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2017 Garden Parking/Shuttle Schedule

Chuck Bruha hiking in the High Peaks

Chuck Bruha hiking in the High Peaks

Once again the Town of Keene will manage the Garden Parking Lot in Keene Valley in acordance with the Adopt a Resource Agreement with New York State Department of Conservation. The Town of Keene will also serve as operator of a public transportation system that will serve hikers and the general public.

This program was initiated in response to illegal and unsafe parking that prevailed. The parking fees pay for attendants on weekends, maintenance and winter snowplowing of the Garden, Rooster Comb and Roaring  Brook Parking Lots, portable toilets, information kiosks and donations of rescue equipment.

Commencing Friday, Mat 12th, a fee of $10.00 American (Candaian @$13.00) per calendar day, 12:01 AM Midnight to Midnight, will be assessed for parking at the Garden Lot . The daily fee will continue through the month of October. An attendant will be at the Garden Lot from 1:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Fridays and from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays during the period. Town Employees and DEC Rangers will monitor the lot during the week.

The shuttle will operate from the Southwest corner of Marcy Field, off Route 73, when the Garden Parking Lot is full, beginning with the two Holiday periods in May, from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, as follows:
Victoria Day Weekend – May 20th, 21st & 22nd
Memorial Day Weekend- May 27th,28th& 29th

Shuttle operation will resume on Saturday, June 17th, operating on Saturday, Sundays and Holidays. Sunday, October 15th will be the last day of operation.

A fee of $10.00 American (Canadian @$13.00) will be changed per person for a rounds trip.

Thank you for the continued support of this project. We hope that reasonable management will ensure continued access the the High Peaks Wilderness.

-The Town of Keene
(Adopt a Natural Resource Manager for the NYSDEC)

Patagonia Helps Protect Adirondack Waterways

Ausable River Featured Image

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The Mountaineer, in partnership with Patagonia, Inc., announces a $10,000 donation to the Ausable River Association (AsRA). The funds will be put to work this summer reconnecting prime habitat for brook trout and reducing community flood risks by replacing a deteriorating culvert in the Town of Jay.

The site is on a tributary of Rocky Branch, an amazing natural stream system that descends from a designated wilderness area and supports an abundance of wildlife. Five genetically distinct native strains of brook trout have been identified in its waters. But in several locations where the stream meets rural roads, its clear waters are forced under those roads through 20-30” steel or plastic pipes. These undersized culverts degrade habitat and stream function, block connectivity for species diversity, and cause serious roadway flooding, cutting off access for residents. When the project is completed at summer’s end, flooding will be minimized and the stream will flow uninterrupted below the road with room for fish, turtles, amphibians, and small mammals to pass through.

“Protecting the clean waters of the Ausable River and its many small streams is a priority for Mountaineer employees,” said Vinny McClelland of the Mountaineer. “We’re excited to join with Patagonia to make a difference in our community by supporting fish-friendly, flood-resilient culverts like the one AsRA is building.”

Since 2014, the Ausable River Association and partners, including several town highway departments, The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have replaced or retrofitted seven culverts in New York’s Lake Champlain Basin with climate-ready, fish-friendly designs. The new structures connect over 90 miles of river habitat.

“Fish-friendly, flood resilient culverts like this one make a big difference for people and for wildlife,” said AsRA’s Executive Director, Kelley Tucker who is coordinating the survey, design, and construction of the project. “Building a critter-friendly culvert that can manage a 100-year stream flow with room to spare takes many hands. AsRA relies on partnerships with local road crews, town officials, engineers, non-profit partners, and exceptional supporters like Patagonia and the

A culvert restoration on Otis Brook Left photo courtesy: Kelly Turner Right photo courtesy: Larry Masters

A culvert restoration on Otis Brook
Left photo courtesy: Kelly Turner
Right photo courtesy: Larry Masters


Horner is Symbolic Of ADK Ice Climbing And Local Art.

