December, 2014

Molpus Now The Park’s Largest Landowner

A Mississippi company has purchased 112,200 acres of timberlands in the northern Adirondacks, making it the largest landowner in the Adirondack Park. Molpus Woodlands Group bought the land in December, greatly expanding its holdings in the Park. It now owns about 273,000 acres in the Adirondacks. Lyme Timber Company owns 239,500 acres, according to Managing Director Peter Stein. Lyme has sold 121,000 acres in recent years. The 112,200 acres, located largely in Franklin, St. Lawrence, and Lewis counties, were bought from the Forestland Group. The land was previously owned by Champion International. As a result of a deal with Champion >>More

July, 2014

2 New Maps From St. Regis Canoe Outfitters

St. Regis Canoe Outfitters has published two new waterproof maps for paddlers, one covering the three Saranac Lakes, the other covering the St. Regis Canoe Area. The color maps cover some of the same territory as the Adirondack Paddler’s Map, also published by St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, but the new maps are more detailed and, being smaller, easier to handle. They’re also less expensive: $9.95 versus $19.95 for the Adirondack Paddler’s Map (which is four times as large). “Many first-time visitors are going to grab a $10 map before they grab a $20 map,” said Dave Cilley, owner of St. >>More

July, 2014

Adirondack Club & Resort Wins Court Approval

In a 5-0 decision, a state appellate court today rejected environmentalists’ arguments that the Adirondack Park Agency erred in approving the Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR), a massive development proposed in the town of Tupper Lake. The decision by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court is a major victory for the developers, Preserve Associates, as well as local residents who have supported the project, the largest housing development in the Park’s history. Preserve Associates plans to build more than 600 vacation homes of various kinds—from condos to Great Camps—on 6,000 acres near the Big Tupper Ski Area, which the >>More

July, 2014

DEC Opens Moss Cliff To Climbers

Just in time for the holiday weekend, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is giving rock climbers access again to Moss Cliff, one of the region’s better crags. Moss Cliff had been closed to avoid disturbance of peregrine falcons during nesting season, but DEC has detected no nesting activity on the cliff this year. Located in Wilmington Notch,the 400-foot cliff towers over Route 86 and the West Branch of the Ausable River. It’s a landmark to motorists, but climbers know it for its clean rock and tough routes. Elsewhere, falcon nesting has been confirmed. As a result, Upper Washbowl Cliff >>More

May, 2014

Rock-fall At Shipton’s Arete

The other day my neighbor Tim Peartree and I went to Shipton’s Arete overlooking Chapel Pond for some early-season climbing. When we got there we found mud, stones, and a few broken trees at the base. It was the debris from a huge rock-fall that wiped out much of the wooded area above the cliff. We moved a tree and several branches from the base before beginning to climb. I climbed a 120-foot route called Shipton’s Voyage with the intention of setting up a top rope. Upon reaching the top, I discovered that the rock-fall had damaged the cedar tree >>More

February, 2014

Skiing A Pair Of Adirondack Passes

We just finished our March/April issue of the Adirondack Explorer, so I took Tuesday off to go backcountry skiing and take advantage of the recent snowfalls (before a looming thaw sets in). My neighbor Tim Peartree and I skied through two mountain passes. The first, Avalanche Pass, is one of the most popular ski trips in the Adirondacks. From Heart Lake, it’s about four miles to the top of the pass and an additional 0.6 miles to Avalanche Lake. If you do the trip, I highly recommend you visit the lake. It’s one of the scenic wonders of the High >>More

February, 2014

Lake Placid Region Picks Up 7-10 Inches of Snow.

Although schools were closed, today was not a snow day at the Adirondack Explorer. We are busy working on our March-April issue. However, I did manage to get out on my lunch hour for a short ski. I climbed most of the way up a small peak on the edge of town and skied back down through the woods in fresh, deep powder. I had skied the same route a few days earlier and found the cover a little thin. Today, however, there was so much snow that it was difficult to pick up momentum. That’s OK … as long >>More

February, 2014

Fresh Powder Just What Jackrabbit Trail Needed

We got a few inches of fresh powder overnight and may get an additional four to nine inches before the day is done. Let’s hope the forecast is on target. Before work, I went for a short ski on the Jackrabbit Trail outside Saranac Lake. Starting on McKenzie Pond Road, I made first tracks to the top of the small hill just beyond McKenzie Pond, a round trip of a little more than four miles. With the snow we got last night and over the weekend, the skiing was much better than it was a few weeks ago. In a >>More

February, 2014

Marcy Trail Needs More Snow For Skiing

Well, I couldn’t wait any longer. After we got a few inches of snow Saturday night, I decided to ski Mount Marcy. From Adirondak Loj Road, I started by skiing up South Meadow Road. On Saturday afternoon, I had skied the road and the Marcy Dam Truck Trail as far as Marcy Dam. The road had been in great shape for skiing, but the truck trail had a lot of exposed rocks. What a difference a day makes. The extra snow was enough to bury virtually all the rocks. Also, Forest Ranger Jim Giglinto cut through the worst of a >>More

January, 2014

Ice Climbing as a Substitute for Skiing

I don’t need to remind you how bad the backcountry skiing has been this year. As of this morning, the Adirondack Ski Touring Council wouldn’t even recommend skiing on the Marcy Dam Truck Trail. But it has been cold this winter, so I figured the ice climbing must be good. Just over a week ago, in fact, there were ice climbers crawling all over Keene and Keene Valley during the Mountaineer’s annual Mountainfest. Nevertheless, Don Mellor, author of Blue Lines: An Adirondack Ice Climber’s Guide, says the climbing this winter has been only so-so. “Some good flash freezes hit Poke-O—wet >>More

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