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This weekend in the Adirondacks

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John Warren, of the Adirondack Almanack, joins us Friday mornings with information about local outdoor and backcountry conditions.

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Reported by

John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

This is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack with your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend.

Winter conditions are the rule. Day time and night time temperatures are hovering above and below freezing and significant mixed precipitation is expected as we head into the weekend, which while adding some snow in the central Adirondacks and higher elevations, will keep conditions generally icy elsewhere.

Snow depths around the region vary.  Eastern Essex County and Southern Warren County has little to no snow. There is with 5 to 7 inches in the south central Adirondacks and lower elevations of the central Adirondacks, 8 to 10 in the Moose River Plains, 18 inches at the Lake Colden Interior Cabin, and more in the higher elevations of the High Peaks. Snowshoes are now required above Marcy Dam and crampons will be helpful, if not required on the generally icy trails.  Expect summit wind chill values in the teens so be prepared for varied conditions this weekend.

The region's rivers and streams are running at normal levels for this time of year and there is now ice on at least parts of all lakes at lower elevations, but ice thickness remains less than what is typical for mid-winter and larger lakes still have areas of dangerously thin ice. Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Schroon Lake still have large open areas.

This week’s wet and warm weather will mean that even ice that is safe may be layered and slushy, so use extreme caution and check the depth of ice before and during crossing.

With the exception of Big Tupper and Hickory Mountain in Warrensburg, the region's downhill ski areas will be open this weekend, though ski with caution, an accident claimed the life of a 25 year old Whiteface skier last weekend - many trails still have thin icy cover, especially at mountains relying heavily on natural snow.

There are still early season conditions for cross-country skiers who will want to stick to gentler terrain. Most of the region's cross-country ski areas will be open this weekend on thin cover, and limited trails. Your best bet is the Paul Smith's VIC and Lapland Lake. The Lake Placid area has about 5 to 7 inches of snow and the Whiteface Highway is barely skiable, but the Jackrabbit Trail has been reduced by rain and warm weather and is not recommended. Dewey Mountain, Cascade, and Mount van Hovenberg closed this week, so call ahead for those areas, as well as the Tupper Lake trails. Opportunities can still be had on the Connery Pond Road, Hayes Brook and Fish Pond truck trails, Raquette Falls, and towards Newcomb including Santanoni, in the Moose River Plains, and at Garnet Hill near North Creek. Early backcountry routes in the high peaks are no longer considered skiable.

Some of the region's snowmobile trails are open, but expect generally thin, hard packed icy trails with bare spots and wet areas. Riding conditions are at best in Southern Franklin County through toward Long Lake, Indian Lake, Old Forge, Inlet, and the Speculator area. Some reasonable riding is in the Moose River Plains where there is 8 to 12 inches of snow on the ground. Trails in Eastern Essex, Warren and Washington Counties are not ridable. Snowmobilers should continue to show restraint in areas with insufficient snow cover to avoid damaging the trails.

And again this week, a reminder to play it safe and be on the look out for those thin snow cover areas, icy trails, hidden obstacles, and thin ice.

Those are the local outdoor conditions in the Adirondacks for this weekend, for North Country Public Radio, this is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack, online at www.AdirondackAlmanack.com.

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