Horner article

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Matt Horner of Keene, an ice climber who was injured in a fall at Chapel Pond two months ago, stands beside a photo of himself climbing and one of his pieces of art at The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, made out of Charlet Moser ice axe picks. Horner also just designed a new interior sign for the store made out of 44 picks and will build a larger-than-life ice axe for the store’s exterior.(Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)

Matt Horner of Keene, an ice climber who was injured in a fall at Chapel Pond two months ago, stands beside a photo of himself climbing and one of his pieces of art at The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, made out of Charlet Moser ice axe picks. Horner also just designed a new interior sign for the store made out of 44 picks and will build a larger-than-life ice axe for the store’s exterior. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Oliver











Staff Writer
[email protected]

LAKE PLACID — Matt Horner may be many things — artist, ice climber, fly fisherman — but one thing he is not is a dabbler.

Just two months removed from a grisly 60-foot ice climbing fall that shattered his face and nearly took his life, Horner sits amid all the outdoors gear adorning the walls at one of his second homes, The Mountaineer in Keene Valley.

Here, surrounded by the familiar confines of ice axes and climbing rope, he relays the evident: Considering the freaky and severe nature of his ice climbing accident at Chapel Pond just two months ago, for him to be back making art so soon reflects how his recovery is ahead of schedule.

“I got lucky,” he says.

But Horner also relays the kind of uncommon way through which he views his two preeminent passions: ice climbing and artistry, namely stone and steel sculpting.

Ice climber and artist Matt Horner of Keene recently made this welcome sign for The Mountaineer in Keene Valley out of 44 Charlet Moser ice axe picks.(Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)










Ice climber and artist Matt Horner of Keene recently made this welcome sign for The Mountaineer in Keene Valley out of 44 Charlet Moser ice axe picks. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)

For Horner, ice climbing isn’t immersing enough for his deep-diving soul. He admits, he has a bit of an obsessive personality. And when it comes to feeding the fire, the boundless possibilities provided by sculpting are more freeing. There are no ice screws, ropes or forces of gravity that limit where he can go.

“Art is limitless,” he says. “Obviously, your physical body through climbing, you are limited through your own body you can only do so much with that. Sculpting, you can go any direction.”

Just 66 days ago Horner suffered the fall at Chapel Pond. It was an accident that broke every plate in his face, splintered his nose and dealt him a severe concussion and brain bleed. But within the past few weeks, the Keene resident, veteran guide for Adirondack Rock and River and sculptor has returned to crafting low impact steel sculptures.

He’s welded together antique hay hooks into wall art, crafted a perfectly symmetrical circle in an afternoon from 10-inch spikes he stumbled upon laying in a bucket. And his latest creation is a brand new sign for The Mountaineer.

Pulling on the climbing rope that serves as a door knob, the Mountaineer’s heavy wooden front door opens up into an outdoorsman’s oasis, complete with a canoe hanging from the ceiling to the left to vintage pack baskets and a tent on the right. Smack dab in the middle now, though, the shop has completed its welcome with a sign crafted by Horner.

The sign is a sculpture that reflects a cross-section of Horner’s two passions, ice-climbing and art. Comprised of 44 Charlet Moser ice axe picks, the words “The Mountaineer” are now fastened between the store’s first and second floors, greeting the customers with jagged razor-sharp font.

This piece, Horner says, is unlike most of the artwork he makes out of ice picks, such as another piece that resides fewer than 20 yards away, adjacent to the store’s ice axes. Next to a photo of Horner scaling ice at the Quarry Wall at Cascade Pass, the circle of ice picks shines a silvery gold in the light.

And The Mountaineer and store owner Vinny McClelland also are contracting Horner to build another greeting to stand outside the front door: a massive ice ax, taller than a human. Horner is unsure at the moment what it will be comprised of. Whatever the case, McClelland said he is looking forward to a man he described as a family member of The Mountaineer community surprising him with his latest work of art.

