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Adirondack Explorer

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Climbing the new Saddleback slide

The new issue of the Explorer (November/December) will include a two-page spread on climbing five new slides created by Tropical Storm Irene in the High Peaks. I’ve blogged about my climbs of four of them (see links below), but I have yet to write about my climb of the long slide on Saddleback Mountain. I climbed it two weekends ago with Ron Konowitz. It’s steep enough in places that I would recommend rock-climbing shoes or approach shoes. You can easily reach the Saddleback slide via the Ore Bed Brook Trail in Johns Brook Valley. Starting from the suspension bridge near the >>More


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Climbing the ‘new’ Trap Dike

On Sunday I climbed the Trap Dike for the first time since Tropical Storm Irene triggered a landslide above and inside the dike. The slide swept away nearly all of the trees inside the canyon and created a new exit, a slab of clean white rock that can be followed to the top of Mount Colden. Before Irene, the guidebook Adirondack Rock awarded the Trap Dike five stars, its highest rating for the overall quality of the climb. Since Irene, the climb is even better. The Trap Dike must be approached with caution: it’s considered a third- or fourth-class climb >>More


Friday, October 7, 2011

DEC reopens trail to Panther Gorge

The state has reopened the trail from Elk Lake to Panther Gorge but warns that hikers still may encounter blowdown. The 10.2-mile route leads from the private Elk Lake to Four Corners, a trail junction that lies amid Mount Haystack, Mount Skylight, and Mount Marcy. The trail had been closed since August 29, the day after Tropical Storm Irene roared through the High Peaks. Several trails remain closed. The following list of closed trails is a news release issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation: Adirondack Mountain Reserve Trails: The first (northernmost) two cross over trails between the East River Trail and >>More


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lynch to talk about 740-mile canoe trip

Outdoors writer Mike Lynch will give a slide-show in Lake Placid this Sunday on his recent 740-mile paddling trek along the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Lynch will appear as part of an American Alpine Club mixer at the Guides House at 2733 Main Street, next-door to High Peaks Cyclery. The mixer and membership drive will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Lynch’s one-hour presentation will start at 7 p.m., preceded by a barbecue. The event is open to the public. A writer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Lynch spent forty-five days this summer paddling from Old Forge to northern Maine. >>More


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Remembering Matthew Potel

The death of Matthew Potel, who fell in the Trap Dike on Mount Colden last week, has led to an outpouring of sympathy for a personable young man who loved the outdoors. Potel, 22, of Croton-on-Hudson, slipped in the dike while leading a group of fellow students from Binghamton University. He expected to graduate in December with a major in environmental studies and a minor in comparative literature. “The outdoors was the world to Matt, the Adirondacks especially,” his father, Mark Potel, said this morning. “He was never as happy as when he was in the North Country.” On Tuesday, >>More


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Climber dies in Trap Dike

A student at Binghamton University died Friday morning in a fall in the Trap Dike, a classic mountaineering route on Mount Colden. Matthew Potel, 22, of Croton-on-Hudson was climbing the Trap Dike with seven other members of the school’s outdoors club. Although details are sketchy, sources say he fell on the dike’s second waterfall, the crux section of the climb. Forest rangers, with the help of local rock climbers, recovered the body. State Police Investigator Steve Ansari said the coroner ruled that Potel died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Potel’s was the third climbing death in the Adirondacks in four years. >>More


Friday, September 30, 2011

Several trails remain closed

A month after Tropical Storm Irene blew through the region, several hiking trails in the High Peaks remain closed. David Winchell, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said no new trails would reopen this weekend. The following are still closed: Southside Trail from the Garden in Keene Valley to the ranger outpost on Johns Brook. The Deer Brook Trail from Route 73 to Snow Mountain. Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass. The trail from Elk Lake to Panther Gorge. The trail over the Colvin Range from Blake Peak to Pinnacle and beyond. Most trails >>More


Monday, September 26, 2011

Climbing the Cascade Mountain slide

People driving between Keene and Lake Placid can see dramatic evidence of Tropical Storm Irene: a slide scar in the drainage between the two Cascade Lakes. The large waterfall in this drainage has always been visible—it accounts for the lakes’ name—but it is now much more conspicuous. The rains of Irene stripped the sides of the brook of trees and soil, leaving a wide swath of bedrock. Because the slide is easily accessible, it’s sure to attract more than its share of hikers and skiers. Indeed, when I climbed it Sunday afternoon I met Kevin MacKenzie, a passionate slide climber, >>More