The forecast has come true! 10 - 12 - 16" on the ground all over the Adirondacks with the snow still falling as of 5 PM. The predictions now say the snowfall could continue for most of the night before tapering off on Saturday. That's the good news. The bad news is that it has everywhere, except perhaps at the highest elevations, fallen at temperatures at or slightly above freezing. This means classic "Sierra Cement" = difficult trail breaking and likely little joy in any downhill run. Back to the good news, this could be the lasting base that covers up most of the rocks and roots on the more rugged trails. But back to the bad news, this very heavy blanket of snow on relatively thin ice will likely make for severe slush conditions on any lake ice. (The weight of the snow pushes the ice down, and any crack then allows water to come up under the snow. The overlying snow insulates that water so that it doesn't immediately freeze, and the result is icy, slushy build-up on the skis. We'll see if maybe a later thaw-freeze cycle will build up a hard layer that separates skis from the slush underneath.
For now, it will be mostly reports of trails that have be broken out. So, go out and break some trail and report it here so your name can be known for your true community service.
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.