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Adirondack Explorer

May, 2012

Guidebook for Adirondack trail runners

By Phil Brown The Adirondack Park has more than two thousand miles of hiking trails. In theory, this means it has more than two thousand miles of trails for running, too, though you aren’t likely to encounter people jogging up Gothics, say, or Basin Mountain. What trails are suitable for running will depend on the runner’s strength and ability, but if you’re looking for suggestions, you’ll find plenty in a new guidebook by Spencer Morrissey and Corenne Black. It’s the only book of its kind for the Adirondacks. Adirondack Trail Runner describes more than ninety routes that the authors have >>More


April, 2012

No ‘Classic Hikes’ in Adirondacks?

Classic Hikes of North America

This summer W.W. Norton plans to publish Classic Hikes of North America: 25 Breathtaking Treks in the United States and Canada. Judging by the publicity materials, it should be a magnificent-looking book, with detailed maps and more than two hundred color photos. Adirondack hikers may be disappointed to learn that no hikes in the Park made the cut. In fact, only four of the twenty-five hikes are east of the Mississippi. The hike closest to the Adirondacks is the Presidential Range Traverse in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The other eastern hikes are the Art Loeb Trail in North >>More


December, 2011

An app for the Adirondack High Peaks

You and a friend finally reach the summit of Gothics, take in the glorious view, and begin to wonder what the names are of all the peaks around you. So your friend whips out an iPhone and starts tapping the screen. Is he calling the local forest ranger for answers? Not if he has installed the ADK46erNow app on his phone. Developed by Keith Kubarek, an enthusiastic Adirondack hiker, the app uses the phone’s GPS system to help people identify peaks in the viewshed of any of the forty-six High Peaks.   The app also contains basic facts about each >>More


December, 2011

A few words about ‘The Climbing Dictionary’

I’m a Johnny-climb-lately. After moving to the Adirondacks, I spent most of my outdoors time hiking, backcountry skiing, or paddling. I had no interest in rock climbing—until I finally tried it a few years back. I quickly discovered there’s a lot to learn apart from the techniques of actual climbing: rope management, gear placement, belaying, anchor building, rappelling, and how to open a beer bottle with a carabiner. And the language. Like most sports, rock climbing has its own lingo. A bumbling climber is a “gumby”; a perfect climbing route is “splitter”; a route over “choss” (loose, friable rock) is >>More


December, 2011

OR shirt a good base layer for skiers

For backcountry ski trips, I usually wear three tops: a base layer for wicking away perspiration, a fleece jacket for insulation, and a shell for keeping out moisture and wind. (I also carry a down jacket in my pack.) As I warm up, I remove layers as needed. When I first started skiing, I experimented with a variety of base layers, but I eventually settled on a long-sleeve T-shirt with a short zipper at the collar.   No doubt many companies make such a shirt, but I happen to wear a model sold by Outdoor Research: the Sequence Long-Sleeve Zip >>More


November, 2011

Review of La Sportiva Karakorum boots

A few years ago, I was asked to test a pair of La Sportiva Karakorum boots. They’re cool-looking boots, but they struck me at first as almost too rugged for ordinary hiking. I wondered what use I could put them to in the Adirondacks. Then it hit me: slide climbing. La Sportiva bills the Karakorums as lightweight mountaineering boots, and that makes them ideal for scrambling up the rock slide paths that scar many of our High Peaks. The Karakorums also are great for hiking on Adirondack trails in early spring, when you’re likely to encounter mud, snow, ice, you >>More


November, 2011

Native Hardtops Sunglasses

By Susan Bibeau I am the first to admit that I am not the most delicate girl when it comes to outdoor pursuits, and there are few things that I am tougher on than sunglasses. That is why I covet my pair of Native Hardtops. My husband gave these to me as a birthday present several years ago, and we are both pleasantly surprised that I have not needed to buy another pair since! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thrown everything at these glasses. Skiing, running, biking, paddling, ultimate Frisbee, mowing the lawn, you name it, we’ve done it together. >>More


November, 2011

Outdoor Research Sombrero

By Susan Bibeau I have learned the hard way over the years to heed my mother’s advice and “stay out of the sun!” A beautiful sunny day spent paddling without the proper protection will often guarantee a miserable evening tending to singed flesh. Having said this, I will admit to some vanity in that I would rather suffer the discomfort of a sunburn than look goofy. Luckily for me the folks at Outdoor Research have created something both highly functional and stylish. They call it the Sombrero. Features include: A new high-tech fabric that sheds water and also breathes well >>More


November, 2011

Madshus Epoch backcountry skis

One day in early April, when the temperature climbed into the forties, people were walking around Saranac Lake in T-shirts, dreaming of summer. It was perfect weather for testing a new pair of skis. Sue Bibeau, the designer for the Adirondack Explorer, and I did a round trip to Klondike Notch in the High Peaks Wilderness, a little-used trail that starts at the end of South Meadow Road and ends near Johns Brook Lodge. I was trying out my Madshus Epochs, a waxless ski designed for backcountry touring. The Epochs have metal edges and are wide enough to provide stability >>More


November, 2011

Review of Kahtoola Microspikes

If you do much hiking in early winter or spring, consider investing in a pair of Microspikes. They’re ideal for traveling on trails covered in hard-packed snow and ice. In the shoulder seasons, the trails often lack enough snow for snowshoes but are too slippery for plain boots. In such conditions, you need to augment your traction. Crampons are one solution, but they often are overkill on hiking trails. Made by Kahtoola, Microspikes weigh just 11.4 to 15.6 ounces, depending on which of the four sizes you buy. They consist of a tough elastic band (red or black) attached to >>More