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Adirondack Explorer

Friday, September 24, 2010

Eagle Slide video

Anybody who pays attention to the photo credits in the Adirondack Explorer knows how much we rely on the work of Carl Heilman II to enliven our pages. In our next issue, we plan to run Carl’s photos of the Eagle Slide on Giant Mountain–which many people regard as the most spectacular slide in the Adirondacks. I climbed the Eagle last month with Carl and Eli Bickford, a twelve-year-old boy who loves slides. Besides taking photos, Carl shot the video embedded below. The short clip shows me ascending a crack near the top of the slide. I advise those wondering >>More

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Your age in mountains per day

For all you strong hikers out there … I don’t know how old you are, but the ageless mountains can figure this out for me. First, tell us how many High Peaks you can climb in a day. Any strong hiker can climb one, and we won’t believe you if you say you can climb ten. So your answer must be between 2 and 9. Now follow these steps: Multiply this number by 2. Add 5. Multiply the result by 50. If you’ve already had your birthday this year, add 1760. If you haven’t, add 1759. Now subtract the four-digit >>More

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rafting guides accused of reckless endangerment

The owner of the Hudson River Rafting Company and one of his guides face charges of reckless endangerment for allegedly sending customers on whitewater trips without licensed guides. Patrick Cunningham, the company’s owner, and Heath Bromley, the guide, pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges in Indian Lake Town Court, according to the Hamilton County district attorney’s office. The charges of second-degree reckless endangerment stem from two separate incidents last month. Details of the charges are contained in court documents filed by Forest Ranger Steven Ovitt. On August 10, Bromley “falsely” stated to Greg Kaasman, an employee of Longacre Expeditions, >>More

Friday, September 3, 2010

Adirondack cliff jumping

Bluff Island is a well-known landmark on Lower Saranac Lake. It’s easily reached by a short paddle from the Route 3 bridge west of the village of Saranac Lake. Head north through First Pond and enter a channel. As you emerge from the channel, you’ll see Bluff Island straight ahead, less than a mile from the highway. The south side of the island features a seventy-foot cliff that rises straight up from the water. Occasionally, rock climbers scale the precipice. The guidebook Adirondack Rock says of Bluff: “it’s one-star climbing in a five-star location.” Bluff Island is probably better known >>More

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rock climber killed in fall

A rock climber from Lake Placid fell to his death yesterday evening at the Upper Washbowl  Cliff in the Giant Mountain Wilderness. Dennis Murphy, who was thirty-five, slipped while walking along the top of the cliff after ascending Hesitation, a classic route on the popular climbing cliff. Murphy and his partner, Dustin Ulrich, planned to rappel from an anchor at the top of another climbing route called Partition, according to State Police Lt. Scott Heggelke. The trooper said Ulrich was setting up the rappel when Murphy lost his footing and fell more than two hundred feet onto the rocks below. >>More

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Case against Ausable Chasm paddlers dropped

No charges will be pursued against three kayakers who paddled through Ausable Chasm in June, the Explorer has learned. The Ausable Chasm Company complained that the three trespassed on the company’s land on the first weekend that the river was declared open (against the company’s wishes) to whitewater paddlers. Based on the company’s complaints, state troopers filed “a request for a criminal summons” in the Chesterfield Town Court, according to State Police Captain Brent Gillam. However, Gillam said it was up to the town judge to decide whether to press charges. Today, Gillam said troopers ended up making no arrests >>More

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The school of hard rocks

Although you can’t learn rock climbing from a book, you’ll find a lot of rock-climbing manuals at EMS in Lake Placid, the Mountaineer in Keene Valley, and other outdoors stores. These books are no substitute for experience, but they do reinforce lessons you’re likely to hear from professional guides and veteran climbers. I own several such books. One of my favorites was written by Lake Placid’s own Don Mellor: A Trailside Guide: Rock Climbing, published by W.W. Norton & Co. Recently, I finished a classic of the genre, Basic Rockcraft by Royal Robbins, from way back in 1971. Royal Robbins >>More

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Paddling 740 miles in a day

You’re invited to help celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail this weekend. Although the party will take place in Rangley, Maine, you can take part in the celebration right here in the Adirondacks. The NFCT is asking canoeists and kayakers to paddle any portion of the water trail on Saturday, July 24, and report their mileage (and upload photos, if possible) by 5 p.m. The 740-mile trail begins in Old Forge and ends in Fort Kent, Maine. The Adirondack leg includes the Fulton Chain of Lakes, Raquette Lake and part of the Raquette River, the Saranac >>More

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Following in the footholds of Fritz

Rock climbers risk their lives in pursuit of their passion. So they’re a tough bunch. Just listen to this snippet of dialogue between Jecinda Hughes and Josh Wilson. “You’re getting to the midway point of your rope, honey,” Jecinda yells to Josh. “Thanks, babe,” Josh replies. “That’s OK—I’ve got only about ten feet to go.” Jecinda is belaying her boyfriend as he ascends the chimney on the Old Route at Hurricane Crag between Keene and Elizabethtown. Most climbers come to the crag for Quadrophenia, one of the Adirondacks’ most popular moderate routes (rated 5.7 on the Yosemite scale), or one >>More