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Adirondack Explorer

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A broken ankle, forest fires

The state Department of Environmental Conservation released today a forest-ranger report for Memorial Day weekend. Nothing too exciting. A broken ankle. A missing hiker who turned up OK. And several small forest fires. The full text of the report follows.   DEC FOREST RANGER MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND ACTIVITY REPORT   High Peaks Search & Rescue Incidents On Sunday, May 30, 2010, at approximately 2:50 PM, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the husband of Isabella Kicior, 28, of East Rutherford, NJ reporting that his wife had injured her ankle while hiking on the VanHovenberg Trail between Marcy >>More

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A beautiful surprise

I went missing for five days recently. I was out canoeing on various waterways in the western Adirondacks. One day I took two trips on the West Branch of the Oswegatchie. On the second of those trips, I paddled through several ponds owned, largely or entirely, by the Oswegatchie Educational Center, a nonprofit institution in the middle of the woods run by the Future Farmers of America. This was on Day 4 of my mini-vacation. By then I was pretty much sated with scenery. I was thinking to myself that I really needed to see something spectacular to rouse me >>More

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paddling the Middle Moose

In the March/April issue of the Explorer, Mal Provost wrote about a long whitewater trip on the Middle Branch of the Moose River. Not being much of a whitewater paddler, I opted for a long flatwater trip on the same river earlier this week. From Thendara, outside Old Forge, you can paddle down the Middle Moose for more than six miles. The catch is that you have to paddle back upriver. Although the current is slow, even a slow current can be tiring at the end of the day. You’ll need to judge for yourself how far you should venture >>More

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Paddle to Nelson Lake

The Middle Branch of the Moose River is not the wildest river in the Park, but try telling that to the American bittern, the osprey, the various ducks, and the kingfishers I saw when I explored the Middle Moose on Monday. Starting in Old Forge, the Middle Branch more or less parallels Route 28 and the Adirondack Scenic Railroad for its entire length. On my two trips on the river this week, I rarely felt I was out of earshot of traffic, but this did little to diminish my enjoyment of this beautiful stream. For a quick trip into the >>More

Friday, May 7, 2010

Falcons nesting on rock-climbing cliffs

State biologists have confirmed that peregrine falcons are nesting on two popular rock-climbing cliffs, Upper Washbowl and Poke-o-Moonshine. The discovery of the nest on Upper Washbowl means that cliff will remain closed to climbers, but the routes on Lower Washbowl are now open. Upper Washbowl boasts twenty-one routes, including some of the best moderate multipitch routes in Chapel Pond Pass, according to the guidebook Adirondack Rock. Falcons also are nesting on the Main Face of Poke-O, probably in the vicinity of the Nose, according to Joe Racette, a biologist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The department won’t open >>More

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Paddling the West Ausable

Last week’s snowstorm notwithstanding, this is paddling season. In fact, the additional snowmelt from the storm will improve paddling on Adirondack rivers. This is a good time of year to explore the West Branch of the Ausable River on the outskirts of Lake Placid—a river that attracts schools of trout fishermen but is often overlooked by paddlers. From a put-in at a steel bridge off River Road, you can do a 5.4-mile flatwater cruise to Monument Falls off Route 86. You’ll need to spot a second car or bicycle at the takeout. There is one carry around rapids. You can >>More

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thinking snow again

I took advantage of this week’s snowstorm to get in one  last (?) ski. After work Wednesday, I met Ron Konowitz at the Whiteface Mountain toll road, and we skied  up the highway 3.5 miles, as far as the Lake Placid Turn. We were surprised to see that one side of the road had been plowed by the state. Ron was ticked off not only as a skier, but also as a taxpayer. The road is closed to vehicles this time of year, so why expend time and money plowing it if the snow is going to melt soon anyway? >>More

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Great Adirondack Trail Run

You’ve got to be fast to take part in the Great Adirondack Trail Run. The Mountaineer will accept the first sixty applicants to sign up for the 11.5-mile race this Saturday and expects to fill all the slots in just twenty minutes. The race will be held Saturday, June 19. Participants will run through the Giant Mountain Wilderness, starting on Route 9N and ending at the Mountaineer in Keene Valley. Along the way they’ll cross the wide-open summit of Hopkins Mountain. The elevation gain is about 2,900 feet. If you’re not up for that, you can take part in a >>More