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


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


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