Contrary to most predictions, temperatures soared to near 50 for most of the day with winds building during the afternoon and into the evening. Temperatures finally dropped to near freezing by morning with even a tiny bit of snow falling in some areas. However, much of what was reported below may not still hold. We will get out and see what base is still left at the usual "snow belt" areas and could therefore be skiable with just a few inches of new snow. And unfortunately, it doesn't look like much new snow in the forecasts.
With Friday morning temperatures around 40 and a bit of rain falling, it's unfortunately not the Christmas Week we had hoped for. And looking ahead there so far there isn't much hope of aquick recovery. So, while the groomed centers are still able to offer some skiing, it's either ice skating or hiking for outdoor activities. And be aware that many hiking trails are quite icy with traction aids (Microspikes or crampons) pretty much mandatory - especially after today's rain.
Only the smoother sections were really skiable before the thaw, and those sections should again be skiable once we finally get a few inches of new snow as so far they have held onto some base.. For now, however, no section of the trails can be recommended as skiable.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKI CENTERS -Best bets for this week
CASCADE X-C SKI CENTER:
Km Open and Groomed: 10 Km Track Set: 10
New snow: 0". Base Depth: 3"
Surface Conditions: Packed powder with icy spots
Remarks: Restaurant and ski shop open
MOUNT VAN HOEVENBERG:
Km Open and Groomed: 5 Km Track Set: 5
New snow: 0". Base Depth: 3"
Surface Conditions: Packed Powder with icy spots
Remarks: Just the flatter trails on the X-C side.
PAUL SMITHS VISITOR INTERPRETIVE CENTER:
Km Open and Groomed: 25
New Snow: 0". Base Depth: 6"
Surface Conditions: Packed powder
Remarks: Cover was holding well as of Tuesday morning, but not sure if today's online report has been updated.
Snowshoes or skis are required in the High Peaks when there is 12" or more of snow on the ground. There is now nearly 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, but there may be windblown stretches.
MARCY DAM TRUCK TRAIL: Still some cover, but not really recommended for skiing.
HIKING TRAIL FROM ADK LOJ: Not yet skiable.
AVALANCHE PASS: Not yet skiable past Marcy Dam. 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: Not yet skiable
HAYS BROOK TRUCK TRAIL: Definitely still fully covered to both Grass Pond and the Sheep Meadow, and the mostly gentle grades mean that the skiing is not too fast when icy. 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 still fully covered from the parking area, and the gentle grades for the first two miles make that skiable even when firm. The big hill two miles in from the register is not really recommended, especially because there is a report of some downed trees that require caution..
GULF BROOK ROAD TO BOREAS PONDS: Still has good cover, but the final descent back to the parking lot will be fast if surfaces are firm. Parking area had yet to be plowed as of last week. 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: Definitely still skiable and perhaps the best choice for this week. Moose Pond Trail also has good cover, but there may be uncleared blowdown.
AUSABLE LAKE ROAD: No longer recommended for skiing.
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.