Friday Nov 15
Tuesday's big storm did not dump quite as much snow as predicted on the Jackrabbit Trail or the High Peaks in general. 4" in Saranac Lake, 6" in Lake Placid and Keene. The north end of the Park and up to the St. Lawrence River did get nearly a foot. Nevertheless, there is enough snow to ski the golf courses and the truck trails and no danger that this will melt before the weekend. In fact, it will be more like mid-winter temperatures through the weekend before it warms up into the 40s to start next week.
Friday has been just above freezing with some light mist, but no significant melting of any of the snow. Tonight will again cool down to the single digits, with wind and temperatures not rising much above 20 on Saturday. Warmer and calmer on Sunday.
In the High Peaks, the snow does not yet reach the 12" threshold where regulations require snowshoes, but travel is generally easier with snowshoes if there is more than 6". And as noted above, it will be full-on winter on the higher summits with goggles, face mask, and of course traction for any of the higher, steeper trails. No report from Lake Colden, and no lake ice is anywhere close to safe.
For skiers, here is my current research and speculation about possibilities. No idea how much blowdown might still be down after the Halloween storm.
Whiteface Highway: Skiable even before Tuesday's storm, and now even better cover. However, Saturday looks to be cold and windy, so maybe wait for more temperate conditions on Sunday.
Jackrabbit Trail: Easily skiable for two miles from the Keene end to a beaver pond. Possible to get around the pond and on to the top of the pass, but still rocky and wet on the Lake Placid end, and not enough ice on the one large beaver pond. Craig Wood to River Road skiable with caution as is the case from River Road to the Lake Placid Club golf course. Fawn Ridge not quite ready, and some rocks still showing between Saranac Ave. and Whiteface Inn. First hill above Whiteface Inn Lane is a bit rough, but it gets better as one approaches the lean-to. Skiable on to the top of the pass. Not recommended past the top and down to McKenzie Pond, but there are ski tracks going in from McKenzie Pond Rd.
Marcy Dam Truck Trail: Skiable to Marcy Dam. Be aware that there are rocks that, while covered, present a hazard.
Hays Brook Truck Trail: Enough snow to be skiable, but there may be blowdown.
Fish Pond Truck Trail: Same as Hays Brook.
Raquette Falls: First few miles skiable, but not enough to ski to the falls.
Ausable Lake Road: Still being driven, but enough of a "shoulder" for a ski track; and the walkers will stay in the tire tracks and out of the ski tracks.
Newcomb Lake Road: Likely skiable, but the remote monitoring equipment at the Huntington Forest is not updated. Reports of conditions welcome.
Gulf Brook Road: See Newcomb Lake Road
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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.