This past weekend offered some nice conditions on the usual early season routes, but as predicted Monday is warm with temperatures in the mid to upper 40s. This thaw will only last for another 12 hours or so before cooling back down, so we may not lose all of the base that had begun to build up.
Unfortunately, the forecast only calls for scattered snow showers the rest of the week, so surfaces may not be very good for skiing. And then, next Saturday is predicted to again be warm with temperatures in the mid-40s.
Mt. Van Hoevenberg was reporting 35 km of trail open, but no updated report for today. Likewise, the Paul Smith's VIC has not updated their report from the weekend.
We'll update this report later in the week when we know if any of the predicted snow showers have managed to improve conditions.
Yesterday, Thursday 12/2, saw temperatures hovering near 40 degrees most of the day along with a few bursts of rain. Cooler this morning, and the Lake Placid area picked up an inch of new snow as the cold front moved in.
Mt. Van Hoevenberg reports 35 km of their system is open - everything except for Porter Mt. and the competition trails. No new track-setting, but the old tracks with the new snow will ski in quickly. Looks like Mt. Van Hoevenberg will be the best skiing for the weekend.
Other possibilities, however, include the Paul Smiths VIC trails. No report on exactly how many trails will be open, but the photos show a good deal of snow being groomed. Nearby Hays Brook truck trail should also remain skiable with just the short hill down to Hayes Brook requiring caution.Lake Placid golf courses will also be good.
Newcomb Lake Road will also be good skiing. No report on how much new snow fell there last night, but there was enough base to survive the thaw; and with its gentle profile and smooth surface it will be good - even if melted down to 3 inches or so.
Gulf Brook Road to Boreas Ponds also survived the thaw with 3-4 inches of dense base and a dusting of new snow on top. Broken tracks to the inner gate, but definitely good skiing (and not difficult trail-breaking) from there to the ponds.
Marcy Dam truck trail still requires caution as rocks remain a hazard. Likewise, no section of the Jackrabbit Trail can really be recommended as all sections are just rough enough to still have hazard rocks.
Finally, the Whiteface Highway remains skiable. No recent word on how the usual windblown stretches have fared with the thaw.
Winter is here, and it appears the snow will stick around for a while. No significant new snow is expected, and Thursday may see temperatures above freezing, but it will cool back down for the coming weekend. The best skiing so far is on Lake Placid golf courses, as areas farther west such as Paul Smiths did not receive as much snow as the Lake Placid area, but the Hays Brook truck trail is skiable to the Sheep Meadow lean-tos - just stay on the road rather than the cut-off.
Additionally, Mt. Van Hoevenberg reports 15 km of their "legacy trails" are skiable - mostly on the biathlon side. The racing trails are closed so they can make more snow there.
The Marcy Dam Truck Trail has also been skied, but the coverage only disguises the rocks without really covering them. Use caution. Barrier not yet up on Meadows Lane, but the road is skiable with a nearly continuous track between the tire tracks. More rocks showing closer to Marcy Dam - perhaps because of the winds on Saturday.
McKenzie Pass section of the trail has been skied from Whiteface Inn Lane to McKenzie Pond Road. Marginal conditions with less snow on the Saranac Lake side. Old Mountain Road section has also been skied, but many rocks still showing and the ice on the now two beaver ponds that must be crossed, still questionable. We await reports from later this week.
Yes, it snowed. Up to a foot of new snow in the Lake Placid area. While it will take a while to gather more specific reports, all the early season favorites should be skiable. Since there is virtually no frost in the ground yet, it will be best to stick to unplowed roads like Hays Brook, Fish Pond, Newcomb Lake, and, of course, the Whiteface Highway. Other areas will likely have wet areas under the snow that will result in icing/clumping on the skis. It started as somewhat wet snow, so it may not have blown off the often bare turns on the Whiteface Highway. Marcy Dam Truck Trail is also a possibility, but be cautious as the occasional rocks are merely "disguised" not fully covered.
Updates as skiers get out and post additional reports. Continued cold, so this snow should stick around.
Also, Mt. Van Hoevenberg reports 1 km open as of this morning, but grooming is in progress and more than just the man-made snow loops will be open by the end of the day.
The highway has been skiable for a few weeks now. The warm weather last Thursday (11/18) stripped most of the snow off the road. On Friday, however, we started over when a series of snow showers produced 1/2" of dense snow at the toll house, grading to about an inch above 3,500 feet. Some icy base left above 3,500', but skiable to the Castle, except for some stretches that often blow clean on the highest turns.
This week will remain cold enough that what snow is there won't melt, and there should be some additional accumulation by the weekend. We'll update before then.
Winter is here snow sliders!
Saturday's rain fell as snow at higher elevations, and continued throughout the day and evening on Monday. The Whiteface Veteran's Memorial Highway (aka the toll road) is now skiable with good coverage all the way from the gate, although the bottom half mile or so is icy (but with very little bare pavement). Above the pump house the conditions improve dramatically. Don't delay in getting up there if you haven't already - it will stay cold through Wednesday, but we're expecting rain and warmer temps again on Thursday which will likely ruin the current conditions on the toll road.
The toll road is the place to be - no other skiing available at the moment. Stay tuned for more regular ski conditions reports once we settle into winter and conditions improve.
After another string of above freezing weather, is has snowed on Thursday,4/1, but it's very wet snow falling on bare, unfrozen ground, so not much if any additional skiing out of this snowfall. Temperatures a bit cooler through the weekend, but then back to the 50s for most of next week. Additionally, the DEC has issued their annual "mud season advisory" about avoiding trails above 2,500 feet. Therefore, even approaching Marcy for a late season ski is a somewhat questionable choice.