“Matt’s gonna surprise me,” McClelland said. “The guy is so talented,. He’s a close friend and he supports us and we support him. It’s a symbiotic relationship, kind of like a family.

The Mountaineer’s support for Horner also includes letting him use their satellite store down the street as his stone Studio, where many of his sculptures go from idea to reality.

The store also helped to organize and promote the GoFundMe online crowdsourced fundraiser for Horner in the wake of his February climbing accident. In just a few days, people from all walks of Horner’s life rallied to eclipse the $30,000 goal to help with his medical expenses and the cost of living while he was out of work. Since, the fundraiser has leaped another $10,000.

“I was absolutely floored,” Horner said of the support.

“Just, I mean, the response from people in my life I haven’t seen since high school,” he added, “People from so many different communities, all these different communities just gave me an incredible amount of support. Even just casual friends, or people I don’t really know. It just shows that there is a lot of good out there.”

But what of that Feb. 8 accident? How and why did it occur to such an acclaimed and experienced Adirondack climber? And will Horner ever climb again?

Horner described it as a freak accident, and though he and his doctors are likely forever be unsure of why he took a 40-foot free fall at Chapel Pond’s Rhiannon route, Horner believes it had something to do with his abnormally low Vitamin D levels on that day.

“The doctors said they were surprised I was even functional,” he said.

The fall occurred, he said, due to what Horner described as a split-second “short circuit” of his brain while he was climbing 40-feet above the experienced climber he was guiding that day, a Long Island woman named Stacy Ries.

The short circuit caused Horner to black out momentarily, resulting in him letting go of his ice axes lodged into the Rhiannon route.

“I just let go,” he said. “I’d never done that before.”

Afterward, Ries told Horner that when he fell it looked like he just “slumped over and let go.” A second later, Horner said he came back to and felt himself falling, his body rotating, he said he could actually see what was transpiring as gravity amplified his fall.

“And it was just so confusing to me,” he said. “As they say, when those things do happen, time does slow down. Somehow I started spinning face forward and face down.

“My friends always joke and I always joke, too. They call me the human lawn dart,” he added poking fun at the very serious incident. “I’m top heavy and tend to flip.”

Horner’s face made impact after 40 feet, then he slid another 20 feet. One of his tubular threaded screws prevented him from sliding further. Ries slowly lowered him down the rest of the way. With so much adrenaline rushing through his body, he said he didn’t feel any pain — a much different experience than his only previous serious accident, when he tore his achilles tendon in the Cascade Pass.

“I saw it coming,” he said. “Of course, I saw the ice ledge rushing up as I was falling face first. The second I impacted, of course, I blacked out. I believe I was in and out. I woke up and a guy from a climb next to us came over and assisted. He pulled me upright and tried to make sure I hadn’t snapped my spine, which could have easily happened.

“It was weird,” he added. “I woke up and I knew I was alive. I thought, ‘OK, I’m alive. Now I need to get to the hospital.”

Horner walked out on his own, flew to Burlington for medical treatment and eventually ended up downstate in his hometown of Mamaroneck in Westchester County, where he saw several doctors.

Since the accident, Horner has focused on self-healing, as despite the gruesome injuries he suffered, surgery was only recommended and he opted to not undergo any operations. His severe concussion — the most unrelenting of his injuries – will still take many more months to fully heal, however.

On Thursday at the Mountaineer, the sun shone through partly cloudy skies, temperatures reaching 52 degrees as the cascading AuSable River behind the shop hinted at spring and summer. But when winter returns, and his latest works of art are completed, Horner promises that he will be back out on the Adirondack ice enjoying one of his profound loves.

“I love it because it’s something that you have to constantly read,” he said. “I like the idea that it’s a constantly changing medium, unlike my sculptures, which are stone and steel. They are very different in that way. “I’ll be climbing.”

