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Adirondack Explorer

September, 2011

The latest on Adirondack trail conditions

With the reopening of Route 73 and the Dix Mountain Wilderness, this seems like an appropriate time for an update on what’s open and what’s still closed. High Peaks Wilderness. All trails are open except the Southside Trail, Orebed Brook Trail, Cold Brook Pass Trail, Deer Brook Trail, and the trail from Elk Lake to Panther Gorge. Also, the Great Range trails cannot be accessed via the Ausable Club’s Lake Road, which is closed. The Southside and Orebed Brook trails were partly buried by landslides. “I can’t say for sure they’ll be open by the end of the week, but >>More


September, 2011

Climbing the new slide on Wright Peak

In 1999, Hurricane Floyd created two slides on Wright Peak that have proved popular with hikers and skiers. Irene has created a third—and much longer—slide next to those two, providing easy access to the others as well a new skiing/hiking route. Josh Wilson and I climbed the slide from top to bottom on Sunday. It’s almost exactly a mile long. Finding the slide was quick and easy. From the Memorial Lean-to (named in honor of Ed Hudowalski, an early Forty-Sixer) near Marcy Dam, we bushwhacked a quarter-mile, heading south of west, and came out on the base of the slide. >>More


September, 2011

Route 73, Dix Wilderness reopened

Route 73 south of Keene Valley and the Dix Mountain Areas were reopened today ahead of schedule. “Route 73 is a vital highway connecting residents and businesses in the North Country and today’s reopening is an important step in our recovery from Hurricane Irene,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. Cuomo initially pledged that one lane of the road would be reopened September 15 and both lanes by September 25. Instead, both lanes were reopened today. Cuomo’s office said workers logged about 2,700 hours and used about 150,000 tons of stone to fix the road. Click here to read the governor’s news >>More


September, 2011

Report on Avalanche Pass Trail

Yesterday I hiked with Josh Wilson to Avalanche Pass to check out the condition of the trail in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. The short story is that the trail sustained quite a bit more damage than the Van Hoevenberg Trail, which I hiked on Saturday. After we reached Avalanche Lake, I took the above photo of the Trap Dike on Mount Colden. Comparing it with the photo on the right, taken in 2009, you’ll see that the dike—at least as much of it as we can see—has been stripped of vegetation. Note the chocolate color of lake. While >>More


September, 2011

Mount Marcy trail in good condition

I hiked the Van Hoevenberg Trail to Mount Marcy today (Saturday) and found it fine shape, despite a few changes wrought by Hurricane Irene. It was just two days after the state Department of Environmental Conservation reopened the eastern High Peaks, and many hikers were out enjoying the sunshine. Starting at Adirondak Loj, the Van Hoevenberg Trail is the shortest and most popular route to the state’s highest summit. It ascends 3,166 feet over 7.4 miles. As we reported earlier, the floods caused by Irene washed away at the bridge at Marcy Dam, located 2.3 miles from the Loj. Consequently, >>More


September, 2011

High Peaks trail conditions

It looks like it will be great hiking weather this weekend. If you’re planning on visiting the High Peaks region, bear in mind that conditions on the reopened trails may be dodgy in places. This might be a good time to visit another part of the Adirondack Park. Remember, we’ve got about 2.6 million acres of public Forest Preserve. If you insist on going to the High Peaks, I encourage you to check out the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s online updates of trail conditions. It contains useful information about damage and reroutes on specific trails. Some of the more >>More


September, 2011

New slide on Saddleback

Hurricane Irene triggered a number of debris slides in the High Peaks. Because the High Peaks Wilderness was shut down the day after the storm, few people have seen the slides up close, but Brendan Wiltse managed to get up a new slide on Saddleback before the hiking ban took effect. As he neared the top, he snapped this photo of his friend. The view is toward Gothics and other peaks in the Great Range. Most of the trails in the High Peaks Wilderness were reopened today. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is not prohibitng people from climbing the >>More


September, 2011

High Peaks trails are open, but be careful

Most trails in the eastern High Peaks are now open, but state officials warn that hikers may encounter blowdown and erosion and find that footbridges are missing. “Hikers must pay close attention as there are reroutes and also a lot of new eroded drainages that people may assume are the trail,” said David Winchell, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. “Numerous trails have been rerouted,” Winchell added. “All are short minor reroutes.” One of the reroutes is below Marcy Dam on the Van Hoevenberg Trail, the most popular trail to Mount Marcy. The floods caused by Hurricane >>More


September, 2011

DEC opens most trails in High Peaks

The state Department of Environmental Conservation reopened today a number of trails in the High Peaks Wilderness and Giant Mountain Wilderness that were closed after Hurricane Irene, including trails to Mount Marcy, the state’s highest peak. Trails in the Dix Mountain Wilderness will remain closed at least until Route 73 is reopened. The storm had eroded many trails, washed out footbridges, felled trees, and triggered numerous landslides in the High Peaks region. John Million, deputy director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, commended DEC for its efforts to reopen trails. “ADK is very pleased that DEC has worked hard to open >>More


September, 2011

Irene destroyed or damaged 228 homes

Hurricane Irene destroyed thirty-one homes in Essex and Clinton counties and damaged 197 others, according to the North Country chapter of American Red Cross. “We’ve never seen this many homes damaged by the rain, the flooding, and the wind,” Jeanie Roberts, the chapter’s executive director, told the Explorer today. Indeed, Roberts said Irene was more devastating than any natural disaster she has witnessed in her twenty-five years on the job—including the ice storm of 1998. Although the ice storm left homes without power for weeks, she said, “at the end of it everyone had somewhere to go.” Nearly all the >>More