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Adirondack Explorer

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Skiing A Pair Of Adirondack Passes

We just finished our March/April issue of the Adirondack Explorer, so I took Tuesday off to go backcountry skiing and take advantage of the recent snowfalls (before a looming thaw sets in). My neighbor Tim Peartree and I skied through two mountain passes. The first, Avalanche Pass, is one of the most popular ski trips in the Adirondacks. From Heart Lake, it’s about four miles to the top of the pass and an additional 0.6 miles to Avalanche Lake. If you do the trip, I highly recommend you visit the lake. It’s one of the scenic wonders of the High >>More


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fresh Powder Just What Jackrabbit Trail Needed

We got a few inches of fresh powder overnight and may get an additional four to nine inches before the day is done. Let’s hope the forecast is on target. Before work, I went for a short ski on the Jackrabbit Trail outside Saranac Lake. Starting on McKenzie Pond Road, I made first tracks to the top of the small hill just beyond McKenzie Pond, a round trip of a little more than four miles. With the snow we got last night and over the weekend, the skiing was much better than it was a few weeks ago. In a >>More


Monday, February 3, 2014

Marcy Trail Needs More Snow For Skiing

Well, I couldn’t wait any longer. After we got a few inches of snow Saturday night, I decided to ski Mount Marcy. From Adirondak Loj Road, I started by skiing up South Meadow Road. On Saturday afternoon, I had skied the road and the Marcy Dam Truck Trail as far as Marcy Dam. The road had been in great shape for skiing, but the truck trail had a lot of exposed rocks. What a difference a day makes. The extra snow was enough to bury virtually all the rocks. Also, Forest Ranger Jim Giglinto cut through the worst of a >>More


Monday, January 27, 2014

Ice Climbing as a Substitute for Skiing

I don’t need to remind you how bad the backcountry skiing has been this year. As of this morning, the Adirondack Ski Touring Council wouldn’t even recommend skiing on the Marcy Dam Truck Trail. But it has been cold this winter, so I figured the ice climbing must be good. Just over a week ago, in fact, there were ice climbers crawling all over Keene and Keene Valley during the Mountaineer’s annual Mountainfest. Nevertheless, Don Mellor, author of Blue Lines: An Adirondack Ice Climber’s Guide, says the climbing this winter has been only so-so. “Some good flash freezes hit Poke-O—wet >>More


Monday, January 20, 2014

Fresh snow helps, but we need more

We got several inches of light snow over the weekend, so I went to the Jackrabbit Trail on my lunch hour 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 >>More