SNOWFALL UPDATE SATURDAY EVENING
The forecast was for 6-10", and we definitely have so far received "our" 6" throughout the Lake Placid region - including Keene.. Some light snow still falling, so the final total could be greater. We'll see. The snow fell while ground temperatures were at or above freezing, so it is dense stuff. A great base, but "Sierra Cement" isn't great for graceful turns in the unbroken snow. Once it cools down, we'll see whether today's snow firms up to a crust that supports a skier, or whether one just sinks down into a granular mess.
There is the promise of some additional light snow after it cools down, and that will put a nice surface on the trails that were broken out today. Those trails include the Old Mt. Road section of the Jackrabbit Trail, and very likely the other long McKenziePass section of the Jackrabbit Trail.
Otherwise, this snow has finally made every popular route skiable. This includes the hiking trail from ADK Loj to Marcy Dam.
WEATHER UPDATE FRIDAY AFTERNOON
A major change in the forecast now predicts snow to start early Saturday morning and continue through the day with 5 or more inches by the end of the day. There will be winds of up to 35mph, and that's just in the valleys. The snow will continue into Saturday night before tapering off by Sunday afternoon. Total snow accumulation of 6-10". This will put most popular ski routes in shape. After the storm, next week will be partly cloudy with temperatures a bit below normal, highs only in the lower 20s most of the week. So, if all of the above actually happens, winter will really be here - better late than never.
While temperatures have been above normal this past week, they have never gone too far above freezing. So, no snow lost, and we have picked up several inches of new, light snow here and there during the week. No great increase in overall snow depth, but the base is now a bit more solid, making for some additional skiing.
The big question is the weekend weather. There will be some precipitation, and for now it appears it will be all snow in the Lake Placid area. No major accumulation, but better than the rain or mixed precipitation predicted predicted at lower elevations. Temperatures turn cooler on Sunday with colder (highs mid-20s) temperatures to start off next week. The good news is that we will finally see some sun next week, but still no significant new snow in sight.
Best skiing is Whiteface Inn Lane to the top of the pass, but with the new snow the Old Mt. Road section is nice skiing even though there are still just a few rocks to avoid. Very thin starting in from McKenzie Pond Rd., but perhaps skiable closer to the pond. Peninsula Section of the Jackrabbit Trail still just barely skiable with many rocks and roots to avoid. Peninsula Road, however, very skiable for a short out and back ski.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKI CENTERS
CASCADE X-C SKI CENTER:
Km Open and Groomed: 5km Track Set: 0
New snow: 2" Base Depth: 3" Off Track 3"
Surface Conditions: Packed powder
Remarks: Ski shop open
MOUNT VAN HOEVENBERG:
Km Open and Groomed: 29km Track Set: 25 km
New snow: 2" Base Depth: 12" on man-made trails. 3" on natural snow. Off Track 3"
Surface Conditions: Packed powder
Remarks: Biathlon side trails and man-made snow competition trails open. Ladies 5km and Porter Mt. Trails still closed.
PAUL SMITHS VISITOR INTERPRETIVE CENTER:
Km Open and Groomed: 40
New Snow: 2" Base Depth: 8"
Surface Conditions: packed powder
Remarks: No grooming of the new light snow due to mechanical problems, but otherwise good cover on their extensive system.
Still not enough snow that snowshoes are required per regulation at the trailheads, but they should be carried and used at the higher elevations when the snow depth is over 8", or anywhere one is leaving a deep print. Most recent report is 11" of snow at Lake Colden, and not much has likely fallen since.
WHITEFACE HIGHWAY: Skiable all the way to the Castle.
MARCY DAM TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely skiable. The larger rocks are still visible. Use caution as there are many rocks that are merely "disguised."
HIKING TRAIL FROM ADK LOJ: Not skiable.
AVALANCHE PASS: Past Marcy Dam it is reported as "passable" on skis through to Avalanche Lake. Last report was that the ice on Avalanche Lake is frozen and safe to cross.
CONNERY POND TO WHITEFACE LANDING: Skiable with caution. Hills at the start are very thin, and there are rocks showing in other places. Maintain control on all downhills. Hills at the start past the summer parking area can be avoided by skiing across Connery Pond. Look for the Connery Pond Access sign just before the summer parking. Once at the pond, ski at a magnetic bearing of 350 degrees to reach the best exit from the lake to the trail
HAYS BROOK TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely very skiable to both Grass Pond and the Sheep Meadow with 10" of snow at the Sheep Meadow. Parking area has been plowed.
FISH POND TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely skiable, although caution still needed on the big hills two miles in.
RAQUETTE FALLS: No report, but likely skiable to the falls, although a walk down both "Hemlock Hill" and the final switchbacks may be advisable. Plowing ends one mile from the parking area at the Corey's Road gate (now closed), but vehicles are being driven that far.
GULF BROOK ROAD TO BOREAS PONDS: Parking area is not being plowed this winter, but for now most vehicles can access the parking area. Tracks broken to the ponds, but not yet onto the surface of the ponds. Washed out culvert at 1/2 mile is an obstacle, but can be negotiated without removing ones skis.
NEWCOMB LAKE ROAD TO CAMP SANTANONI: Good skiing, although still thin.
AUSABLE LAKE ROAD: Sufficient cover even at the start under the thick hemlocks. Some snowmobile traffic along with the foot traffic.
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.