Great conditions everywhere, but ski it today as Tuesday is predicted to have a "wintry mix" including some rain before it again becomes quite cold for the end of the week. Pretty much all popular ski routes are in great shape and broken out.
Raquette Falls is finally good skiing
Boreas Pond parking is plowed, and at least some has been broken out.
All X-C centers are in full operation, and no races at Mt. Van Hoevenberg to curtail the skiing there.
Thanks to last Friday's 12-18" of snow, we definitely have good cover everywhere. Unfortunately, three days of above freezing temperatures have put a crust on the unbroken areas, and a glaze on those sections that have been broken out. Today, Thursday, we have started out with some freezing rain, although it is supposed to change to snow with up to 3" by the end of the day. Tomorrow, Friday, will be quite cold with high temperatures only in the single digits. Saturday will start very cold, but warm to the mid-20s. Sunday will be near 30, and then early next week will be a bit warmer before cooling off by the end of the week. So, given the temperature "rollercoaster", the best surface conditions will beat the groomed centers, but pretty much anywhere will have good cover.
Finally good cover from end to end. Today the downhills will be quite fast until the new snow covers up the glazed surfaces. All sections have been broken out since last week's storm.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKI CENTERS
CASCADE X-C SKI CENTER:
Km Open and Groomed: 15 KmTrack Set: 15
New snow: 1". Base Depth: 10" Off Track 20"
Surface Conditions: Packed powder and hardpack
Remarks: Restaurant and ski shop open
MOUNT VAN HOEVENBERG:
Km Open and Groomed: 45 Km Track Set: 45
New snow: 1". Base Depth: 10" off Track 20"
Surface Conditions: Packed powder and hardpack
Remarks: Groomed and tracked everything except the outer loop of the Ladies 5 km. Williams College Winter Carnival X-C Races Friday and Saturday morning on the biathlon side,
PAUL SMITHS VISITOR INTERPRETIVE CENTER:
Km Open and Groomed: 37
New Snow: 1". Base Depth: 25"
Surface Conditions: Packed powder with a glaze of ice
Remarks: All trails groomed. Most track-set
Snowshoes or skis are now required in the High Peaks. There is 36" at Lake Colden and 4-5 feet at 4,000 feet.
WHITEFACE HIGHWAY: Skiable all the way to the Castle.
MARCY DAM TRUCK TRAIL: Finally enough snow to truly cover all the rocks. Broken out as of last weekend.
HIKING TRAIL FROM ADK LOJ: Definitely skiable, but the hills will be very fast.
AVALANCHE PASS: Finally, no rocks to dodge above marcy Dam. Pass is in good shape. Lake ice on Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden is being crossed. Be cautious around all inlets and outlets - especially the outlet to Avalanche Lake where the safest course is to exit on the western shore and cross the outlet on the bridge.
CONNERY POND TO WHITEFACE LANDING: Finally fully covered.
HAYS BROOK TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely skiable to both Grass Pond and the Sheep Meadow, Blowdown past the crossing of Hays Brook now reportedly cleared.
FISH POND TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely fully covered from the parking area.
GULF BROOK ROAD TO BOREAS PONDS: No report on whether the parking areas has been plowed, or if it has been broken out, but definitely enough cover to east the crossing of the washed out culverts.
NEWCOMB LAKE ROAD TO CAMP SANTANONI: Good skiing as always. Moose Pond Trail also has good cover, but there is an undetermined amount of uncleared blowdown.
AUSABLE LAKE ROAD: Plenty of cover, but the combination of warm days, cold nights, and snowmobile traffic makes the surface less than ideal for skiing.
After the foot or more of snow on Friday, Saturday's cold temperatures did not appear to diminish the desire of skiers to get out and enjoy the new snow. Consequently, all sections of the Jackrabbit Trail between Keene and Saranac Lake have been skied, but no report on the Paul Smiths section. Additionally, Avalanche Pass and the Marcy trail are finally in good shape with much traffic over the weekend on both trails. Hiking trail from ADK Loj now definitely very skiable, but there are good tracks on the truck trail as well. No rocks to avoid on the stretch between Marcy Dam and Avalanche Camp.
Monday through Thursday will see high temperatures above freezing with some light precipitation of various kinds. No significant accumulation or melting expected. Friday will be very cold with highs only in the low single digits, but Saturday warms to near 20 and then again above freezing on Sunday. So the upcoming weekend and the beginning of President's week will see by far the best skiing of the season.
In case you haven't been following the weather forecasts, we have picked up over a foot of snow on Thursday and Friday. It's fairly dense snow, so it will more than cover any of the rocks and other hazards we have been warning about so far this season. It's always a great moment for skiers when all of the safety warnings are about the highways and not the ski trails.
So, as it happens both of the contributors to this conditions page are away this weekend, so we can't provide timely updates on which trails have been broken out. That said, go out and start breaking trails on any popular trail, and soon some other party is likely to catch up to you and add to the trail breaking effort.
Saturday will be quite cold with highs only 10-15 degrees, but it warms into the 20s on Sunday. Then warm with light rain or snow on Monday and Tuesday before dropping back below freezing on Wednesday. So, the coming week and following weekend look to be great skiing most everywhere.
Happy Monday skiers,
Here is a Jackrabbit-specific report covering the entire trail from Paul Smiths to Keene, based on observations on Sunday Feb 2. Our next full conditions report for the region will be posted later this week. Until then the big takeaway is that skiing improved everywhere over the weekend. A dusting of snow Saturday night and Sunday was just enough to soften things up on already well-traveled ski trails. In some areas there is a weak crust when breaking trail, but not enough to detract from the skiing (even on skinny classic skis).
Paul Smiths to Saranac Lake
Saranac Lake to Lake Placid
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.