Close Calls and Fun On Mt. Etna, Sicily

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“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” -Ed Viesturs

Trip Report: Skiing Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy. (1o,992′)

Our fearless leader of The Mountaineer , Vinny McClelland just returned from an amazing ski decent of  Mount Etna located on the island of Sicily. Mount Etna is a stratovolcano meaning that its highly active and built upon layers of molten activity (scary) .Etna is the tallest active Volcano in Europe as well as the highest point in the southern Alps which makes for incredible ski decent options. Read on to hear and see about how the Volcano erupted and what  an Italian ski decent means (Schnapps and all).Etna 2

Vinny, among other Competance Centers were recently invited on a little ski trip by our partners over at Dynafit! The Mountaineer is one of 8 Dynafit Competance Centers in the US and the only one in the East. A Competance Center means we are among the best ski touring specialists in the world…I guess with that being said, Dynafit like us and likes taking Vinny on ski trips! “Busy schedules, family, running a business and trying to recreate is not always an easy task” Vinny said. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to join this elite group of skiers on a Volcanic Ski Decent”The trip started out of Catania, Sicily located 35KM away from the base of Mt. Etna (1 hour drive).  A large city and metropolitan area located on the Ionian Sea littered with food markets and shops.market CatalinaRifugioSleeping quarters and walking distance from the watering hole
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 A quick drive to the parking lot of the Mount Etna Ski Resort gave easy access to the snowfields and the tour began. After about 4.5 hours of moderate skinning with ski crampons the group reached the ridge of the volcano (pictured above) along with sulfuric steam.Snow Field

 Good looking skiing on expansive snow fields en route to the summit!!
Ski Party



Part way up the Schnapps comes out in proper Italian fashion. Who skis without Schnapps?




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Mountaineer Bandana Summit shot!Dont have a bandana, yet?! Buy one here



All in all the trip was a great success! Lots of skiing, cultural eating, exploring and just a few days after Vinny was on top of Mt Etna it ERUPTED in a molten explosion! See below…


2017 Mountainfest Recap

Thank you!

Another great ADK Mountainfest is in the books! We had a fantastic weekend and we hope that all of the participants and guides enjoyed themselves immensely, we look forward to seeing everyone at the 22nd Annual Mountainfest next year! We’d like to thank all of our sponsors Grivel, Patagonia, Marmot, Black Diamond, DMM, Outdoor Research, La Sportiva, Rab, Nalgene, Petzl, Neice and the list goes on. Doug Millen delivered delicious soup to the clinics, which is always a treat, Thanks Doug! We had an amazing slideshow presentation Friday night by Rab’s Scott Bennett, an awesome raffle and tons of free giveaways along with another outstanding slideshow on Saturday night by Patagonia’s Kelly Cordes which was unbelievably captivating! Followed by Black Diamond’s Kevin Mahoney at The Keene Arts Center on Sunday evening. There were several good shots that were captured over the course of the weekend which you can see here. Many thanks to , Rock and River , the local and visiting guides, LPP&B and everyone involved for the great work they do for our community, and the participants. As always, Mountainfest is a charity event and we are very proud to announce that we have almost surpassed the six figure mark on our donation to local charities and this year we were able to collect over 200 lbs of food for local food banks!!!  We’re psyched for next year and we’ll be adding a few new exciting things to Mountainfest so keep an eye out! Next year will be (another) one for the books!


NEice administrator and Soup Connoisseur Doug Millen with local climber Jim VanPatten


Climber on Power Play


Local Guide Don Mellor and Instructor of “Steep Ice For The Weak And Chicken hearted” showing how it can be done with a single mountaineering axe


Ron Kon & Mountaineer employees with Kelly Cordes in the World Famous Beaver Dome!


Matt Mckormick heading out for to teach his M2 clinic

LR ice climb chapel pond

Michael Fusca dialing in his skills at a clinic based at Pitchoff Left.


All smiles!


A clinic based at Otis Mt. Mountainfests private ice wall