We thank Dave for his comments - see below. Good to know that there is some more snow west of Lake Placid/Saranac. With the warm conditions, the Lake Road to the Lower Ausable Lake is again skiable, but it will be very rough and choppy when it's below freezing. Additionally, the DEC report as of today rates the Marcy Dam Truck Trail as skiable, but there will still be rocks to avoid on several of the downhills. 2-1/2 feet of snow at timberline, and 13" at Lake Colden. There are online reports that the lakes, Avalanche and Colden, are being crossed; and people are skating on the Cascade Lakes. However, with only 13" at Lake Colden, Avalanche Pass can't really be considered "skiable".
Forecast is for warm temperatures and some rain through Saturday evening, but then cooling so that Monday's highs will only be near 20. Unfortunately, no significant new snow predicted with the cool down
UPDATE, 12/26 EVENING:
Newcomb Lake Road is definitely skiable, but conditions are very fast. Anything steeper than that will be a challenge since the breakable crust isn't conducive to easy turns or snowplowing.
Original Post 12/26:
Christmas Eve and Day saw some light freezing rain which has resulted in less than ideal surface conditions. We can expect some snow showers today that may help, but probably not much. Going forward, not much new snow in sight.
However, as of Monday, 12/27, the Mt. Van Hoevenberg report only says that the competition trails are open, not any of the flatter, smoother terrain. This terrain remains covered, but is icy and too thin to groom. Mt. Van Hoevenberg has great conditions on the man-made snow on the intermediate and expert competition trails. Paul Smith's VIC reports 18 km of their easier trails open with some grooming possible. And the nearby Hays Brook trail remains skiable to the Sheep Meadow and Grass Pond.
No current report from the DEC of snow depth at Lake Colden; but Avalanche Pass, while it can probably be negotiated on skis, isn't recommended. Ice on Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake is crossable, but use caution around any inlets or outlets - especially the outlet to Avalanche Lake.
Otherwise, many of the other ponds are now skateable, but it is entirely up to each individual to judge the safety for themselves. Comments either confirming or refuting this quick post-freezing rain analysis.
Not much new to report. DEC has not updated the snow depth at Lake Colden, but experience would indicate 6-9 ". Not enough to make Avalanche Pass really skiable. Cascade Lakes are fully frozen with skaters on the ice, so ice on Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden should be crossable. Still pay attention around any inlets or outlets - especially the outlet to Avalanche Lake. Mt. Van Hoevenberg reports 12km of their easier "legacy" trails are open, but after the Olympic trials, there is plenty of snow on the 4 km of competition trails. Unfortunately, no significant new snow in the forecast, but still no thaw that will invalidate the title of this post. Merry Christmas to all and a snowy New Year.
Lake Road to Lower Ausable Lake can now be added to the skiable routes. Excellent conditions on Newcomb Lake Road, and double track was handy to deal with the crowds there Sunday. Boreas parking not plowed as of Sunday, and no use there as of that time.
Additionally, Cascade X-C Ski Center is open of 3 km, but hopes the flurries this week will allow them to open more for the weekend.
Original Sunday morning post:
Good news, we did receive the promised 5-6" of new snow on Saturday and into Saturday night. Is was very fine snow and is actually quite dense, so even with no base many of the smoother trails will be skiable. Newcomb Lake Road to Camp Santanoni will be the best skiing as that road held some base, but Gulf Brook Road to Boreas Ponds, Fish Pond and Hays Brook will also have enough snow to ski. Marcy Dam truck trail will be skiable, but still be aware that there are some rocks that, while covered, still present a hazard on any downhill. Connery Pond to Whiteface Landing probably needs another bit of snow to be really recommended.
Mt. Van Hoevenberg will be working to groom their "Legacy" trails, but the intermediate and expert terrain on the competition trails has remained skiable on man-made snow through this thaw. Cascade X-C Ski Center has yet to report that they are open for skiing. The online report for the Paul Smith's VIC is not very informative regarding new snowfall or grooming, but it appears that most of the trail system is open for skiing.
Finally, the Old Mt. Road and McKenzie Pass sections of the Jackrabbit Trail can probably be negotiated on skis, but great care will be needed on any downhill sections. The shorter Craig Wood and Lake Placid Club sections will be skiable. More information later as we get a chance to check out these trails.
Going forward, temperatures will remain below freezing for all of the coming week, but no significant new snow is in the forecast; but at least it will be a white Christmas with some skiable snow.
UPDATE 12/14/21: Saturday's warm temperatures and high winds eliminated any cross-country skiing for now, but we're using this week of generally fair weather to clean up the debris created by the high winds over the weekend. Warm through this week, but cooling off with a chance of some snow on the weekend. On Friday, we hope to do a "windshield" survey of places that may have held onto some base so we can report what routes might be skiable with just a minimal amount of new snow. Stay tuned.
UPDATE 12/9/21: High Peaks snow report from the DEC says 14" at Lake Colden, 2-3 feet at timberline, but only 4-5 " at Marcy Dam. Ice on the surface of Avalanched Lake, but crossing is not recommended. Definitely not skiable conditions, but winter is here up high. All this will, of course, change with Saturday's warmth and rain, followed by above average temperatures into next week. PATIENCE.
UPDATE 12/8/21: While there is still some base left in parts of Lake Placid and in Newcomb, we haven't received enough new snow to make any area really skiable. And unfortunately, not too much new snow in sight for the rest of the week. And then the forecast still calls for temperatures near 50 with 90% chance of rain on Saturday. Again, the thaw won't last long, but still no significant snow as the temperatures cool down after Saturday. Mt. Van Hoevenberg will be able to offer some skiing on their snowmaking loops, but those are mostly expert terrain. The Tug Hill region is expected to receive some skiable snow on Wednesday, but they are still likely to see the warm temperatures and rain on Saturday. I guess we'll just have to be patient.
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.
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.