Mt. Colden’s historic mountaineering route affords a long view of peaks and the past. By Phil Brown We started up the trail a little after 9 a.m., but the real adventure began about noon, after we had hiked to Avalanche Lake and stood gazing up at the Trap Dike, the famous gash in the cliffs of Mount Colden. Hikers can see the Trap Dike across the water as they scramble up, down, and over the boulders, ladders, and plank bridges that pass for a trail on Avalanche Lake’s west shore. Not many people climb the dike, but for those with >>More
The March/April issue of the Explorer contains an article about skiing the Kilburn Slide outside Lake Placid. I went with Josh Wilson, a backcountry snowboarder, shortly after a big snowfall that prompted an avalanche warning for the region. One purpose of the trip was to test the avalanche conditions on the slide. The greater purpose, though, was to ski (or snowboard) the thing. Josh went down in superb fashion, carving big curves in the snow and at one point gliding off a small cliff. I skied badly, however. I’m just not used to skiing slides. Most of my backcountry skiing >>More
NOTE: THIS IS ANOTHER POST FROM OUR PUBLISHER, TOM WOODMAN. The attorney general issued a news release pertaining to the motion to intervene in the Shingle Shanty case. See our earlier post to download the legal documents. ATTORNEY GENERAL SCHNEIDERMAN SUES TO PROTECT PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO TRAVEL ON ADIRONDACK WATERWAY State Seeks to Stop Property Owners from Using Intimidation Tactics Preventing People from Navigating Waterway Property Owners Used Steel Cables Across the Stream & Set Up Cameras to Intimidate Paddlers ALBANY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that the state has filed papers in Hamilton County Supreme Court to >>More
We just received the Forest Ranger report for January and February from DEC’s Region 5, which includes the eastern two-thirds of the Adirondack Park. Below is the report verbatim. Essex County Town of Keene, Private Land (Adirondack Mountain Reserve Easement) On Sunday January 2, 2011, at approximately 4:28 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Essex County Emergency Dispatch. They transferred a call from a hiker who reported that his hiking partner had slipped and fallen on the ice on the Lake Road. Katie Pangia, 36, of Ticonderoga, NY had twisted her leg and was unable to >>More
Lawsuit questions public’s right to paddle through private property. By Fred LeBrun A year and a half after paddling through posted land connecting publicly owned waterways, Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown has been sued for trespass by the private landowners, namely the Brandreth Park Association and the Friends of Thayer Lake. The case could clarify the public’s right to paddle on waterways that pass through private land and resolve questions that the landowners say were left unanswered in a landmark Court of Appeals decision in 1998.
Snowy woods beckon skiers By Phil Brown We were all happy to be on our first backcountry ski trip of the season, but none of us was as excited as Ella. She often bolted ahead of us, eager to see what snowy adventure lay around the bend, and she kept her high spirits throughout our ten-mile tour despite numerous face plants. “I think Ella has white-nose syndrome,” I remarked after one of her plunges into the fresh powder. “She does, but she’s not concerned about it,” Sue said.
On Sunday, I skied the Marcy trail from Adirondak Loj with Mike Lynch and Chris Knight, two reporters from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. We followed snowshoe tracks nearly to Indian Falls and then broke trail as far as the junction with the Hopkins Trail, 1.2 miles from the summit. We turned around there. The 6.2-mile ski back to the Loj was fantastic. The week’s snowfalls had left plenty of powder on the sides of our skin tracks—so much that I felt comfortable bombing the Corkscrew, the steep, twisty descent from a ridge. During our descent, we saw only one party >>More
I shoveled my driveway four times in twenty-four hours, and I am a happy man. If you’re a backcountry skier, you understand. Saranac Lake got more than a foot of snow in this week’s storm—enough, I imagine, to render skiable most of the backcountry trails in the area. Yesterday, my son and some friends skied a part of the Jackrabbit Trail west of Lake Placid, which includes a mile-long downhill, and found the trail in great shape. Before work today, I climbed most of the way up a small mountain and skied down through the woods. The conditions were superb, >>More
The fifteenth annual Adirondack International Mountaineering Festival comes to Keene this weekend. As usual, the Mountaineer and Rock and River have attracted elite climbers to the event and are offering a variety of classes for those who want to learn or polish mountaineering skills. Most of the classes are full, but there are still openings for classes in ice climbing, slide climbing, snowshoe mountaineering, and avalanche training. Check the Mountainfest website for updates. A variety of sponsors, including Black Diamond, Outdoor Research, Patagonia, and La Sportiva, will have gear available for testing in the field. In addition to the classes, >>More
By Phil Brown Perhaps you’ve heard of Richard Louv’s best-selling book Last Child in the Woods, in which he laments that modern kids grow up cut off from the natural world. Makes you wonder who that last child in the woods will be. I think I found him. His name is Eli Bickford. He’s twelve years old. And he’s from Brooklyn. Though he lives in the city, he spends every summer at his family’s cabin in Keene Valley. When he was seven, he climbed his first High Peak (Nippletop). The next summer he climbed ten more of the High Peaks. >>More