April, 2017

Spring Skiing On Mount Marcy

The equinox occurred on March 20. The baseball season opened on April 2. Nevertheless, spring has not arrived on the top of Mount Marcy. I skied Marcy this past Monday and found good conditions from Adirondak Loj all the way to the summit (see videos below). With this week’s rain and warm weather, conditions won’t be as good this weekend, but the snow at higher elevations will be around for quite a while. The last signpost on Marcy, about a half-mile from the top, was mostly buried, with just a foot or so sticking out of the snow. Hikers and >>More


January, 2013

Baker above the clouds

View from the summit of Baker Mountain. Photo by Phil Brown.

It’s not often that little Baker Mountain (elevation, 2,452 feet) in Saranac Lake rises above the clouds, but it did this morning. I took this picture a little after 9 a.m. A rolling ocean of clouds filled the valleys. In the distance are the High Peaks, with Mount Marcy and Algonquin Peak especially prominent. To the right of the tree in the foreground is the scar on Scarface Mountain. We got a wonderful dump of powder yesterday. Unfortunately, they’re predicting freezing drizzle today and rain tomorrow. However, there is snow in the forecast later in the week. Keep your fingers >>More


February, 2012

Cold night on Marcy: a survivor’s tale

Jane and Steve Mastaitis at Adirondack Medical Center. Photo by Phil Brown.

  He had a watch but was afraid to look at it. Instead he tried to gauge time by the slow movement of the stars across the sky. Alas, he forgot that he set his watch alarm for 4 a.m. “When it went off, I was disappointed,” he said. “I knew I had to wait some more.” By then, Steve Mastaitis had been curled up inside a snow hole near the summit of Mount Marcy for more than nine hours, shivering uncontrollably, suffering from frostbite, fearing the worst. The temperature fell to near zero during the night, with a wind-chill factor of >>More


April, 2011

Video: Mount Arab snowshoe

The Explorer‘s intern, Evan Williams, climbed Mount Arab recently with his father and captured the adventure on video. Arab is a small summit west of Tupper Lake. It’s a great destination if you’re looking for a short, easy hike. The hike to the 2,545-foot summit is only a mile. The Friends of Mount Arab have restored the fire tower, which offers a panoramic view of the western Adirondacks. But enough of my words. Watch Evan’s video. Snowshoeing Mount Arab


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


October, 2009

Prepare for winter

There’s snow in the High Peaks now, so if you plan on hiking to a summit, you’d be smart to pack a pair of Yaktrax, MicroSpikes, or similar grippers for your feet. On Sunday, my daughter Martha and I encountered snow and ice on the trail from Crow Clearing in Keene to Hurricane Mountain, which at 3,694 is not even a High Peak. This trail ascends the north side of the mountain, so it doesn’t get much sun. Hikers who came up the trail from Route 9N to the south told us they did not find snow until just below >>More