Spencer Morrissey

Recent Blog Posts

The Adirondacks are an outstanding ski destination with numerous downhill and Nordic centers to choose from, but for those who prefer skiing on trails, the region has a bunch of that as well. You can accelerate to ridiculous speeds on the biggest drop in the east at​ Whiteface Mountain or spend a day kicking and gliding on the trails at the Cascade Ski Center. With the creation and widening of the slides on the peaks, and the dozens of hidden glades, backcountry skiing is another story altogether. With more than 2,000 miles of hiking trails in the Adirondacks, opportunities for... continue reading
The Sawtooth Mountains occupy one large tract of land located in the Western High Peaks Wilderness, just east of the Seward Range. There are not too many people who know what they are looking at from the summits of the Sewards or the MacIntyres, but most do recognize its vast wildness. However, there are many who recognize the name Sawtooth Mountains and know it to be about as secluded and rugged as it can get in the Adirondacks. Just don’t get it confused with the 4,150-foot Sawteeth, the High Peak above the Ausable Lakes. There really is no comparison. As one of the most secluded... continue reading
The calling of the 100-highest The eastern ridge of Green Mountain has been one of wonder for me. I've heard feedback about the eastern ridge for quite some time and the comments are an equal mix of amazement and grief. After my recent dealings with the slopes of the mountain I would have to say it has a prime mixture of both. For the record, the good outweighs the ugly. The North Trail We started at the North trail for Giant Mountain and Owls Head Lookout trailhead. The day was turning out to be grand, with the sun peeking through the clouds and the... continue reading
High Peak #47 MacNaughton: you know, the 47th peak, the one that has been acclaimed as being a 4000-foot peak, the mountain that is on everyone’s list during or after they finish the 46 High Peaks…yeah, that one. It’s hard to believe that, on a mountain that has become as popular as this particular one has, no trail or even solid, continual herd path has been developed. I was looking forward to being there (for the sixth time) traveling the slopes, but this was actually my first time being there in summer and only my second time up this side of the mountain. I have explored in all... continue reading
An Adirondack 100-Highest Traverse The day was young and the sun had not even started to rise above the trees along the river near my house, it might as well have been midnight. The night had been overcast and the moon didn’t even cast a shadow, it was apparent that the day would be the same. With a 30% chance of thunderstorms and heavy rain at times we still took a chance on heading out to Wallface Mountain. The temperatures were cool enough and 30% isn’t all that threatening. I remember days past when I canceled a trip due to 90% and it never rained and vice versa on a 20% day:... continue reading
Hidden Gems of the Adirondacks Located near Scarface, the Seymour highlighted today is a much smaller version of the Seymour of the High Peaks (part of the Seward Range). It had been quite some time since I had visited this mountain and I wanted to give it another look. A good portion of this trip I would follow an old forest road to a trail, then a bushwhack to another trail, and then a bushwhack to the railroad, and eventually back to that woods road. It sounds a bit confusing but it was all planned out in my head, and on paper, and I was confident it would work out okay. So one... continue reading
5 trails worth visiting during High Peak downtime As you may or may not know, it is highly recommended and requested by the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) to limit the use of the trails in the High Peaks Region during the spring thaw. The High Peaks Trails become very muddy in the spring season and this is mainly due to the instability and excessive water on the trails, but it also comes with heavy use. Think of your feet like blender paddles stirring up mud and water, soon you have a cake batter on the trail that increases erosion and diminishes the quality of the... continue reading
Are you a trip leader? Trip planning techniques for all seasons. Are you leading a trip up an Adirondack mountain, to a pond, along the river, or someplace else that’s really cool? Well, there are some things to consider before you head out. While I am sure that you want everyone to have a good time there are safety concerns that you should look at first; then you can look into being the tour guide that introduces others to the history of the area or boiling up some hot water for pine tea. Sit back and ask yourself these questions and keep them in mind if the trip is an... continue reading
We have been getting dumped on this winter with light fluffy powder, but that hasn’t stopped us from taking on more difficult hikes. Breaking trail can be very tiring, but we got an early start, brought plenty of food and water, and worked our way up to the really challenging adventures. Esther via White Brook was going to be one of those challenges that we had to get ready for. Feeling good, feeling rested, and feeling inspired we scoped out a potential route on our topo map and made the early morning drive over to Wilmington to do it. We had been eyeballing White Brook and Esther for quite... continue reading
Two things to remember about winter exploring... As you may know there are many, many, many things to learn and remember before heading out into the High Peaks on a winter trip. Whether you are bagging a peak, skiing to a secluded pond, ice climbing your favorite pitch, or heading to the Lake Placid region for a three-day camping excursion with your college buddies, you have to think about two important key factors: hypothermia and dehydration. Hypothermia Hypothermia is "a decrease in the core body temperature to a level at which normal muscular and cerebral... continue reading


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