Saturday, September 10, 2016

Rafting the Hudson Gorge: 09/03/2016

Paddling the Hudson Gorge with Square Eddy Expeditions, 09/03/2016.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

My friends Linc Marsac and Lori Phoebe Benton, chief guides and owners of Square Eddy Expeditions, like to say that they get double the fun out of every snowflake that falls: first skiing the woods and mountains around North Creek and Indian Lake, and then paddling the runoff when it all melts in the spring. We weren't paddling spring runoff on our trip down the Hudson Gorge with Square Eddy over Labor Day weekend, but the double-the-fun rule seemed to be in full effect anyway.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Dix Mountain: 08/22/2016

Back in 1987 when I finished my first round of the 46, there were a handful of peaks I swore I’d never repeat. If you’ve climbed Blake, Couchie or Cliff, you know what I’m talking about. Sooner or later though, I’d get dragged out by one hiking partner or another and notch second and third visits to those “never again” peaks. At the other end of the list are the favorites, the ones you return to over and over, even if it’s a decade between visits. Dix is on that list, 6th highest in the Adirondacks and offering some of the best and most interesting views of the 46. A recent two night stay at Elk Lake Lodge provided the perfect opportunity to climb Dix again.

Elk Lake from the summit of Dix Mountain, 08/22/2016.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Clear Pond Mountain: 08/20/2016

The view from Clear Pond Mountain at Elk Lake Lodge, Saturday 08/20/2016.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

It’s understandable if you’ve never heard of Clear Pond Mountain. As one of several summits in the privately owned 12,000 acre Elk Lake – Clear Pond Preserve, its trail is open only to guests of Elk Lake Lodge. We got a chance to hike the mountain and enjoy its phenomenal views during a 2-night stay at the lodge last weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Adirondack ski areas by the numbers: 2015-16 season

Adirondack ski areas by the numbers: 2015-16 season.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
Most eastern skiers would probably prefer to forget about the winter of 2015-16, also known as The Winter That Wasn't. Besieged by mild temperatures, lack of snowfall and one rain event after another, ski areas throughout the northeast pushed the limits of their snowmaking plants and crews to salvage what they could of the season. But you can fight mother nature only so much, and skiers suffered through limited terrain, event cancellations and a shortened season. Skier visits in the northeast were down a whopping 28% from the previous winter. Whiteface and Gore followed that trend, with significant decreases in both skier visits (down 21% and 44%, respectively) and revenue (down 21% and 37%, respectively). Here are the numbers:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Truro Hills and Ponds: Mountain biking and paddling in the Cape Cod National Seashore

Mountain biking in the Cape Cod National Seashore.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

It's not like we've uncovered all the locals' secrets, but in the nearly 10 years that we've been coming to the Outer Cape we've gotten pretty good at finding the off-the-beaten-path spots that most of the tourists miss. My ride the other day took me to some of our favorites along the Truro / Wellfleet border.