Temperatures in the valleys remained above freezing for most of the past weekend, so all that fell at the lower elevations was rain. The higher summits, however, remained just below freezing, so the 1-1/2 - 3 feet of snow starting at 2,500 feet is still there in case anyone is planning on hiking any of the higher peaks. On Sunday night, areas to the north of the Lake Placid/High Peaks did receive some new snow, and that includes the Whiteface Highway. So again, we're back to that as about the only skiing except for the man-made snow in the Mt. Van Hoevenberg stadium. Likely the snow on the Newcomb Lake Road has survived this thaw, but that's about it for the moment.
Looking ahead, temperatures will cool down mid-week with some chance of a few inches of new snow. Unfortunately, the forecast for next weekend features temperatures in the 40s and rain. We'll post an update later this week while keeping our fingers crossed that the forecasters are wrong on this forecast.
FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE: So far, Friday temperatures have climbed to the low 40s, and all precipitation has fallen as rain. Initial views of the summits indicate snow above above about 3,500 ft. We'll see what estimate we can come up with tomorrow, but it will now appears it will remain above freezing for much of Saturday before cooling down with perhaps an inch or so of snow on Saturday night. As usual, it seems, it's a back-and-forth start to the season, but at least cold weather returns by the middle of the week.
I know, we promised a more definitive report as of Thursday evening; but right now there isn't a forecast that is very "definitive" - except to say that it will precipitate Friday through Sunday. So far little new snow predicted for the Lake Placid area with a greater chance of rain. However, temperatures will only be mid to upper 30s so not much loss of what we have, and it could easily be all snow above 2,500 feet.
Right now, there is golf course skiing in Lake Placid. Also skiable as reported earlier are: Marcy Dam Truck Trail to Marcy Dam, Newcomb Lake Road to Camp Santanoni, Gulf Brook Rd. to Boreas Ponds, and of course the Whiteface Highway.
The best take-a-way is that the weather won't be very nice for being outside, but we won't lose much, if any, of what we already have. Next week will again turn colder, so no loss of snow there.
Given that temperatures were close to or even above freezing on Sunday night, it was hard to tell what kind and amount of snow that had fallen. Two days later, various credible reports indicate that there is good snow (enough for snowshoes to be required in the High Peaks) above 2,500, and skiable snow even below that elevation in places.
Specifically, 17-18" on top of Avalanche Pass and at Lake Colden. Not skiable above Marcy Dam, but apparently skiable once up on the pass. There is also a report of skiing from Blue Ridge Rd. to Boreas Ponds. Whiteface Mt. received less snow, but the Highway is again skiable. Another report said that the 2-4" of dense snow was sufficient to ski to Marcy Dam - albeit with still some rocks to avoid. And Newcomb Lake Road can also be added to the skiable list. The Whiteface Highway is again skiable from the Toll House. 2-3" of snow on ice at the Toll House, but more snow as one climbs. Some windblown areas on the final turns, but that's not unusual for this time of the year.
We will continue to look for reliable posts while also doing some personal research to hopefully prepare a good report for the weekend. Unfortunately, the forecast for Friday is a bit iffy regarding what temperatures and what kind of precipitation we will receive. Stay tuned.
After a stable Thanksgiving weekend with at least some skiing possible, Sunday night saw some rain that was, at times, heavy. Temperatures dropped by morning, so the ground was again white in the valleys with an inch or so of wet snow. It appears that it was all snow at higher elevations, but what altitude that is remains to be seen. It never went above freezing on the summit of Whiteface, so we know there is snow there. How much is the question and how far down the mountain does that snow go?
Tuesday and Wednesday valley temperatures will remain below freezing, and then only be mid to upper thirties through the rest of the week and weekend. So far, no significant new snow in the forecast, but there will certainly be skiing this coming weekend. We'll see how much and where and report on Thursday evening, 11/30 .
Yes, some very wet, dense snow fell on Tuesday night. As has happened before, it seems that areas to the east (like Keene) received more than areas farther west. So, this doesn't mean any skiing to report in Keene, but even the golf courses in Lake Placid are mostly green. The Whiteface Highway has maybe an inch of slush at the Toll House with good cover starting at the pump house at about two miles up. Somewhat surprisingly, Meadows Lane and the Marcy Dam Truck Trail have about 3" of dense snow and can be rated at "just barely skiable". The survey didn't extend to the other early season favorites in Newcomb or Paul Smiths. Reports welcome.
