Continued Improvement 1/5/20
FURTHER UPDATE 1/10/20
Mixed rain and snow has started to fall as of 9AM in the Lake Placid/Keene area. Temperatures rose overnight from 14 degrees at 10 PM to 30 degrees at 7 AM. The current forecast calls for a flood watch for this area with a winter storm watch further to the north. The winter storm will be mostly freezing rain. Below is the current map of the two watch areas. Of course it all depends on exactly how this storm tracks. In any event, we are not going to try to provide hourly updates on this site. We'll just get out Monday and do a damage assessment. Here's the map:
Since Monday we have picked up 2-3 more inches of light snow, so no real change in the conditions. The forecast still calls for warming temperatures tomorrow, Friday, with some rain or sleet possible by evening followed by even warmer temperatures on Saturday with rain that could continue into Sunday before it cools down. We may get some snow at the tail end of this weather pattern, and so far we shouldn't lose all of the base we've slowly accumulated. We'll update this report when it is possible to know what the skiing will be like next week; but there is not much that we can say that's good about the weekend
While most areas only received the 3" of the predicted 3-5", skiing is now quite good in many areas. Generally cold temperatures are predicted or the coming week with additional chances for additional light snow. So get out and ski if you can.
Unfortunately, by the end of the week we will again be facing temperatures near 40, so "two steps forward and one step back".
The smoother sections close to Lake Placid are again very skiable, the Old Mt. Road and the McKenzie Pass sections can be recommended with caution. Specifically, Craig Wood Golf Course to River Rd., River Rd. to the Lake Placid Club Golf Courses, and the Peninsula Section are in good shape. The section heading toward Saranac Lake from Whiteface Inn Lane is skiable for the first half-mile with good skiing from there to the top of the pass. The descent to McKenzie Pond is only really skiable going up, but it is thin but skiable in as far as the pond.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKI CENTERS
CASCADE X-C SKI CENTER:
Km Open and Groomed: 15 KmTrack Set: 10
New snow: 1". Base Depth: 4" Off Track 7"
Surface Conditions: Packed powder with icy spots
Remarks: Restaurant and ski shop open
MOUNT VAN HOEVENBERG:
Km Open and Groomed: 49 Km Track Set: 30
New snow: 1". Base Depth: 4" off Track 7"
Surface Conditions: Packed powder with icy spots
PAUL SMITHS VISITOR INTERPRETIVE CENTER:
Km Open and Groomed: 37
New Snow: 2". Base Depth: 6"
Surface Conditions: Packed powder
Remarks: Grooming in progress, and skiing is again recommended.
Snowshoes or skis are required in the High Peaks when there is 12" or more of snow on the ground. There is again about 12" at Lake Colden and 2-3 feet at 4,000 feet. As noted above, traction required on most trails and summits.
WHITEFACE HIGHWAY: Skiable all the way to the Castle.
MARCY DAM TRUCK TRAIL: Just enough cover to ski with caution. The rocks are not really "covered", just "disguised".
HIKING TRAIL FROM ADK LOJ: Not yet skiable.
AVALANCHE PASS: Now just barely skiable past Marcy Dam, but the pass itself is in reasonably 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: May finally be skiable.
HAYS BROOK TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely skiable to both Grass Pond and the Sheep Meadow, Some blowdown past the crossing of Hays Brook. Two of the trees are a bit of an effort to get around, but they don't detract from the overall experience. Use caution on the steep hill that descends to Hays Brook.
FISH POND TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely fully covered from the parking area. A comment on an earlier report says that the big hill two miles in from the register is now skiable, and that the downed trees that were a hazard have been cleared. No report of conditions beyond the side road to St. Regis Pond outlet.
GULF BROOK ROAD TO BOREAS PONDS: Parking area still hasn't been plowed as of 12/31, and parking on Blue Ridge Rd. is not ideal. Some culverts washed out in the Halloween storm, but they are crossable and will be more easily negotiated as we get more snow.
NEWCOMB LAKE ROAD TO CAMP SANTANONI: 2" new snow on a 6" base. Definitely still the best choice for this week. Trees downed by the icing of the past few days had been cleared as far as the Moose Pond junction as of 12/31. Moose Pond Trail also has good cover, but there is an undetermined amount of uncleared blowdown.
AUSABLE LAKE ROAD: Now can be recommended for skiing with 2-3" of new snow on a thin but firm base.
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.