BRIEF CONDITIONS UPDATE:
Last week the Jackrabbit Trail saw a ton of traffic and we went into the weekend with a very compacted base on all but the most obscure sections. On Saturday we skied from Rock & River in Keene to downtown Saranac Lake, the main 25-mile section of the trail. Skiing was fast with good cover almost everywhere, with the exception of the long downhill on the Saranac Lake side of McKenzie Pass, which cannot be recommended except maybe for the hardiest of skiers on metal edge skis. That side of the pass suffered some washouts from the big warm-up and rain on Jan 11-12 and has yet to recover. There are large sections with partially exposed rock and bare patches in places where it is very difficult to slow down.
On Saturday afternoon it rained for 1-2 hours starting around 1pm, switching to snow around sunset. We picked up 1-2 inches of wet snow overnight on Saturday, and a few more inches throughout the afternoon on Sunday. Ultimately it was a net gain for the ski trails but we're left with some wet snow covering slush which will make skiing challenging in some places.
The smoother sections of the Jackrabbit Trail close to Lake Placid are again very skiable, the Old Mt. Road section can be recommended but use caution descending toward Keene and around the beaver ponds. There is mostly good cover but some "wonky" sections. Craig Wood Golf Course to River Rd., River Rd. to the Lake Placid Club Golf Courses, and the Peninsula Section are again in good shape. The section heading toward Saranac Lake from Whiteface Inn Lane held a base and is good skiing to the top of the pass for the most part, but be on the lookout for water bars and a few broad wet areas that may have turned into ice flows. Near the top of the pass on the LP side there is a small washout that isn't quite covered with snow again that requires caution. As noted above the section descending from the top of the pass to McKenzie Pond cannot be recommended, there are many hazards on the entire descent. From McKenzie Pond to McKenzie Pond Rd and over to NCCC is good to go. From Lake Clear there is a good snowmobile track on the power line heading toward Paul Smiths, and the skiing from Easy St to the VIC will be good as well.
Snowshoes or skis are required in the High Peaks when there is 12" or more of snow on the ground. There is again about 24" at Lake Colden and 3-4 feet at 4,000 feet.
WHITEFACE HIGHWAY: Skiable all the way to the Castle.
MARCY DAM TRUCK TRAIL: Skiable with good cover.
HIKING TRAIL FROM ADK LOJ: Skiable with caution as some log staircases/bog bridges are still exposed, and some larger rocks still not covered.
AVALANCHE PASS: Still somewhat rough past Marcy Dam, but the pass itself is in 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: Skiable with good cover.
HAYS BROOK TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely skiable to both Grass Pond and the Sheep Meadow,
FISH POND TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely fully covered from the parking area.
28TH ANNUAL SKI TO SWIM PARTY
On Sunday we celebrated the 28th "pool party" at the Crowne Plaza Resort. This is our favorite FUN-raiser and member appreciation event of the year. 26 people, including over a dozen kids, skied the Theresa's Tour from Cascade XC Center to downtown Lake Placid. We were excited to welcome a couple new families to the area who joined BETA for the first time at the pool party, as well as many pool party veterans. A fun time was had by all thanks in part to our event supporters - Crowne Plaza Resort, Big Slide Brewery, Origin Coffee Co, Outpost Wine & Spirits, Long Run Wealth and Lakeview Deli. Huge thanks to everyone!
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.