INTRODUCTION (Updated to Saturday afternoon 2/18)
Thursday's major thaw definitely changed conditions everywhere, but we picked up a few inches of new snow right after the thaw, and Saturday afternoon saw some surprise snow squalls that added a few more inches. So now, much terrain is back in skiable condition with any frozen ruts mostly covered up. On the backcountry trails, nearly every brook "went out" so unbridged crossings will be problematic. Groomed centers are probably the best place to ski, but only Mt. Van Hoevenberg and Cascade are reporting any skiing.
Looking ahead, it will be warmer on Sunday and Monday with temperatures in the low 40s on Tuesday and, of course, the possibility for more rain. Cooler on Thursday, but so far not much new snow to accompany the cool down.
Entire trail again skiable, but caution advised on the steeper downhills as there is not all that much powder for control .
UPDATE 2/20 - Whiteface Inn Rd to McKenzie Pond Rd is skiable. The trail is frozen and packed hard, with a dusting to 2 inches of fresh snow on top. The long downhill to McKenzie Pond requires caution, otherwise the rest of the trail is skiing well. Off trail the snow is dense with a crust that mostly supports the weight of a skier. Depending on equipment, you can stay on top of the crust for the most part.
NOTE: Skiers starting from Rock and River in Keene should only park in the spots designated for skiers. Do not park in spots reserved for Rock and River guests. If all trailhead spots are taken, park in the overflow lot.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKI CENTERS
CASCADE X-C SKI CENTER:
Km Open and Groomed: 10 Track Set: 10
New snow: 2" Base Depth: 5" Off Track 10"
Surface Conditions: Groomed powder on hardpack
MOUNT VAN HOEVENBERG:
Km Open and Groomed: 15 km Track Set: 15 km
New snow: 2" Base Depth: 15" on man-made trails. 5" on natural snow. Off Track: 10"
Surface Conditions: Groomed powder on hardpack
Remarks: Competition trails have been groomed along with the lower, flatter trails on the cross-country side. Biathlon side is closed for now.
PAUL SMITHS VISITOR INTERPRETIVE CENTER:
Km Open: 0 km. Track set:
New Snow: 1" Base Depth: 15" Off Track: 24"
Surface Conditions: ??
Remarks: Condition report shows all trails currently closed.
35" at Lake Colden (estimate)
5-6 feet above 4,000 feet
Skis or snowshoes still required by regulation in the High Peaks and needed in all other areas, but good traction is also important..
WRIGHT PEAK SKI TRAIL: No report, but hiking trail portion will likely require a lot of new snow to again be skiable.
MARCY TRAIL: No report, but Marcy Brook at Indian Falls definitely "went out", and that can be a difficult crossing.
WHITEFACE HIGHWAY: Cover all the way to the Castle, but there will be some bare spots given the wind.
MARCY DAM TRUCK TRAIL: Was skiable and every rock was fully covered. Unbridged crossing 1/4 mile past the register could be a problem. GENERAL NOTE: At the trailhead on Adirondak Loj Rd., DEC Rangers do not want any parking on the right side of the plowed turnout. Good parking on the left side, and then there's the road.
HIKING TRAIL FROM ADK LOJ: Covered and skiable, but the truck trail is still the better choice. Unbridged crossing on the old Marcy Dam Trail is probably not crossable.
AVALANCHE PASS: No current report. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden remain frozen and crossable, but outlet of Avalanche Lake likely now a problem. If in doubt, take trail on right side a few yards before the outlet and cross on the bridge. GENERAL NOTE: If skied from the Meadows Lane/Marcy Dam Truck Trail trailhead, DEC Rangers do not want any parking on the right side of the plowed turnout. Good parking on the left side, and then there's the road.)
CONNERY POND TO WHITEFACE LANDING: Still covered, but pond may not be crossable, and the hills at the start will be a challenge even with the new snow.
HAYS BROOK TRUCK TRAIL: Smooth and gentle, this trail remains skiable to both Grass Pond and the Sheep Meadow- just not ideal. So far this season, the parking area continues to be plowed even after the recent storms.
FISH POND TRUCK TRAIL: First few flat miles definitely skiable. Hills beyond probably are with the new snow. No report on the ponds.
RAQUETTE FALLS: Probably skiable with the new snow.
GULF BROOK ROAD TO BOREAS PONDS: First hill will now be negotiable on the descent, and after that there are many miles of gentle skiing. Parking area now seems to be regularly plowed for 4-5 cars, Parking on the road is possible - just not ideal. All culverts and bridges have been repaired/replaced. As of late December, one tree down just short of the ponds. If you ski there, please register as that will help justify future plowing.
NEWCOMB LAKE ROAD TO CAMP SANTANONI: Skiable to Camp Santanoni. Moose Pond trail has some blowdown that may not be removed this winter.
AUSABLE LAKE ROAD: Still covered, but reports of some washouts.
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.