So, hike at home if you live south of here. In this area, the best places to hike would be the CATS trails in the Champlain Valley, but Blueberry Cobble/Bald Peak on the East Trail to Rocky Peak and Giant is also an option.
And unless something dramatic changes, this will be the last report of the season. It all seemed to end too quickly, but at least we can remember those solid weeks of perfect powder conditions earlier in the winter.
We've had a week of record or near record highs this week and finishing with a day of temperatures in the 50s to 60s with wind and rain. The snow is thus either gone or going faster that our ability to provide detailed condition reports for all of the areas we try to cover. There is still snow out there, but for the weekend any surfaces will be very soft. Saturday looks to be the better day to actually get out, and Monday will cool down a bit. Tuesday and Wednesday will again see temperatures in the 50s, but the week will finish with temperatures below freezing at night and highs not quite reaching freezing during the day.
Mount Van Hoevenberg was closed today, and their natural snow trails are no longer skiable. No update from Cascade, but their trails must have suffered from the heat. The Paul Smiths VIC just says, "What a great season it has been", while still indicating that snow remains on some trails. No grooming and no trail fee.
Once the temperature drops at the end of the week, we will try to assess what is still skiable and what surface conditions might be like for next weekend. And we could still have that April blizzard. One never knows.
In case you haven't looked at your thermometer recently, it's been a very warm week. Conditions are thus changing by the hour. The Lake Placid area and the High Peaks still have a good base of snow with 28" still at Lake Colden and 4-5 feet at 4,000 feet. Skis or snowshoes are still required for travel.
The open areas of the Jackrabbit Trail along River Road and across the golf courses will soon be bare if they are not that already. The groomed centers at Cascade and Mt. Van Hoevenberg will still have good skiing on most, but not all, of their systems through the coming weekend.
All of the backcountry routes we usually report on will still have cover, except perhaps on a few south-facing slopes. Surface conditions, however will vary as Friday will still be warm with some rain, but Friday night could be cool enough to freeze surfaces with temperatures on Saturday taking a bit of time to warm up above freezing.
In summary, Spring arrived this week, and we now have spring skiing. Deal with it.
We're now past mid March with Spring officially happening this weekend. Right on time, we have "spring" conditions and thankfully a pretty good base to carry us along. Spring conditions also mean variable conditions depending on the time of day and the exact temperature - conditions that this report cannot precisely report. Friday will be below freezing in most areas, but after that Saturday will be in the 40s, and the rest of the week will see highs in the 50s. The sunny skies each day will still mean below freezing temperatures each night (maple sugarer dream weather), but that will make for some frozen surfaces each morning.
Entire trail is still skiable.Those skiing the Old Mountain Road starting from Rock and River in Keene should use the "Additional Parking" area on the right just before the lodge.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKI CENTERS
CASCADE X-C SKI CENTER:
Km Open and Groomed: 20km Track Set: 10 km
New snow: 3" last five days Base Depth: 12" Off Track 12"
Surface Conditions: Groomed granular.
Remarks: Ski shop open
MOUNT VAN HOEVENBERG:
Km Open and Groomed: 54km Track Set: 52 km
New snow: 3" last five days. Base Depth: 22" on man-made trails. 12" on natural snow. Off Track 12"
Surface Conditions: Groomed granular.
PAUL SMITHS VISITOR INTERPRETIVE CENTER:
40 km Open. Most all trails groomed, many with set track.
New Snow: Base Depth: 18"
Surface Conditions: Groomed granular.
31" at Lake Colden
4-5 feet above 4,000 feet
Pretty much everything is now skiable, and skis or snowshoes are now required by regulation for travel in the High Peaks. In other areas they are needed and should be used. Avalanche Pass definitely skiable, Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden remain crossable. Wright Peak and Marcy Ski Trails skiable,
WHITEFACE HIGHWAY: Skiable all the way to the Castle.
MARCY DAM TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely skiable. Still a better choice than the hiking trail as far as surface conditions go, but over a mile longer than the Loj approach.
HIKING TRAIL FROM ADK LOJ: Skiable. Old Marcy Dam approach is the better start, but both approaches are skiable.
AVALANCHE PASS: Broken out and skiable through to Avalanche Lake. Avalanche Lake is frozen crossable.
CONNERY POND TO WHITEFACE LANDING: Skiable and broken out after the snow earlier this week.
HAYS BROOK TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely very skiable to both Grass Pond and the Sheep Meadow. As of 2/19, parking area continues to be plowed. (Yay!)
FISH POND TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely skiable, and loop back on the ponds now very doable.
RAQUETTE FALLS: Fully skiable. "Official" plowing ends one mile from the parking area at the Corey's Road gate (now closed), but the road and trailhead parking are being plowed.
GULF BROOK ROAD TO BOREAS PONDS: Parking area is still being plowed. Washed out culvert at 1/2 mile is a bit of an obstacle, but can be easily negotiated on skis, and there is track broken to the ponds.
NEWCOMB LAKE ROAD TO CAMP SANTANONI: Good cover to both Camp Santanoni and Moose Pond.
AUSABLE LAKE ROAD: Fully skiable, and snowmobile traffic has diminished.
Trail Conditions 101
Trail condition reports are posted frequently during the ski season. The Adirondack backcountry can be a hard place to predict with weather and trail conditions that often change rapidly. We can't offer the same detailed descriptions of trail conditions as groomed nordic centers.