Chestertown, NY, Feb 03, 2012 — John Warren, of the Adirondack Almanack, joins us Friday mornings with information about local outdoor and back-country conditions.
This is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack with your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend.
Despite unseasonably warm weather this week, winter conditions remain with low precipitation and seasonably cold weather this weekend which will create icy conditions everywhere.
Snow depths around the region vary. Areas in the Eastern High Peaks into Eastern Essex County and Warren County have little to no snow, with 2 to 6 inches at most lower elevation elsewhere. There is 5 to 7 inches in the south central Adirondacks and lower elevations of the central Adirondacks and 20 inches is being reported at Lake Colden Interior Cabin. Snowshoes are now required above Marcy Dam and crampons will be helpful, if not required on the regions icy trails. Expect summit wind chill values below zero.
This week’s thaw has brought the region's rivers and streams to well above normal levels for this time of year. The thaw reopened some waters and thinned ice on rivers and streams and around inlets, outlets and shorelines, so avoid those areas. Many lakes have water and slush on the surface now that may freeze into layers of slush, water, and ice. Use extreme caution when traveling on ice.
Downhill mountains relying on natural snow are having a tough season, but with the exception of Big Tupper and Hickory Mountain in Warrensburg, the region's downhill ski areas will be open this weekend. Whiteface and Gore Mountain are both reporting about 70% of their trails open, but there is considerably less terrain open elsewhere.
Cross-country and backcountry ski conditions have deteriorated since last week. Only on the smoother, gentler trails, closed roads, and truck trails is cross-country skiing possible. Many of the region's cross-country ski areas will be open this weekend on thin cover and limited trails, but it’s best to call ahead.
Your best bet continues to be the Lapland Lake, Garnet Hill, and at the Paul Smith's VIC, where several activities have been moved to take advantage of the groomed trails and good cover.
The Lake Placid area has about 3 to 5 inches of snow; the Whiteface Highway is barely skiable, but the Jackrabbit Trail is not recommended. Good opportunities can be found at the Newcomb Lake Road to Camp Santanoni, Burn Road at Little Tupper Lake; first two miles of the Fish Pond Truck Trail, Hayes Brook Truck Trail to the Sheep Meadow, and in the Moose River Plains and Inlet area. Backcountry routes in the high peaks are generally not considered skiable.
Some of the region's snowmobile trails remain open, but expect thin, hard packed icy trails with bare spots and wet areas. Riding conditions are at best fair in Southern Franklin County through toward Long Lake, Indian Lake, Old Forge, Inlet, and the Speculator area. Some reasonable riding can still be found in the Moose River Plains and the Perkins Clearing speculator Tree Farm easement lands. Trails in Eastern Essex, Warren and Washington Counties are still not ridable. Snowmobilers should continue to show restraint in areas with insufficient snow cover to avoid damaging the trails.
All in all, conditions are still iffy so remember 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.