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


September, 2011

Climbing the Cascade Mountain slide

People driving between Keene and Lake Placid can see dramatic evidence of Tropical Storm Irene: a slide scar in the drainage between the two Cascade Lakes. The large waterfall in this drainage has always been visible—it accounts for the lakes’ name—but it is now much more conspicuous. The rains of Irene stripped the sides of the brook of trees and soil, leaving a wide swath of bedrock. Because the slide is easily accessible, it’s sure to attract more than its share of hikers and skiers. Indeed, when I climbed it Sunday afternoon I met Kevin MacKenzie, a passionate slide climber, >>More


September, 2011

New slide on Seward?

By now, many hikers have heard that Tropical Storm Irene triggered numerous slides in the eastern High Peaks, most notably in the Great Range and the MacIntyre Range and on Mount Colden. The western High Peaks did not receive as much rain, and so they survived the storm relatively unchanged. This morning, however, I flew over the western High Peaks region with Jim Knowles, a volunteer pilot with LightHawk, which provides flights for nonprofit organizations (the Explorer is a nonprofit), and noticed what appeared to be a fresh scar on the south side of Seward Mountain. We were flying over >>More


September, 2011

New Adirondack slide is challenging

Hikers going to Avalanche Lake might be tempted to explore the new slide in Avalanche Pass. It starts right off the trail, ascends for a full mile, and offers wide vistas that take in a dozen or so High Peaks. However, it is considerably more dangerous than your average slide and should not be undertaken unless you have plenty of experience on slides or in rock climbing. I first visited the slide a week ago and saw how steep it is. I returned on Saturday with rock-climbing shoes and ascended the whole thing, then bushwhacked to the beautiful summit of >>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

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


February, 2011

Sliding off the Kilburn Slide

The March/April issue of the Explorer contains an article about skiing the Kilburn Slide outside Lake Placid. I went with Josh Wilson, a backcountry snowboarder, shortly after a big snowfall that prompted an avalanche warning for the region. One purpose of the trip was to test the avalanche conditions on the slide. The greater purpose, though, was to ski (or snowboard) the thing. Josh went down in superb fashion, carving big curves in the snow and at one point gliding off a small cliff. I skied badly, however. I’m just not used to skiing slides. Most of my backcountry skiing >>More


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


January, 2011

Adirondack Mountainfest this weekend

The fifteenth annual Adirondack International Mountaineering Festival comes to Keene this weekend. As usual, the Mountaineer and Rock and River have attracted elite climbers to the event and are offering a variety of classes for those who want to learn or polish mountaineering skills. Most of the classes are full, but there are still openings for classes in ice climbing, slide climbing, snowshoe mountaineering, and avalanche training. Check the Mountainfest website for updates. A variety of sponsors, including Black Diamond, Outdoor Research, Patagonia, and La Sportiva, will have gear available for testing in the field. In addition to the classes, >>More


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