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Adirondack Explorer

Monday, February 7, 2011

The joys and perils of backcountry skiing

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

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ski video: Powder to the people

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

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Adirondack Mountainfest this weekend

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ranger Report for November/December

Region 5 of the state Department of Environmental Conservation released today its Ranger Activity Report for November and December. The region covers the eastern two-thirds of the Adirondack Park. The report follows verbatim. Clinton County Town of Champlain, Private Lands On Thursday, November 4, at approximately 11:45am, State Police in Plattsburgh requested DEC Forest Rangers to assist in a search for Francine Marcel, 56, of Morrisonville, NY.  Ms. Marcel was last seen at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 2, just before leaving her home to close her camp on Point AuRoche on near the shores of Lake Champlain. She was >>More

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday ski tours

I’ve done several ski trips in the Saranac Lake region with my daughter Martha over the past week. Conditions are excellent if you choose the right trail. Two that I can recommend are the Hays Brook Truck Trail in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest and the Fish Pond Truck Trail in the St. Regis Canoe Area. Despite a few hills, both are suitable for novice skiers. Martha and I skied the Hays Brook trail the day after Christmas. I also did this trip earlier in the month for an Explorer story, which will be posted online next week. I’m happy >>More

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ski for a good cause

Backcountry skiers can contribute to a good cause by participating in the Camel’s Hump Challenge in Vermont on February 13. At 4,083 feet, Camel’s Hump is one of the highest mountains in Vermont. In the annual Camel’s Hump Challenge, participants ski around the mountain on trails not normally open to the public. Each skier must raise at least $125 from sponsors to take part in the event. The money will be donated to the Vermont Alzheimer’s Association. Fund-raising can be done online. Check the website for details. The challenge is not a race. Rather, it’s a demanding backcountry tour through >>More

Monday, November 22, 2010

Raft company owner indicted

The owner of the Hudson River Rafting Company has been indicted on five misdemeanor charges accusing him of endangering clients on whitewater trips. The defendant, Patrick Cunningham, pleaded not guilty to the charges last week in Hamilton County Court, according to the office of District Attorney James Curry. Cunningham is charged with two counts of reckless endangerment in the second degree and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stem from incidents on August 10 and August 12. The first count of reckless endangerment alleges that on August 10 Cunningham sent clients down the Indian and >>More

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jackrabbit Ski Trail improved

This afternoon I took a short walk to check out the new section of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail created recently by the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. Not surprisingly, I ran into Tony Goodwin. The ASTC executive director, Tony was working with a pick-ax and chainsaw to remove large roots from trail. A helper, Bill Dora, was working farther down the trail. The council not only maintains the Jackrabbit, but it also works on other trails popular with skiers, such as the Van Hoevenberg Trail to Mount Marcy and the trail to Whiteface Landing. Hat’s off to Tony and his gang. >>More


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