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Adirondack Explorer

February, 2012

Winter search and rescue report

Recently, forest rangers have engaged in several high-profile search-and-rescues in the High Peaks Wilderness. Perhaps the one that got the most attention was the rescue of Steve Mastaitis, who spent the night in a snow hole on Mount Marcy. Three others were rescued the following weekend in the High Peaks Wilderness. Today, the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 5, which encompasses most of the Adirondack Park, released a report of this winter’s rescue searches. It does not recount the Mastaitis rescue, but you can read about that by clicking here. The DEC report follows verbatim. (Click here to read my >>More


February, 2012

Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival this weekend

The Mountaineer in Keene Valley will host the tenth annual Backcountry Ski Festival this weekend. Most of the ski tours are full, but you can try out gear for free at the rope-tow hill at North Country School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. That night, skiing legend Glen Plake will show slides and videos of his backcountry adventures. The presentation starts at 7:30 at Keene Central School. Admission is $10. Click here for more details.


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


February, 2012

Video of skiing the Trap Dike

When I skied to Avalanche Lake a week ago, the bottom of the Trap Dike in Mount Colden didn’t have much snow. Evidently, there is enough snow higher up to ski the dike and the upper slide. The video below is from Drew Haas’s website Adirondack Backcountry Skiing. The site has a number of other videos worth checking out. 2/20/2012 from ADKBCSKI on Vimeo.


February, 2012

Partnering with Adirondack Almanack

We’re pleased to announce that the Adirondack Explorer has formed a partnership with the Adirondack Almanack. The first sign of the changes to come is a link to the Almanack on the Explorer home page. More substantial changes lie ahead. Following is a news release issued this afternoon.  Adirondack Explorer and Adirondack Almanack form partnership The Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine and the online journal Adirondack Almanack have formed a partnership designed to enhance the online presence of both media outlets. Tom Woodman, the publisher of the Explorer, and John Warren, the founder of the Almanack, signed an agreement today to integrate >>More


February, 2012

DEC to build bridge over Marcy Brook

Marcy Dam pond after Irene.

Sometime this year hikers will have a brand-new bridge for crossing Marcy Brook on their way to Mount Marcy and other destinations in the High Peaks Wilderness. The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to build the bridge about a quarter-mile downstream from Marcy Dam. The old bridge at the dam was washed away during Tropical Storm Irene in August. After Irene, hikers had to rock hop across Marcy Brook at a place known as the Squirrel Crossing. The new bridge will be upstream of the Squirrel Crossing, according to DEC spokesman David Winchell. Winchell said the log-stringer bridge will >>More


February, 2012

Ski trip to Avalanche Pass

Avalanche Lake

  We sent files for the March/April Explorer to the print shop Monday, so I took the next day off to ski to Avalanche Pass and, given the dearth of snow this winter, was surprised at the quality of the skiing. I also tried out our new Go Pro video camera during the descent of Avalanche Pass. It worked much better than my old system of strapping a point-and-shoot to my chest during my downhill schusses. You can check it out here: We may get rain this week, so the conditions could change, but for what it’s worth, here’s my >>More


January, 2012

The strange shape of Senate District 47

In North Country Public Radio’s blog the In Box, Brian Mann describes the proposed redistricting of the New York State Senate as a naked power grab by Republicans (click here to read his post). He writes that the plan “is really designed to do one simple thing: maintain a fragile GOP majority.” He points out that it pits six Democratic incumbents against each other in re-election races. “Meanwhile, not a single Republican lawmaker faces serious disruption or an intra-party battle,” Mann says. In other words, it appears to be a classic case of gerrymandering. I’m sure many of you know that >>More


January, 2012

Betty Little stands to lose Hamilton County

Betty Little's proposed Senate district.

State Senator Betty Little will no longer represent Hamilton County, one of two counties wholly within the Adirondack Park, under a redistricting plan released today. Little, a Republican, will continue to represent Adirondack communities in Essex, Franklin, Clinton, Warren and Washington counties—all located in the eastern or northern Adirondacks. She also will pick up six towns in St. Lawrence County, five of which are in the Park. (Essex County is the other county located entirely in the Park.) Dan MacEntee, Little’s spokesman, said the senator is disappointed to lose Hamilton County, as well as two towns in southern Washington County, >>More


January, 2012

DEC wants to expand bobcat harvest

The state Department of Environmental Conservation wants to allow more hunting and/or trapping of bobcats in many parts of the state, including the Adirondacks. In a draft five-year management plan, DEC reports that the state’s bobcat population—now estimated to be five thousand—has been growing, especially in the Southern Tier. Roughly twice the size of housecats, bobcats prey on a variety of species, from small voles to white-tailed deer. DEC says up to 20 percent of the state’s bobcats (i.e., a thousand animals) could be killed by hunters and trappers each year without hurting the population. In recent years, sportsmen have >>More


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