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.
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.