain Valley from Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga will be in stores in summer 2012.
The best skiing seems to be at the two extremes: on high slopes or on mellow terrain. For a sample of what the elite skiers are doing, check out the videos on Drew Haas’s website Adirondack Backcountry Skiing.
If you’re not into skiing slides or other gnarly terrain, your best bets will be former truck trails, old woods roads, frozen ponds, and other smooth, flat terrain. You can find an account of one such trip in the March/April issue of the Adirondack Explorer: a round-trip to Raquette Falls. Click here to read the story.
That said, I had two good outings on intermediate terrain within the past week. On Sunday, I skied from Whiteface Inn Road in Lake Placid to the top of McKenzie Pass on the Jackrabbit Trail. The cover was excellent, but I understand conditions on the Saranac Lake side of the pass are not so good.
On Tuesday, I skied to Avalanche Lake from South Meadow Road. Again, the cover was good except on parts of the Marcy Dam Truck Trail. Click here to read a more detailed report and view a video of my descent of Avalanche Pass.
For other backcountry options, check out Tony Goodwin’s ski report, which is updated a few times a week, and also Adirondack Almanack‘s Thursday afternoon Outdoor Conditions Report, which often includes suggestions for areas outside the Lake Placid area.
Of course, you can always visit one of the Adirondack Park’s cross-country-ski centers if the backcountry isn’t an option. Despite the low snow, Rick Karlin reports in the Explorer that the Nordic centers are open for business, thanks in part to good grooming. Click here to read Karlin’s story.
Finally, if all else fails, you might try to imitate the guy in this video (one of the best ski videos I’ve seen).
Photo by Phil Brown: A skier on the trail to Raquette Falls.
Phil Brown is the editor of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine.
This unique 3-day event will bring together new and experienced adaptive Nordic skiers from all over the country for an adaptive Nordic skiing training camp and races at the Empire State Winter Games. The camp is being organized by a partnership of local and regional organizations including Adirondack Adaptive Adventures, Mountain Orthotic and Prosthetic Services, U.S. Paralympic Nordic Team, Olympic Regional Development Authority, Northeast Passage, New England Nordic Ski Association, and Horowitz Associates, Inc. » Continue Reading.
The Mountaineer and Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides have teamed up to host the 10th annual Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival on March 3 and 4, 2012. The event celebrates the ski experience both here in the Adirondack backcountry and in the greater ranges of the world.
This year’s event features guest athlete Glen Plake, star of many ski films and an accomplished backcountry skier, guide and instructor based in Chamonix, France. He will be skiing at Otis Mountain in Elizabethtown on Saturday and offering a presentation on Saturday evening at the Keene Central School.
Guided ski tours will be held on Saturday and Sunday, led by Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides and a group of local ski guides. Skiers with intermediate nordic skills can join the classic Avalanche Pass ski traverse, while intermediate to expert downhill skiers looking to get into backcountry skiing will want to join the Intermediate Tour. Expert skiers with prior backcountry experience and their own gear can refine their skills on the Advanced Tour. Space is limited, so check out their website to register.
Free demos and mini clinics will again be held at Otis Mountain on Saturday. The Mountainfest is benefit event, with all proceeds supporting the New York State Ski Education Foundation’s Nordic racing programs and the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, stewards of the Adirondack Park’s backcountry ski trail system, including the Jackrabbit Trail.
Call The Mountaineer at 518 576 2281 or visit www.mountaineer.com for more information and to register for the clinics.
This winter the Almanack has been reporting the results and standing of our local winter sports athletes. The big news this week is Saranac Lake’s Chris Mazdzer and the the U.S. luge team, which won a silver medal in the FIL World Cup team relay in Winterberg, Germany.
Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tommy Beisemeyer (Keene, N.Y.): In Kitzbuehel, Austria, Weibrecht skied to a 42nd place finish in the FIS World Cup downhill. The Super-G was cancelled because of weather. Beismeyer raced in last week’s Europa Cup stop in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, and did not finish Wednesday’s, Jan. 18, giant slalom event. The reigning Nor-Am champion also failed to finish Monday’s giant slalom race in Zell a. See, Austria.
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.), Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.): Antholz-Anterselva, Italy hosted last week’s IBU World Cup tour stop. In Sunday’s team relay event, Baily and Burke skied with Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, Alaska) and Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) and finished 10th. In Friday’s 10 km sprint, Burke was 12th, while Bailey was 36th. Burke also finished 20th in Sunday’s 15 km mass start event, while Bailey was 21st. Cook posted a 74th place result in Thursday’s 7.5 km sprint, before teaming up with Sara Studebacker (Boise, Idaho), Tracy Barnes (Durango, Colo.) and Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) for a 13th place finish in Saturday’s 4×6 km team relay.
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.): The FIBT World Cup tour visited St. Moritz, Switzerland. Napier droved his two-man sled to a 16th place result, Saturday, and his four-man sled to a 12th place finish, Sunday.
Chris Mazdzer (Saranac Lake, N.Y.), Emily Sweeney (Suffield, Conn.): Mazdzer helped the U.S. luge team to a silver medal in the FIL World Cup team relay in Winterberg, Germany. The 2010 Olympian was 29th in Saturday’s men’s singles race. Sweeney was 13th in the women’s singles race in Winterberg.
Bill Demong (Vermontville, N.Y.): Demong did not compete last weekend and this weekend’s event in Zakopane, Poland has been cancelled because of weather. He is scheduled to compete Feb. 3-5 in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Peter Frenette (Saranac Lake, N.Y.): In Sapporo, Japan, Frenette competed in three events, one on the k90 and two others off the k120. The 2010 Olympian dealt with difficult wind conditions to finish 26th in the k90 jump and recorded 26th and 25th place results off the k120.
Photo: Saranac Lake’s Chris Mazdzer, courtesy USA Luge.