About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

Reader Interactions


  1. William N Martin says

    Skiers get injured from skiing. It would be interesting to see if there is a database of how many skiers get hurt skinning up or on their way down. I haven’t seen a ski area close as of yet for serious injury or even death of a skier.

    I know of no serious injuries from skinning up, yet the exercise is suspended because its too dangerous.

    Sounds like a logical fallacy to me.

  2. Eduard Kreil says

    I think it is a shame that things have been made so difficult for Up hill skiing in the morning and when the mountain is closed and now with this coronavirus situation I up hill skied 55 years ago in Europe and it was a wonderful great thing then And it should be a wonderful great thing now. I started uphill skiing in this country seven years ago again and there was no problem than ,
    why are there problems now ? I guess somebody is trying to make a simple thing complicated that will be my answer.

  3. Tim Yeskoo says

    I totally agree. An uphill policy should definitely be in place for a ski area on public land. After a clear end of closure operations at the end of the season, the mountain should be open for skiing all the time, everywhere. During this weird time, the mountain should at least say what areas/times might be off limits for operations, but err on the side of open.

    During the season, I am in favor of restricting skinning up the ski trails during lift operating hours as a means for safety. This is commonplace among most ski resorts. After daylight savings begins, starting a skin up at 4pm still allows for a solid run before sunset.

    Of course, it also helps for the mountain to have dedicated recommended skin routes as well. Careful consideration of these routes might even enable uphill travel during lift hours, as is commonplace at Aspen Snowmass; I have seen more uphill travel there than all other ski resorts combined. In February I came across a couple in their late 70s who skin Buttermilk every day all season long.

    In fact, Aspen Snowmass definitely sets the standard in terms of uphill policies:

  4. Rusty says

    Phil – How about skinning up the slides from Lake Placid then skiing down. Not sure of the conditions there but it is a wild up as you no doubt know

  5. Laurie says

    Say what? I had to read this article twice thinking I missed something. Phil Brown,how is it possible that you chose this time to present and make this argument? You do realize what’s going on around you,right? Please consider the phrase “lead by example.” And if you don’t do the right thing (consider your followers) others won’t either. Closed means closed. Please and thank you.

    • Phil Brown says

      Laurie, I am very aware of the crisis we are all in. My younger daughter is stuck in Austria because her flight was canceled. My older daughter is a nurse in NYC. I went to Whiteface to get some exercise and take advantage of its snow. I am not the only local skier who had that idea. A major reason for writing the article was to let other skiers know that skinning is not allowed now. And I took the opportunity to discuss Whiteface’s uphill policy for next season. It doesn’t follow that Whiteface’s uphill policy is the only thing, or the major thing, on my mind.

      • scott Bennett says

        Phil, what happens if someone,gets seriously injured? Say a person who has a camp in the adks who camefrom NYC, Jersey, wherever, and doesn’t know their infected. Or the virus moves North and we have many infected in the small hospitals we have. He gets seriously injured and takes up a bed that say oh, a young boy or girl around 2 years old suddenly becomes ill and needs that bed he has taken because he couldn’t do any thing else less harmful for exercise. I get it, you love skiing, I love to do many things outdoors. But I’m not going to expose myself and then give it to my wife and when we’re grocery shopping and infect many people!
        Thats the whole point you don’t seem to get. Maybe you fall on your face and a ski patrol person who had just helped an infected individual helps you out. Now you unknowingly have it and spread it. The examples I mentioned above are not out of the realm of possibilities…Shit happens! what the person above said, “lead ny example”. The rest of you, don’t be so f-ing selfish, To the younger aged people here..grow the F up!

  6. Kelly says

    Governor Cuomo can transfer inmates from the NYC area to the North country but God forbid someone goes skiing.

  7. Bobbie says

    Honestly, I know a ton of people that would jump at the chance to get some turns in right now! However, the Governor mandated a closure due to the Corona Virus. (??!!) If you were strictly talking about skinning/skiing after a typical season comes to a close there may be some sense in that. Although I imagine there are always liabilities, we have become such a litigious society.
    I also think that just because someone pays taxes in NY that they should be able to skin/ski for free. The cost for a “lift ticket” covers a lot more than just the lifts!! Snowmaking, grooming, Ski Patrol, facilities, Insurance (rest rooms)etc., etc.
    If there is enough snow on trails like Raymond Brook, have at it!
    Let’s all be safe and practice social distancing!

    • Billy says

      Seems one problem is that he also said that trails and such would remain open for people to have a way to get out and get needed exercise.

      So, when it comes to a mountain such as Whiteface (which is a common one that is hiked/skied via other routes as well) it seems a bit odd to say someone could ski up it on the non-ski area sections (such as following the road or other trails) but not do the same on the ski area section.

      Having it be “closed” in that no lifts are running, no lodges are open and such is certainly not an issue (that would fall under the same category as any other business that is closed to keep crowds away from each other, as would definitely happen in the lodges and could occur on a lift served trail, but it unlikely to happen with this type of skiing not being anywhere near as popular).

  8. Jim Amell says

    their uphill closure is pure BS! if there is concern about employees (as there should be), then just stay 6′ away. (not hard to do). If patrollers are concerned about their health, STAY HOME – no need for partrollers when lifts are closed, right??? Thank you for your service when the lifts are open. I’ve hiked/skied the Face (and Gore) numerous times, as late as end of May – in the good old days when they didn’t have an uphill policy. Like any backcountry ski trip, you are on your own – so act accordingly! if something happens, self rescue. I have no problem if DEC says to the public that they aren’t going to rescue – PERIOD.

  9. Rc says

    I agree with you, BUT…

    You must agree that someone will eventually get hurt.
    And with minimal patrolling/skier activity, the injured skier will be on the mountain requiring assistance.
    And the already stretched forest service will be held responsible.
    And the assistance will cost money.

    And they will sue.
    Sue, sue, sue, sue sue.

    • scott says

      And oh btw, they came there from who knows where and is carrying the virus. They get hurt and potentially give it to a ski patrol member. Or he doesn’t have it and the ski patrol just unknowingly got infected from helping someone else earlier in the day. The injured,skiier goes to the hospital and ends up infecting some of the staff. The ski patrol individual gives it to another patrol member and so on. None if you here know who could have it at any given time. It’s common,sense but many people here call BS. You won’t be thinking that if you or a friend or family member are on a ventilator fighting for their lifed

  10. scott says

    The writer here attacks the state saying it’s taxpayer money. And mentions this multiple times in different forms. Get with the times people say.
    Are you fucking serious in a time like this! Just because you don’t know anyone who has it, and it hasn’t spread up here….YET! Doesnt mean you can be so negligent and careless on here. IT ONLY TAKES ONE PERSON to spread it and potentially kill someone you know. Your daughter works in NYC and you’re saying this bunch of BS on here cuz you couldn’t ski and then use an excuse saying “I was just letting people know” Go back and retire, you’ve lived your life don’t mess everyone else’s up complaining about where you can and cannot ski while complaining about the tax payers snow. irresponsible article in the time we’re in. I’m betting you’re better than this. Always safety first, fun second.

  11. Brent says

    Great article. I was there a few weeks back visiting family (and hoping to get in some uphill fun) and it seems like nothing has changed. Patrol has taken the whole police State thing to heart. Glad for the sensible policies and exceptional Patrollers up here in AK. Powder to the people!

  12. David Hochschartner says

    Well, I read this quite awhile back. However, as I was outraged this morning – learning our very restricted policy at Whiteface – has probably the highest priced uphill season pass in the nation. Really … a $129 for a season pass that can only be used from 6-8:30 am is outrageous.

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