Thursday's forecast is for clouds and temperatures near to just above freezing. So, no melting and surfaces will remain soft. On Friday, temperatures will cool so that att the wet snow will become quite firm and choppy where it has been skied while it was soft. After that, temperatures remain below freezing for the weekend without any new snow = not much change to what is reported above.
Have a happy Thanksgiving and maybe a bit of skiing as well.
As of Tuesday at noon, the reports are that the snow on the Whiteface Highway starts either 1/4 mile up from the Toll House or nearly 1/2 way to the Castle. Tuesday night will see some snow, sleet of freezing rain, but this will end as rain Wednesday afternoon. So, where the snow line will be come Thursday morning is anyone's guess, but it likely won't be too far above the Toll House. So, for now all we can say is take your chances if you are traveling in the hope of skiing. We'll try and refine this forecast tomorrow evening.
Sorry if this is a bit late for your weekend planning, but there's not much good to report.
Warm weather and rain on Friday has melted pretty much everything except for the upper half of the Whiteface Highway. Temperatures will drop tomorrow, Saturday, but the mountain forecast only predicts "little to no" accumulation even at the higher elevations. Maybe that forecast is wrong, but don't drive very far to try and find out.
Next week maintains cooler temperatures, but so far no skiable snow. In the ideal world, we would have a week or so of really cold temperatures to get some frost in the ground before we have any snow cover. That would freeze up the little seeps that often plague ski trails as well as ensuring that every flake that falls remains and isn't insidiously melted from the unfrozen ground below.
Most of Thursday's snow has melted as of Friday afternoon, but there is some coverage starting at the Toll House on the Whiteface Highway. At the Toll House, the pavement shows through pretty much anywhere someone has made tracks - whether these tracks are, ski, mountain bike, foot, or dog. Some would characterize it as skiable while others would say it is merely "slideable". Whatever, the coverage slowly increases as one proceeds up the highway. Just before the pump house, just short of two miles up, there is a stretch that was pretty much blown clean, but after the pump house the coverage improved significantly.
That said, the caveat is that the coverage on the lower sections was soft on Friday from the above-freezing temperatures. Once the temperature drops below freezing, it will likely be a frozen, choppy mess - at least until it is again above freezing.
There is not much new snow in the forecast, but in the next week almost temperatures should remain cool enough that what we have now will remain as a base for any future snowfall. After that, there could be a warming trend, so stay tuned.
Yesterday's update alluded to the possibility of Lake Placid golf courses being skiable. Well, they were for an afternoon, but now no way as all the snow is gone.
Winter has returned, and this time no immediate warmup is in the forecast. So, more complete report tomorrow evening, Friday 11/10, but all indications are for skiing right from the Toll House on the Whiteface Highway plus skiing on the Lake Placid golf courses. Lacking frozen ground, this cover may not last into next week even if temperatures remain near freezing. So, as we've often said, "Ski it while you can."
Wednesday's snow has definitely melted back. While the Whiteface Highway was skiable from the Toll House as of Thursday, current reports indicate a two-plus mile walk to somewhat 'sketchy' snow cover with good cover only after the Lake Placid turn at about three miles. So, long walk for this "season" of skiing.
Next week will not see any really warm temperatures, but will see some rain in the valleys. We could thus possibly see more snow at the higher elevations and perhaps more Whiteface Highway skiing next weekend.. Stay tuned....
Other than the skiing, the higher summits will still have ice, so good traction will be required for any summit hikes.
Somewhat of a surprise, but we have picked up an inch or so of snow in the valley, so higher up there is likely more, and the Whiteface Highway should be just barely skiable from the toll house. Warmer tomorrow and Friday, so it may not last for the weekend - at least not down to the toll house. We'll check on Friday afternoon and report what are the possibilities for the weekend.
Cold temperatures have finally arrived, but not enough for much skiing just yet. There is some skiable snow higher up on the Whiteface Highway, but so far it is about a three-mile walk to some very thin cover.
The forecast is for continued cold conditions through the weekend, but no guess whether this will bring the snow any closer to the Toll House.
Otherwise, hiking the higher summits will definitely require some sort of traction somewhere between 4,000 and 4,500 feet - at least if the ice is thick enough for spikes to be much good. Shoulder season is always very unpredictable from one hike to the next, but be prepared for whatever the conditions might be. Comments on any specific peak are welcome.
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.