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Adirondack Explorer

August, 2012

Cuomo pledges $640,000 for Keene fire house

Governor Andrew Cuomo pledges $640,000 for Keene fire house.

Governor Andrew Cuomo came to the rescue of Keene today, pledging $640,000 in state funds to rebuild a fire house destroyed by the floods of Tropical Storm Irene a year ago. Cuomo said the state had to step in after the Federal Emergency Management Agency reduced the amount of money it offered for replacing the fire house. “The building was cut in half, and we said not only will we build back, but we will build back better than before,” the governor said at a check-signing ceremony at the site of the future fire house on Route 73. The new >>More


November, 2011

No decision on Marcy Dam

Now that the state has decided not to rebuild the dam at Duck Hole, people are wondering about the future of Marcy Dam. The short answer is that there is no answer—not yet. “No decisions have been made. We’re still evaluating that,” David Winchell, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said this morning. Unlike the Duck Hole dam, Marcy Dam remains largely intact. However, flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Irene washed away the bridge over the dam and the dam’s sluice gate. Most of the pond behind the dam has since drained, leaving a mudflat. DEC plans >>More


November, 2011

DEC won’t rebuild Duck Hole dam

The state Department of Environmental Conservation does not plan to rebuild the dam at Duck Hole, an iconic pond deep in the High Peaks Wilderness. The wooden dam was breached in the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene in late August, draining about two-thirds of the impoundment. Even before Irene, fans of Duck Hole had been urging DEC to repair the old dam. In fact, the Explorer ran a debate on the question in its September/October issue, which was on the newsstand when the storm hit. Nestled among high mountains, Duck Hole is a favorite camping spot on the Northville-Placid >>More


November, 2011

DEC reopens two more trails

The state has reopened two more trails in the High Peaks region, but it has no plans to reopen before next year other trails closed by Irene. Hikers can once again take the Deer Brook Trail from Route 73 to Snow Mountain, though the low-water route through the Deer Brook flume remains impassable (it was eroded during the storm). Also reopened is the second crossover trail between the East River Trail and West River Trail in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. The first crossover trail is still closed, owing to a missing bridge. Three trail on the Forest Preserve remain closed: >>More


October, 2011

DEC reopens 5 trails closed since Irene

Five trails that had been closed since August 29, the day after Tropical Storm Irene, have been reopened, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced this morning. Four of the trails start in the vicinity of the Ausable Lakes in the privately owned Adirondack Mountain Reserve: The Carry Trail between Lower and Upper Ausable Lake (trail #54 in the Adirondack Mountain Club’s High Peaks guidebook). Trail from the Carry Trail to the Colvin Range Trail (#55 in the book). Trail from Warden’s Camp at the foot of Upper Ausable to Sawteeth Mountain (#57) Trail from Warden’s Camp to Haystack Mountain >>More


October, 2011

Climbing the new Saddleback slide

The new issue of the Explorer (November/December) will include a two-page spread on climbing five new slides created by Tropical Storm Irene in the High Peaks. I’ve blogged about my climbs of four of them (see links below), but I have yet to write about my climb of the long slide on Saddleback Mountain. I climbed it two weekends ago with Ron Konowitz. It’s steep enough in places that I would recommend rock-climbing shoes or approach shoes. You can easily reach the Saddleback slide via the Ore Bed Brook Trail in Johns Brook Valley. Starting from the suspension bridge near the >>More


October, 2011

Climbing the ‘new’ Trap Dike

On Sunday I climbed the Trap Dike for the first time since Tropical Storm Irene triggered a landslide above and inside the dike. The slide swept away nearly all of the trees inside the canyon and created a new exit, a slab of clean white rock that can be followed to the top of Mount Colden. Before Irene, the guidebook Adirondack Rock awarded the Trap Dike five stars, its highest rating for the overall quality of the climb. Since Irene, the climb is even better. The Trap Dike must be approached with caution: it’s considered a third- or fourth-class climb >>More


October, 2011

Keene seeks volunteers for Irene cleanup

The town of Keene is looking for volunteers to help with the post-Irene cleanup. The town plans to undertake a number of cleanup projects every weekend through November 5. This Saturday, people will be removing mud from the basement of a house on Styles Brook Road, according to Joe Pete Wilson Jr., the town’s volunteer coordinator. Because of the mud, the homeowner has been unable to turn on the heat since the storm. Next weekend (October 15-16), volunteers will clean mud and debris from the Keene Library and pick up debris at the community center’s playing fields. On the following >>More


October, 2011

DEC reopens trail to Panther Gorge

The state has reopened the trail from Elk Lake to Panther Gorge but warns that hikers still may encounter blowdown. The 10.2-mile route leads from the private Elk Lake to Four Corners, a trail junction that lies amid Mount Haystack, Mount Skylight, and Mount Marcy. The trail had been closed since August 29, the day after Tropical Storm Irene roared through the High Peaks. Several trails remain closed. The following list of closed trails is a news release issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation: Adirondack Mountain Reserve Trails: The first (northernmost) two cross over trails between the East River Trail and >>More


October, 2011

DEC to repair damaged streams

The state Department of Environmental Conservation intends to restore the natural character of streams that were altered by bulldozers and backhoes in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, according to Christopher Amato, the department’s assistant commissioner for natural resources. Amato said he agrees with environmental activists that some streams were damaged by cleanup crews after Irene. Numerous streams in the Ausable River watershed overflowed and cut new channels during Irene. Afterward, crews used bulldozers and other equipment to rechannel the streams. Critics contend that the workers destroyed habitat for trout and other fish by straightening channels, removing gravel and boulders, >>More


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