July, 2014

2 New Maps From St. Regis Canoe Outfitters

Two maps

St. Regis Canoe Outfitters has published two new waterproof maps for paddlers, one covering the three Saranac Lakes, the other covering the St. Regis Canoe Area. The color maps cover some of the same territory as the Adirondack Paddler’s Map, also published by St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, but the new maps are more detailed and, being smaller, easier to handle. They’re also less expensive: $9.95 versus $19.95 for the Adirondack Paddler’s Map (which is four times as large). “Many first-time visitors are going to grab a $10 map before they grab a $20 map,” said Dave Cilley, owner of St. >>More


November, 2012

Exos Beanie a nice hat for skiers

OR's Exos Beanie.

I do a lot of backcountry skiing, and so over the years I have collected a half-dozen pairs of skis. Not as many as some skiers, but enough to make some people wonder if I’m obsessed. Maybe I am, but not about skis. I have far more ski hats. I must own nearly twenty: wool, synthetic, thick, thin, beanies, Peruvian models with ear flaps, balaclavas, you name it. I didn’t set out to collect hats, but I was always searching for the perfect hat, one that fit right, kept my head warm, and looked good. I now have several that >>More


August, 2012

Authors night at Mountaineer

Adirondack High Peaks Summit Journal

I’m looking forward to gathering with fellow writers for a book signing at the Mountaineer in Keene Valley on Thursday, though I may feel a little out of place among the likes of Russell Banks, Chase Twitchell, Bill McKibben, and Jerry Jenkins. The Mountaineer recently expanded its book department and hopes that Thursday’s book signing will become an annual event. The signing will take place from 5-7 p.m. Green Point Foods will provide light refreshments, and Stan Oliva will provide the music. Check out this story in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise for more details and a complete list of the >>More


May, 2012

OR’s Echo Tee ideal for trail running

The Echo Tee

The T-shirt is a staple of the outdoor enthusiast’s wardrobe, and nowadays many clothing makers offer T-shirts made of synthetic fabrics that wick away sweat and dry quickly. Some also claim to mask body odor. I’ve tried T-shirts from a number of manufacturers, including Outdoor Research, Eastern Mountain Sports, and Mountain Hard Wear, and they all have proven satisfactory. If you’re working hard, the shirts won’t wick sweat as fast as you produce it, but they do indeed dry fast. As far as masking stink, my hiking partners are skeptical. While I like all my T-shirts, I want to single >>More


May, 2012

Guidebook for Adirondack trail runners

Adirondack Trail Runner sells for $14.95.

By Phil Brown The Adirondack Park has more than two thousand miles of hiking trails. In theory, this means it has more than two thousand miles of trails for running, too, though you aren’t likely to encounter people jogging up Gothics, say, or Basin Mountain. What trails are suitable for running will depend on the runner’s strength and ability, but if you’re looking for suggestions, you’ll find plenty in a new guidebook by Spencer Morrissey and Corenne Black. It’s the only book of its kind for the Adirondacks. Adirondack Trail Runner describes more than ninety routes that the authors have >>More


April, 2012

No ‘Classic Hikes’ in Adirondacks?

Classic Hikes of North America

This summer W.W. Norton plans to publish Classic Hikes of North America: 25 Breathtaking Treks in the United States and Canada. Judging by the publicity materials, it should be a magnificent-looking book, with detailed maps and more than two hundred color photos. Adirondack hikers may be disappointed to learn that no hikes in the Park made the cut. In fact, only four of the twenty-five hikes are east of the Mississippi. The hike closest to the Adirondacks is the Presidential Range Traverse in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The other eastern hikes are the Art Loeb Trail in North >>More


December, 2011

An app for the Adirondack High Peaks

46er app for the iPhone.

You and a friend finally reach the summit of Gothics, take in the glorious view, and begin to wonder what the names are of all the peaks around you. So your friend whips out an iPhone and starts tapping the screen. Is he calling the local forest ranger for answers? Not if he has installed the ADK46erNow app on his phone. Developed by Keith Kubarek, an enthusiastic Adirondack hiker, the app uses the phone’s GPS system to help people identify peaks in the viewshed of any of the forty-six High Peaks.   The app also contains basic facts about each >>More


December, 2011

A few words about ‘The Climbing Dictionary’

The Climbing Dictionary sells for $14.95.

I’m a Johnny-climb-lately. After moving to the Adirondacks, I spent most of my outdoors time hiking, backcountry skiing, or paddling. I had no interest in rock climbing—until I finally tried it a few years back. I quickly discovered there’s a lot to learn apart from the techniques of actual climbing: rope management, gear placement, belaying, anchor building, rappelling, and how to open a beer bottle with a carabiner. And the language. Like most sports, rock climbing has its own lingo. A bumbling climber is a “gumby”; a perfect climbing route is “splitter”; a route over “choss” (loose, friable rock) is >>More


December, 2011

OR shirt a good base layer for skiers

OR’s Sequence zippered T shirt.

For backcountry ski trips, I usually wear three tops: a base layer for wicking away perspiration, a fleece jacket for insulation, and a shell for keeping out moisture and wind. (I also carry a down jacket in my pack.) As I warm up, I remove layers as needed. When I first started skiing, I experimented with a variety of base layers, but I eventually settled on a long-sleeve T-shirt with a short zipper at the collar.   No doubt many companies make such a shirt, but I happen to wear a model sold by Outdoor Research: the Sequence Long-Sleeve Zip >>More


November, 2011

Review of La Sportiva Karakorum boots

Karakoram

A few years ago, I was asked to test a pair of La Sportiva Karakorum boots. They’re cool-looking boots, but they struck me at first as almost too rugged for ordinary hiking. I wondered what use I could put them to in the Adirondacks. Then it hit me: slide climbing. La Sportiva bills the Karakorums as lightweight mountaineering boots, and that makes them ideal for scrambling up the rock slide paths that scar many of our High Peaks. The Karakorums also are great for hiking on Adirondack trails in early spring, when you’re likely to encounter mud, snow, ice, you >>More


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