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Adirondack Explorer

September, 2017

Wilderness Huts Are Not The Adirondack Way

On July 15, 1932, two giants of conservation met on top of Mount Marcy: Bob Marshall and Paul Schaefer. Marshall was partway through a marathon hike that would take him to the summits of thirteen High Peaks. Schaefer was taking photos to be used in a campaign against a proposal to allow cabins in the Forest Preserve. Schaefer’s account of the chance meeting appears in an appendix to my book Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s Adirondack writings. When informed of the cabin proposal and various assaults on the Forest Preserve, Marshall became agitated and paced back >>More


September, 2017

Can Any Adirondack Hike Top Franconia Ridge?

I haven’t spent much time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, largely because there is so much to do here in the Adirondacks. It was a case of not knowing what I was missing. In late August, Carol MacKinnon Fox and I spent four days in the Whites, hiking and rock climbing. One of the highlights was a hike on Franconia Ridge. It’s a nine-mile loop that takes you over three of New Hampshire’s tallest peaks: Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Lafayette (at 5,260 feet, the highest of the three). We took the Falling Waters Trail (which lives up to its >>More


August, 2017

Feds To Rule Soon On Protecting Bicknell’s Thrush

Bicknell's thrush

The Bicknell’s thrush, which breeds in the Adirondacks and northern New England, is at risk from climate change, acid rain, mercury, and habitat destruction, but it is not on the federal list of endangered species. The Center for Biological Diversity is trying to change that. In 2010, the nonprofit organization filed a scientific petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to persuade the agency to designate the bird as endangered or threatened. The Bicknell’s thrush breeds only in high-elevation spruce-fir forests in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and southeastern Canada. Because of its limited range, scientists have long >>More


August, 2017

3-D Map Shows The High Peaks In Miniature

Do you have trouble visualizing the terrain shown on topo maps? Do contour lines mystify you? Summit Terragraphics may have just the thing for you. The West Virginia company has made a raised-relief map that does an impressive job of showing the topography of the High Peaks. You won’t be able to carry it in your pack, but it would look great on a wall. The company sells the map unframed for $42.95 and framed for $107.95 (there is a choice of four frames). It measures 32 inches by 22 inches. The scale is 1:62,500, the same as the Adirondack >>More


August, 2017

Outfitter Publishes 2 New Maps For Paddlers

St. Regis Canoe Outfitters recently published two full-color, waterproof maps for paddlers: “The Whitney Wilderness” and “The Raquette River.” Both are a convenient size—24 inches by 18 inches—and fold up like a brochure. The scale for both is 1:50,000. Though less detailed than U.S. Geographical Survey topo maps, they are more than adequate for paddlers. The maps show roads, parking areas, put-ins, campsites, lean-tos, and carry and hiking trails as well as natural features such as summits, wetlands, and, of course, waterways. Forest Preserve tracts are shaded green, whereas private lands are shown in white. The first map shows the >>More


August, 2017

Guide Rescues Solo Climber Near Chapel Pond

Shipton’s Arete is one of my favorite places to take a novice rock climber. The three routes on the arête are all pretty easy. There’s a good anchor for a top rope. And the arête overlooks scenic Chapel Pond. The easiest route, Shipton’s Voyage, is rated only 5.4 on the Yosemite Decimal System scale of difficulty—meaning most beginners can do it on a top rope. However, climbing Shipton’s Voyage—or any route—without a rope is another matter entirely. An eighteen-year-old man learned that lesson the hard way this month. On August 14, the young man set about soloing the arête, with >>More


July, 2017

Adirondack Moose Caught On Candid Camera

It seems that photos of moose are becoming more common with the return of these magnificent creatures to the Adirondacks. Last week, Jeff Nadler, a professional photographer, sent us a shot of a young moose he took near Great Sacandaga Lake in the southern Adirondacks. Today I’m sharing a photo of another young moose taken by a trail camera near Otter Lake in the southwestern Adirondacks. Joshua Bader set up two trail cameras just a few weeks ago on his property at a “pinch point” between a pond and a big marsh. Evidently, it’s a busy pathway for wildlife, as >>More


July, 2017

Mountaineer’s New Sign Is A Work Of Art

When Matt Horner, one of the region’s best ice climbers, fell on a route at Chapel Pond last winter, he had to stop working for a while. For Matt, work is guiding and sculpting, usually in rock and metal. Matt has recuperated well enough to resume his artwork, and his latest piece was unveiled Thursday evening at the Mountaineer in Keene Valley. It’s a nine-foot ice ax modeled on the Piolet d’Or, awarded in France to a mountaineer each year. Horner’s giant ax is mounted on a truncated cedar tree mounted on a large boulder. The Mountaineer’s sign hangs from the >>More


July, 2017

Lucky Photographer Sees Another Adirondack Moose

The historian Philip Terrie has written a book on Adirondack mammals, but he has never seen a moose in the Adirondacks. He is not alone. Although as many as a thousand moose (no one knows for sure) live in the Adirondack Park, you have to be lucky to see one. Jeff Nadler, a nature photographer from outside Saratoga Springs, is one of the lucky ones. He took the above photo last weekend in the town of Edinburg near Great Sacandaga Lake. He and his wife were driving on Fox Hill Road. “As we stopped and parked, the moose actually started >>More


July, 2017

Climbing Crane With The King Of The Mountain

Jay Harrison lives at the base of Crane Mountain, but he probably spends more time on the mountain’s many cliffs than in his house. The guidebook Adirondack Rock devotes no less than seventy-three pages to the rock-climbing routes on Crane. This is thanks to Harrison, who has participated in about 350 first ascents in the Adirondacks—more than anyone else. Most of his routes are at Crane. He clearly is the king of the mountain. In 2013, veteran climber Don Mellor wrote a profile of Harrison for the Explorer. It’s well worth reading, both for Don’s writing and for understanding who >>More


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