January, 2017

Adirondack Wilderness Advocates Issues Boreas Analysis

Adirondack Wilderness Advocates has sent the Adirondack Park Agency a detailed paper, replete with photos, maps, and charts, arguing for a Wilderness classification for nearly all of the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract. The 46-page document also contains recommendations for several other lands recently added to the public Forest Preserve. The first half of the document is devoted to the Boreas Ponds Tract, the most controversial and largest of the classification decisions facing the APA. Adirondack Wilderness Advocates was formed last year by Bill Ingersoll, Brendan Wiltse, and Pete Nelson to counter classification proposals from environmental groups that they say fail >>More


December, 2016

The Powder Is Gone, But We Still Have A Good Base

On Saturday, my girlfriend Carol and I skied up the unplowed Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway. From the tollbooth to the end of the road it’s a 5.4-mile climb, long but not very steep. It took us roughly three hours. Of course, the descent is the fun part. It normally takes less than an hour. Because there was so much powder, our downhill run took a little longer. In places, the skiing was almost too mellow, especially between the two hairpin turns. Often we pushed with our poles to sustain momentum. Since this was Carol’s first time skiing the highway, this >>More


November, 2016

John Turner’s Classic Climbs At Poke-o-Moonshine

Tuesday started out beautiful. Mild temperatures. Not a cloud in the sky. After voting, Will Roth and I drove from Saranac Lake to Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain to climb one of the cliff’s mega-classic routes, Gamesmanship. There was just one other party at the cliff: two guys were roping up for Gamesmanship as we arrived at the base. Two parties, with more than 300 routes to choose from, and both opted for Gamesmanship. That says plenty about this 575-foot route. The guidebook Adirondack Rock awards it five stars, its highest rating for the overall quality of the climbing. The route is also >>More


November, 2016

‘Explorer’ Publishes Multisport Guide To Finch, Pruyn Lands

The Adirondack Explorer has published a multisport guidebook to the former Finch, Pruyn lands to let people know of the many recreational opportunities on tracts that had been off limits to the public for more than a century. 12 Adventures on New State Lands: Exploring the Finch, Pruyn Tracts has something for everyone: the hiker, the paddler, the mountain biker, the cross-country skier, even the rock climber. The book is a celebration of the state’s acquisition of 65,000 acres of the former Finch lands from the Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy. The last parcel, the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract, was purchased by >>More


November, 2016

Pinned Steps: A Suitable Way Up Bedrock Trails?

The Adirondack Explorer‘s November/December issue is in the mail, but Mike Lynch’s story on deteriorating trails in the High Peaks is already gaining attention on the Adirondack Almanack, the Explorer‘s online journal. The article, headlined “Trails showing their age,” notes that a combination of poor design and heavy use has led to severe erosion on trails. Older trails tend to go straight up a slope. In some cases, erosion can be mitigated by rerouting the trails to create switchbacks. Unfortunately, at higher elevations, where the soil is thin, cutting into the slope to create switchbacks may not be possible. In a comment >>More


May, 2016

Dick Booth to step down from APA board

The Adirondack Park Agency board will soon lose its strongest defender of wilderness: Dick Booth does not intend to serve another term. Booth’s current four-year term expires June 30, but he said he will stay on awhile if a successor is not appointed by then. A professor in Cornell’s Department of City and Regional Planning, Booth told the Adirondack Explorer he is leaving partly out of frustration with decisions at the agency. He also said the long drive from Ithaca to Ray Brook for monthly meetings and poring over stacks of documents in preparation for those meetings proved draining over >>More


October, 2015

DEC Tickets Hiker After Keg Party On Phelps

You may have seen the photos on Facebook this week of a bunch of hikers having a keg party on top of Phelps Mountain. The photos sparked a lot of comments. Many people (not all) condemned the hikers. In researching the matter for the next issue of the Adirondack Explorer, Mike Lynch discovered that the guy behind the party has been ticketed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Given the interest in the story, we thought we’d post it here before we go to press.   By Mike Lynch and Phil Brown A hiker who posted photos of a keg party >>More


September, 2015

Biking An Old Woods Road To Pine Pond

Last winter Carol Fox and I skied from Averyville outside Lake Placid to Oseetah Lake outside Saranac Lake, following an old woods road that constitutes part of the northern boundary of the High Peaks Wilderness. We had a great time. You will be able to read about our adventure in a forthcoming issue of the Adirondack Explorer. On Labor Day weekend I returned to the old road with my mountain bike and rode about six and a half miles to Pine Pond, a beautiful body of water with a sandy beach. As on our ski trip, I saw ample evidence >>More


April, 2015

DEC Proposes Trail, Lean-to In Pepperbox Wilderness

The 22,560-acre Pepperbox in the western Adirondacks is one of the smaller Wilderness Areas in the Park, but it also is one of the wildest. It has no lean-tos and only two miles of foot trails. The State Land Master Plan observes that the lack of a trail system “offers an opportunity to retain a portion of the Adirondack landscape in a state that even a purist might call wilderness.” Now the state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing to create a 1.3-mile trail to Gregg Lake and build a lean-to at a primitive campsite on the lake. The trail >>More


April, 2015

Yes, It’s April, But Don’t Put Away Skis Yet

It may be April, but there’s still skiing to be had in the backcountry. On Tuesday morning I skied to the top of Dewey Mountain outside Saranac Lake and enjoyed a fun run down in virtually midwinter conditions. Last weekend, Carol MacKinnon Fox and I skied over the summit of Mount Van Hoevenberg and found plenty of snow on the descent. There also was plenty of snow last weekend on the Mr. Van Trail in the High Peaks Wilderness. I hear the conditions at higher elevations were fantastic. The Adirondack Ski Touring Council reports there is still five to six >>More


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