After a drive "around the block" yesterday, I can report that all is not lost. The snow is pretty much gone in Keene and is thin in Lake Placid and thinner in Saranac Lake, but there is still some good base left to the west and south. Surfaces are hard and icy, but 3-4" of new snow will make a good deal of the gentler terrain skiable again. This will happen slowly through the week with the best chance of more significant snow on Saturday. Friday will be quite cold, but Saturday and Sunday will see temperatures in the low to mid-20s before cooling off again on Monday, MLK Day.
Warning: High winds accompanied the thaw, so there may be new downed trees on any of the trails.
Marcy Dam Truck Trail - 2-3" if ice or hard crust left, but the ground is covered.
Jackrabbit Trail - The section starting at Whiteface Inn Lane retained consistent snow: 5" at the trailhead. McKenzie Pond Rd. end virtually bare as are the Old Mt. Road and the golf course sections. The Paul Smiths Section had 10" at the Easy Street Crossing, but less toward the VIC.
Hays Brook Truck Trail - 3-4" at the trailhead. Note in the register says Forest Ranger Scott Sabo cleared the trail as of 12/12. Looking for confirmation from the ranger that all trees to the Sheep Meadow have been cleared.
Fish Pond Truck Trail - Also 3-4" at the trailhead, so skiable with some new snow.
Newcomb Lake Road - 4-5" in the road where it had been packed down, and 6-8" off trail.
Gulf Brook Road to Boreas Ponds - The parking is now being plowed and there is about 6" of snow at the south-facing trailhead. Note in the register says, "culvert #1 impassable", but is was definitely passable a month ago.
Ausable Lake Road - No cover at the gate under the thick trees, but likely some after 1/2 mile.
These condition reports are provided by the Bark Eater Trails Alliance (BETA), continuing a service started by the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. BETA continues as a mostly volunteer-driven organization (no pay for yesterday's drive), but the organization now does field a small, paid trail crew to work on routine maintenance of the vastly expanded trail network while also working on the many opportunities for new trail construction now that the Saranac Lake Wild Forest plan has been approved. The organization also has a full-time, paid executive director to coordinate all of the above activities, not to mention the cost of keeping this site active.
So, if you've never contributed to BETA but find these reports useful. please consider going to the organization's website, www.betatrails.org, and making a contribution using PayPal or most credit cards. Thanks
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.