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Adirondack Explorer

February, 2011

AG defends right to paddle

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


February, 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


January, 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


December, 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


December, 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


November, 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


November, 2010

Skiers hit the highway

They’re making snow on the one side of Whiteface, and people are skiing the toll road on the other. I guess it must be winter. The Whiteface Mountain Ski Area began making snow on November 2, two weeks earlier than last year, and hopes to open on November 26. But skiers have been hitting the highway on the north side of the mountain for a few weeks already. I went there Sunday for the first time this season and found the road covered in snow (or ice) from the tollbooth all the way to the castle. I saw more skiers >>More


April, 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


April, 2010

Between the seasons

You know we’re in between seasons when you go backcountry skiing one day and canoeing the next. Last Friday, I skied Mount Marcy with Ron Konowitz. It was so warm than I stripped down to my T-shirt on the ascent. On the summit, we met Keith Kogut, a music teacher in Saranac Lake, who was wearing a T-shirt and shorts. Despite the warm temps, the Van Hoevenberg Trail had plenty of snow, at least above Marcy Dam. A few rocks were starting to show on the section along Phelps Brook. As noted in an earlier post, the high-water bridge across >>More


March, 2010

Avalanche survivor tells story

One of the survivors of last month’s avalanche has written a dramatic account of his ordeal for Adirondack Almanack. Here’s a taste: “I don’t remember any pain when the avalanche struck me,” Jamie McNeill says. “The sensation is best described as almost instant acceleration in a river of wet cement. I was suddenly surrounded by this flowing snow bank. I have no idea how fast it was moving and I don’t remember much aside from the dark, the fear, and the thought that I had to try to stay on top of it somehow.” Click here to read the full >>More




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