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January, 2010

Bob Marshall’s booklet online

Bob Marshall was one of the original Adirondack Forty-Sixers, but he thought he was born too late. He would have preferred to have lived in the nineteenth century, before the Adirondacks were overrun by civilization. Well, Bob is now part of the twenty-first century. John Warren, the guy behind the Adirondack Almanack, reports in his blog that a number of old Adirondack books have been digitized and put online. Among them is Marshall’s 1922 booklet The High Peaks of the Adirondacks. It can be read online or downloaded for free. Marshall wrote the booklet after he and his younger brother, >>More


January, 2010

Steve House at Mountainfest

Reinhold Messner, regarded as one of the best mountaineers of all time, has described Steve Houseas “the best high-altitude climber in the world today.” So you know he’s good. At this year’s Adirondack International Mountainfest, scheduled for the weekend of January 15-18, a small number of lucky ice climbers will get to learn from the master. House will teach a class in Intermediate and Advanced Ice on Saturday, January 16, and Advanced Ice the next day. Both classes are full, but the public can catch House’s slide show at the Keene Valley Central School at 7:30 Saturday night. The fourteenth-annual >>More


December, 2009

Happy skiing!

Backcountry skiers should find good snow on many of the popular trails in the Adirondacks over the holiday weekend. We have a foot or more of snow in the Lake Placid region, and temperatures should remain below freezing into next week. Tony Goodwin reports that the entire Jackrabbit Trail (twenty-four miles from Keene to Saranac Lake) has good cover. Two days ago, I skied the Jackrabbit above Whiteface Inn Road, and it was excellent. There was well more than a foot of snow in the woods. Click here to read Tony’s full report on conditions in the Lake Placid region. >>More


December, 2009

Champlain Bridge’s demolition

Seth Lang was part of the media horde that showed up Monday morning to watch the demolition of the Champlain Bridge. But the event held a special poignance for Seth, who grew up in Crown Point, just five miles from the bridge. “I can’t help but feel saddened by the loss of our bridge,” he says. “Having witnessed the demolition first-hand it was overwhelming for me personally.” Seth, who is twenty-seven, was taking photos for the Adirondack Explorer, two of which are shown here. The dismal weather was far from ideal for photography, but his shots are as good as >>More


December, 2009

Sierra Club on Shingle Shanty

Those of you who have been following the saga of Shingle Shanty Brook may be interested in an article that appears in the latest newsletter of the Sierra Club’s Atlantic chapter, written by Charles Morrison, the former director of natural resources at the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Morrison and two other Sierra Club members have asked DEC to force a private landowner to remove a cable strung across the brook to keep out paddlers. The club contends the public has a right to paddle the waterway. DEC says it is looking into the matter. In the article, Morrison describes >>More


December, 2009

Adirondack lean-tos

Everybody loves lean-tos, right? But perhaps not as much as the fellow who goes by the name of Dsettahr in Adirondack Forum. He has compiled an Excel spreadsheet of every lean-to he could track down in the Adirondacks and Catskills—nearly three hundred—and his goal is to spend a night in each one. We learned about Dsettahr from Jim Muller, an avid winter camper who sent us an article full of interesting information about lean-tos, including the original construction plans.  You can read Jim’s article by clicking on the PDF link at the end of this item. The links in the >>More


December, 2009

Dressing for winter

Readers of the Explorer should be familiar with the photography of Jeff Nadler. His images often appear in our pages and sometimes on our cover as well (the female cardinal on the front our November/December issue was his). As a nature photographer (especially of birds), he spends a lot of time outdoors. In a recent post on his photography blog, Jeff offers some timely tips on dressing for winter. He says he was prompted to offer his thoughts because some of the advice he has read is outdated. You can find plenty of other advice on winter clothing on the >>More


December, 2009

How deep is the snow?

We got enough snow last week to do a little backcountry skiing. One day I skied to McKenzie Pond; on another, I skied part way up Debar Mountain. The flats were fine, but on both trails, my skis scraped rocks on the hills. Expect the cover to remain thin for a while, at least in the Lake Placid region, as no big storms are in the forecast. Of course, whenever you’re planning on cross-country skiing in the Adirondacks and coming from outside the Park, you’d probably like to know how much snow we have. Well, if you’re going to ski >>More


December, 2009

Early-season skiing

We finally have enough snow to ski on some of the early-season trails, such as the road to Camp Santanoni in Newcomb, the Marcy Dam Truck Trail in the High Peaks Wilderness, the Fish Pond Truck Trail in the St. Regis Canoe Area, and the Hayes Brook Truck Trail in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest. Yesterday afternoon, I took a short ski on a new trail outside Lake Placid—a 2.5-mile round trip/loop through Henry’s Woods, a preserve owned by the Uihlein Foundation. The trail is graded and most of it is covered with crushed stone, so it’s skiable with about >>More


December, 2009

Revisiting Crane Pond Road

In the next issue of the Adirondack Explorer, we plan to publish an article by Adam Federman on the implications of the Old Mountain Road decision on the state Forest Preserve. Federman notes that probably hundreds of old roads crisscross the Preserve. As a result of the Old Mountain Road case, observers are asking whether towns could reopen these roads to snowmobiles and/or other motor vehicles. Any attempt to open these roads is sure to put the state Department of Environmental Conservation in the crossfire between local governments and environmental groups. Remember Crane Pond Road? The dirt lane penetrates nearly >>More


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