Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New slides in the eastern High Peaks

Without a doubt, any of us would reverse the course of events that devastated New York and elsewhere on Sunday if only we could. The losses and pain inflicted by Irene are real, significant and widespread, and nothing can detract from that devastation.

However, Irene is also the most dramatic and stunning example of the dynamic nature of the Adirondack environment in our lifetime. Literally overnight, dozens of new slides have been created in the eastern High Peaks region, dramatically altering the landscape.

Earlier this evening, John Warren reported on Drew Haas' overflight of the High Peaks region in Adirondack Almanack, with additional images on Drew's Adirondack Backcountry Skiing blog. Both posts, linked above, are sure to be of interest to readers here.

Photo: Trap Dike on Mount Colden. Courtesy of Drew Haas, Adirondack Backcountry Skiing

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene: How you can help

Benefits and relief efforts targeted for specific communities and specific victims of Hurricane Irene's destruction are sure to be organized in the coming days and weeks, but the most effective and immediate way of contributing to the relief effort right now may be through the Red Cross:
  • The Red Cross needs immediate volunteers for storm relief in northeastern New York, and is offering fast-track disaster relief training to volunteers who can assist in various aspects of the relief effort.
  • Donate online to the Red Cross and specify that your contribution goes directly towards Hurricane Irene releif in northeastern New York.
  • Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Visit the Red Cross' website or contact one of their local chapters for more information:
- Adirondack / Saratoga Chapter (Glens Falls): (518)792-6545
- Northeastern NY Chapter (Albany): (518)458-8111

Monday, August 29, 2011

High Peaks trails closed following Irene

With so much bad news about Irene's devastation in places like the Catskills, Schoharie valley and Vermont, not much news has filtered into the Saratoga / Capital District about the heartbreaking damage in the North Country. I'm re-posting a handful of links that summarize some of Irene's impact in the Adirondacks:
Beth and I were hiking in the eastern High Peaks region (Colvin and Blake) on Saturday, the day before Irene, and our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by the storm in the Adirondacks, in New York, and beyond.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Camp Saratoga 5K Trail Race Series wrap-up

Monday night was the final race in the Saratoga Stryders' Camp Saratoga 5K trail race series. Before the race even started, I knew I had essentially no chance of winning the Ironman Award for the fastest cumulative time over the 5 races. I was in sixth place after 4 races, and even though attrition plays a big role, I would need the 3 or 4 fastest guys to stay home to have even a fighting chance. But the Ironman Award was never my goal anyway – like most runners my only real goal was to run my best time.

Runners approaching the finish line at the Saratoga Stryders' final 5K trail race, Aug 5 at Camp Saratoga.

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

Monday, August 22, 2011

Truro Hills trail run, Cape Cod Nat'l Seashore

Running through the Truro Hills, Cape Cod National Seashore. 

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

This is our fourth year of taking a week-long family vacation on the Cape, and each year we've rented in Truro, near Provincetown, on the outer Cape. The Cape Cod National Seashore encompasses much of this part of the Cape, in fact 70% of the land area of Truro is National Seashore. Our rental house this year backs up to National Seashore lands, and I was determined to find a way directly from the backyard through a hilly mile and a half of pine and scrub oak forest to the Atlantic.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Santanoni "Express" Circuit: 08/03/2011

Following is the fourth post in a series about women hiking the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. An early start and use of the "new" Santanoni Express route allowed Beth, Marcy and Judy to complete a circuit of the rugged, trailless Santanoni Range in a 12-hour day.

Posted by: Beth Gelber

View of the High Peaks from Panther Peak.  Three women complete a circuit of the Santanoni Range, August 3, 2011.

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

Following our Dix Range traverse last month, three of us planned an attempt at the three peaks of the Santanoni range. For Judy, with just 6 peaks to go towards finishing her 46, the Santanonis represented half of her remaining peaks. For Marcy and me, it was a chance to knock off another challenging group of trailless peaks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

How I Survived Allen Mtn: 07/27/2011

The view from Allen's summit. 
The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

It doesn't happen often, but on Wednesday, July 27, the stars fell into alignment for Beth and me to have an entire day for outdoor activity together, without our 2 kids. The weather looked great, I scheduled the day off from work, and most importantly the kids would be at Grandma & Grandpa's house in Bolton Landing all day.

Beth: Let's hike Allen!
Jeff: Ummm... Or we could do Nippletop, you need that peak too!
Beth: No, I really want to get Allen done.
Jeff: Or... We could go rock climbing.
Beth: Allen.

Beth's enthusiasm and resolve to check another peak off her list of the 46 Adirondack four thousand foot peaks is common among asipiring 46ers. And I can only blame myself, having encouraged Beth to finish her 46. What's more, I've been through this before with friends, who got caught up in "46er fever" after I finished my first round of the 46, and dragged me back to peaks I figured I'd never re-visit.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Five Dixes in a Day: 07/23/2011

Following is another guest report from my wife, Beth. She is really racking up the peaks this summer! It is the third in a series of posts about women hiking the High Peaks of the Adirondacks.

Posted by: Beth Gelber

Panorama of the High Peaks from Macomb, on a one-day traverse of the trailless Dix Range.

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

For years, a group of women from New Paltz, NY and their extended group of friends have descended upon Keene Valley for 2 nights in July, to share a day of hiking or other outdoor recreation in the High Peaks. What started out as a chance for a group of moms to get away for a weekend of camping and hiking has inspired many in the group to pursue climbing all of the 46 highest peaks in the Adirondacks. Now, each year, it seems that some of the women finish the 46, or at least get a little closer. I was lucky to join this group of women this year, and connect with a great group of hiking partners.