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Adirondack Explorer

January, 2014

Western Adirondacks Best Bet For Nordic Skiers

The Tug Hill region east of Lake Ontario got clobbered by a lake-effect snowstorm Tuesday.  I was hoping we’d get a decent snowfall in Saranac Lake, but we received little more than dusting. The woods on Baker Mountain looked pretty this morning, but they would have made for ugly skiing. The western Adirondacks, however, picked up several inches of fresh snow. Chris Tapper, business manager of Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company in Old Forge, said the Old Forge area got about five inches of light snow. The area now has about eight inches on the ground, and Tapper said most trails >>More

December, 2013

Have a brewski in honor of Ron Kon

Adirondack Brewery in Lake George has come up with a clever marketing campaign that features regional athletes and outdoor enthusiasts on its packages. The one shown here recognizes Ron Konowitz, the only person known to have skied all forty-six of the High Peaks. Ron, who lives in Keene, is president of the Adirondack Powder Skier Association, an organization that is pushing for more ski trails in the Adirondacks and for the right to maintain natural ski glades. Ron, a retired schoolteacher, also is the coordinator of the local fire department’s rescue squad.

December, 2013

Lost hikers, stranded climbers, and other rescuees

Region 5 of the state Department of Environmental Conservation has released its ranger report for October and November. The report appears below, unedited. Essex County Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, at approximately 4:10 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker had been separated from her hiking partner. Patricia Yakaboski, 43, of St. Augustine, FL, was hiking Porter Mountain with her partner when they became separated. Ms. Yakaboski hadn*t been seen in one hour. A DEC Forest Ranger and a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer responded and began checking the trailheads >>More

November, 2013

DEC Closes Trail In High Peaks Wilderness

Editor’s note: Since this post was written, the bridge and trail have been opened. I hope you’re not planning to climb Mount Adams this weekend. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has closed the trail that offers the easiest access to the 3,520-foot summit in the High Peaks Wilderness. DEC spokesman David Winchell said the trail will reopen, probably within a few weeks, after the department finishes work on a new bridge that spans the Hudson River at the start of the trail. The old bridge was destroyed during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. This summer, the Student Conservation Association >>More

November, 2013

A Taste Of The Climbing Bum’s Life

For young climbers, the road trip is a rite of passage. Eschewing such mundane concerns as food and work, they cross the country to visit revered climbing locales such as the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, Red Rocks in Nevada, and Joshua Tree and Yosemite in California. I was never a young climber. I took up the sport in my fifties. I couldn’t just quit my job and become a nomadic climbing bum. And so I did all my climbing in the Adirondacks, except for one afternoon at a small cliff in Little Falls. In >>More

September, 2013

Odd News About Wildlife

This is a day for strange wildlife stories. First I read in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that hiker on the Northville-Placid Trail stabbed a bear that had been following her. The bear took off; she’s all right. Read the story here. Then I read on the Times Union’s website that a bull moose had wandered into a backyard in Halfmoon, a suburb of Albany. State officials tranquilized the animal and planned to release it in the southern Adirondacks. Read the story here. Finally, the Associated Press reports that a deer in Ellenburg jumped through one window of a moving vehicle >>More

September, 2013

Climbing Roaring Brook Falls on Giant Mountain

One of the most well-known (and often photographed) waterfalls in the Adirondacks has to be Roaring Brook Falls, which can be seen from Route 73 plunging down the shoulder of Giant Mountain. Since taking up rock climbing several years ago, I have been drawn to the prospect of climbing the three-hundred-foot falls. This isn’t a new idea: Jim Goodwin described climbing Roaring Brook Falls in a 1938 article for the Adirondack Mountain Club. The falls also are mentioned in A Climber’s Guide to the Adirondacks, the region’s first climbing guidebook, published in 1967. Adirondack Rock, the modern guidebook, rates Roaring >>More

August, 2013

Rockfall on Wallface climbing route

Veteran climber Don Mellor regards Free Ride on Wallface as one of the better rock-climbing routes in the East, but when he scaled it last weekend it was not the same. Mellor discovered that thousands of pounds of rock had fallen from the belay station at the end of the sixth pitch, known as the Lunch Ledge. “What’s left is an arch propped up by blocks,” he said. Not trusting the stability of the arch, he climbed ten feet past it (and to the left) to set up a belay in another spot. “It doesn’t affect the climb at all,” >>More

July, 2013

Family takes the Saranac Lake 6 challenge

After lunch today, I climbed Baker Mountain for the first time since the village of Saranac Lake inaugurated its Saranac Lake 6er challenge in May. Baker always sees a lot foot traffic on a sunny summer day, but there seemed to be an unusual number of cars at the trailhead. I suspected that at least some of the hikers were in pursuit of their 6er patch. My suspicion was confirmed when I reached the summit and met my neighbors, Steve and Sunita Halasz, with their two sons, Galen, 8, and Oliver, 4. They were picnicking with their friend Jessica Seem >>More

July, 2013

Climbing A New Slide In The Adirondacks

Soon after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, I climbed several slides in the High Peaks that had been created or much enlarged by the storm’s deluge. Some of these have become somewhat popular, such as the so-called Catastrophic Chaos on Saddleback and the slide leading from the Trap Dike to the summit of Mount Colden. A few weeks ago, I climbed a new slide that apparently has seen almost no traffic. I went there with Kevin “Mudrat” MacKenzie, who first climbed it last year, and a Canadian known only as NP. Mudrat has named it the Buttress Slide as it >>More

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