March, 2017

Trail Advocates Join Adirondack Rail-Trail Lawsuit

Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates filed a friend-of-the-court brief this week in the lawsuit over the state’s plan to remove 34 miles of railroad tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake and create a trail for bicycling, hiking, snowmobiling, and other pursuits. ARTA joined the suit on the side of three state agencies being sued: the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Transportation, and the Adirondack Park Agency. The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, based in Utica, contends the plan to divide the state-owned Adirondack Rail Corridor into an 85-mile rail segment and a 34-mile trail segment is illegal. DEC and >>More


March, 2017

Dog-Poop Problem At Lake Placid’s Henry’s Woods

Henry’s Woods on the outskirts of Lake Placid is a popular destination for hikers even in winter. I stopped there Tuesday afternoon for a lunch-hour ski trip, figuring the trails would be well packed and slick. Indeed, since the big snowstorm last week, the trails have seen a lot of use from skiers, snowshoers, and bare-booters. Oh, and dogs. As is my wont, I skied the Loop Trail counterclockwise, with a detour on the Plateau Trail. In all, the trip is roughly three miles. The conditions were pretty good. The trail was packed, with room to snowplow, but it was >>More


March, 2017

All This Fresh Snow Is Wonderful, But …

When the snow finally stopped this week, we had about three feet of powder in Saranac Lake. On Thursday afternoon, I decided to check out the ski conditions on Baker Mountain, a small peak on the outskirts of the village. My idea was to ski up the hiking trail and then descend through the woods. With this much snow, I wouldn’t have to worry about careering out of control and slamming into a tree. Baker is a favorite of local residents (for hiking, not skiing), so I figured the trail would be broken in, and indeed it was. I followed >>More


March, 2017

Snowshoer Rejects Plea Deal In Sex-Abuse Case

A snowshoer from India charged with abusing a 12-year-old girl in Saranac Lake has rejected a plea bargain, choosing instead to put his fate in the hands of a grand jury. In a case that has attracted international attention, Tanveer Hussain, 24, of Kashmir faces charges of first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. Hussain’s attorney, Brian Barrett of Lake Placid, said Hussain was offered a chance to plead guilty to the misdemeanor and return home, but his client refused. Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague confirmed the deal was offered. St. Armand >>More


March, 2017

Explorer Launches Adirondack Photo Contest

I’ve never met an unhappy dog in the woods. And one of the happiest in these parts is Ella, the canine companion of Susan Bibeau, the Explorer’s designer. We’re showing you Ella’s photo to goad you into sending us photos of your favorite mutt in the Adirondacks. This is the idea of Tracy Ormsbee, our new publisher. Following is her request to all of you reading this: Send us your Adirondack pics “We know you have a good shot of the Adirondacks in that phone full of photos. The Adirondack Explorer is beginning a new photo feature, Views of the >>More


February, 2017

Skiing Mt. Marcy In Five Minutes

  I had hoped to ski Mount Marcy last week, but work and travel got in the way. I expect we’ll have other chances before the winter ends. Meantime, I put together a five-minute video of a Marcy ski trip from a few years ago. It contains snippets shot with a helmet cam while descending the summit cone and various sections of trail: just below treeline, the Marcy Plateau, the ridge below the plateau, the Corkscrew, the chute above Indian Falls, the ski trail below Indian Falls (where I fell), and the hiking trail along Phelps Brook. If you’re curious >>More


February, 2017

Dreaming Of Skiing Mount Marcy Again

Last week we enjoyed the best backcountry-ski conditions we’ve had in a while. I am using the editorial we; I didn’t enjoy them because I was sick all week. By Saturday, I was feeling good enough to venture out to Dewey Mountain for a few hours, where my girlfriend Carol and I explored the ungroomed trails near the summit. Unfortunately, the temperature that day soared well above freezing, and so the fluffy powder that fell last week had consolidated into mashed potatoes. Still, I was glad to be skiing at all. The next day we skied on a snowmobile trail in Wilmington on >>More


January, 2017

A Frustrating Winter For Backcountry Skiers

It’s been another frustrating winter for backcountry skiers. We haven’t had a big storm. Just as the snow starts to build up, we’re hit with a rainy thaw. That was the case again this week. Following an icy rain, we got a few inches of heavy, wet snow in Saranac Lake. This afternoon I skied the trails at Dewey Mountain Recreation Center to check out the conditions. The groomed trails on the lower slopes were in fine shape, as expected, but I was more interested in the ungroomed trails at the top, which are one indication of backcountry conditions. Again, no >>More


January, 2017

Don Mellor Publishes New Ice-Climbing Guidebook

Don Mellor’s second edition of Blue Lines: An Adirondack Ice Climber’s Guide, published this month (just in time for this weekend’s Mountainfest), is a testament to the popularity of an erstwhile fringe sport. In Blue Lines 2, the new title, Mellor describes almost six hundred ice-climbing routes throughout the Adirondack Park. In contrast, the 1995 edition of Mellor’s Climbing in the Adirondacks, described about 140 ice routes (and many more rock routes). The initial edition of Blue Lines covered about 350 ice routes. “Ed Palen told me that once Blue Lines was done in 2006, that would be it,” Mellor >>More


January, 2017

Powder Play In The Five Ponds Wilderness

I have not been delighted with the skiing conditions in the Lake Placid area this winter. There is decent snow, especially at higher elevations, but we haven’t had a big storm. As a result, rocky trails at lower elevations often lack adequate cover. And so last weekend I found myself driving west in search of deep powder. I found it in the Five Ponds Wilderness. My girlfriend Carol and I skied from Wanakena, a hamlet on the Oswegatchie River, to Glasby Pond about five miles away. As soon as we hit the trail, we were in heaven. Snow weighed down >>More


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