Thursday, January 28, 2016

Brand New Boardwalk along the Elk Lake Marcy Trail

By Christine Bourjade

Click image to view full-size.

In his guidebook, The Adirondacks Illustrated (1874), S. R. Stoddard recommends staying at Mud Pond House (today’s Elk Lake Lodge) as “it is in the immediate vicinity of the Adirondack Mountains upon the nearest and most direct route, from the South, to the Ausable Ponds and Mount Marcy, distant only 9 miles, over a good trail, 4 miles of which can be made on horseback.”

We can only speculate what Stoddard considered to be a "good trail". It is unlikely that Stoddard himself ever hiked that trail and merely accepted the self-promotion of the Mud Pond House proprietor. Today’s backpackers do not have the equine option when heading for a few overnights in Panther Gorge to climb Haystack, Marcy and Skylight; but now, thanks to the Adirondack Trail Improvement Society (ATIS) at least the Marcy Swamp bog bridges are much improved from their recent condition.

Monday, January 25, 2016


For More Information:
Neil Woodworth
Office (518) 449-3870, Cell (518) 669-0128

The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) strongly supports Governor Andrew Cuomo’s historic budget proposal this week to appropriate the highest level of funding - $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).  This increase in funding from $177 million in the 2015-2016 budget will not only better protect our environment, but ensure cleaner air and water and create jobs throughout the state.

ADK is particularly excited about a nearly $13.5 million increase in land acquisition and open space conservation funding.  This substantial increase in funding will enable Forest Preserve and conservation easement purchases of key tracts of land in the Adirondacks and Catskills.  Equally important is the $9.5 million boost in state land stewardship funding.  This increase in funding will mean improved facilities for public use of the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves, including more hiking trail construction and maintenance as well as additional Summit Stewards to protect the Adirondack High Peaks.  Funding for invasive species protection and control is boosted from $5.8 million to $10 million at a critical time in the battle against aquatic and terrestrial invasive species.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Why Should You Care about the Environmental Protection Fund?

Summit Steward on Algonquin

By Neil Woodworth

As you may have heard by now, the New York Governor’s budget is going to include $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). This is the largest the EPF has ever been and it's over $100 million more than it was in 2015. This is great news for those who would label themselves “enviros” in New York. But why? What can we accomplish with $300 million dollars and how does it affect Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) members directly?

Well listen in, because this new line of funding has some significant impacts. Generically speaking this program protects open space, revitalizes waterfronts, supports recycling, preserves farmland, enhances water quality, and helps connect New Yorkers with the outdoors. It will enable the state to buy more Forest Preserve in the Adirondacks and Catskills.

In the 2015-16  State Land Stewardship line in the EPF, which funds (in part) your ADK Professional Trail Crew and Summit Steward Programs, received $18 million. With increased funding in the 2016-17 EPF we can expect the continuations of these programs and can advocate for increasing the funding to bolster ADK's trails and summit steward programs. More trail repairs? More alpine habitat protection? Both would help offset the impacts of an ever increasing hiker impact on State Land.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Colden: A Mountain of Trail Work Part II

By Christine Bourjade

Click to view full-size.

In the November-December 2014 issue of Adirondac magazine, we reported on the achievements of the first year of a four-year trail improvement project on Mt. Colden. This past spring a helicopter made no less than a half-dozen trips from Upper Works, under the supervision of Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to drop the materials needed on Little Colden (aka Colden's false-summit) for the trail work planned for 2015. The Adirondack Mountain Club's (ADK) professional trail crew went back to spend four weeks in the vicinity of Lake Arnold in August. At least this year it did not rain all day everyday on them!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Turnaround Time

By Tom Manitta 

My day off finally comes, the weather is ideal and I’m anxious to get out on the trail for a much needed wilderness experience. The evening before is spent gathering gear, reviewing the map and preparing for my hike. Backpack, pack cover, non-cotton clothing, warm layers, plenty of food and water, headlamp and extra batteries, map and compass, waterproof boots and gaiters, wool socks, rain coat, sunglasses, hat and gloves, “facili-trees” kit with a trowel, first aid kit -- all the essentials are ready to go.

It’s November in the Adirondack High Peaks and despite the disadvantage of shortened daylight and colder temperatures, excitement for the hike was still strong. Barely able to sleep with excitement I’m up before sunrise ready to hit the trail with a friend.  I was fully prepared for a quality experience in the backcountry. I knew sunset was around 4:30pm but I didn’t let that discourage me from a longer hike. I chose to hike Skylight and Gray Peak, a hike I’ve heard many people claim as one of their absolute favorites. With the short amount of daylight I knew that establishing and following through with a good turnaround time would result in a better experience, regardless of how close I may come to my destination.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Carl Heilman's Photo Principles #2: Checking Exposure

By Carl Heilman II

Let's dive right in! When checking exposure, the first two things to know are:
  1. Making adjustments to the aperture diameter (f stop) and shutter speed affects the amount of light that reaches the sensor. 
  2. The ISO setting adjusts how sensitive the sensor is to the light falling on it. 
Adjusting each of these settings in relation to the camera's light meter reading is ultimately what affects the overall exposure of every photo. 

There are two ways to check the exposure of a photo you have just taken. One is with the Highlights screen, and the other is with the Histogram.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Bigger High Peaks Wilderness

By Neil Woodworth

ADK has joined the Adirondack Council and other groups in a coordinated effort to lobby for the classification of the 21,000 acre Boreas Pond Tract as the newest addition to the High Peaks Wilderness. We expect the state to purchase the Boreas Ponds Tract from the Nature Conservancy before the end of the state fiscal year on April 1, 2016. The 1,800 acre Casey Brook Tract lying between the Ausable Club lands and the Boreas Tract is also being added to the Forest Preserve.

This state purchase would make it possible to connect and consolidate the 45,000 acre Dix Wilderness to the 200,000 acre High Peaks Wilderness. The Casey Brook Tract would also provide backpackers using the Elk Lake trail to Panther Gorge and Mount Marcy potential camping at a reasonable distance from Elk Lake. Adding the MacIntyre East and West parcels would raise the total added to the High Peaks Wilderness to 80,000 acres.