Apr 12, 2013 — This is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack with your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend.
After a warm spell that seems to have mostly ended the sugaring season, colder stormier weather returned this week and is expected to continue through the weekend. Today’s temperatures are expected to be about 10 degrees below normal, with some gusty winds along the western slopes. This weekend, summits are expected to be a mixed bag with below freezing temperatures at night, wind chills in the lower teens in the morning, and highs only in the mid-30s during the day.
Higher elevations still have plenty of snow, and skis or snowshoes will still be necessary there, but trail conditions are varied with snow icy or crusty in the morning and soft in the afternoon. Middle elevations have little to no snow in open areas with some snow in the woods, where snowshoes may still be necessary in more sheltered areas. At lower elevations there is little or no snow, but be on the lookout for slush and mud there, especially in low-lying areas.
With the start of Mud Season, DEC has shut the gates to roads typically closed at this time of year. Those roads will reopen once they dry out – typically in mid May. Now would be a good time to seek recreation opportunities in drier areas of the Adirondack Park such as the Lake George and Lake Champlain drainages.
Waters are running seasonally high, with rivers and streams in the Western Adirondacks, including the Oswagatchie, Beaver, Independence, and Black Rivers, running well above normal, even for this time of year. The White water rafting season began this week with three outfitters on the Hudson River, and more beginning to run this weekend. The rafting season typically runs through to mid-October. This year’s 56th Annual Hudson River Whitewater Derby will run May 4th and 5th with a new race for beginners.
Most lakes and ponds are covered with slush and should no longer be considered safe. Snowmobiling and ice climbing has come to an end for the season, and DEC has closed all climbing routes on Moss Cliff in the Wilmington Notch, at the Upper and Lower Washbowl cliffs in the Chapel Pond area, and much of the Main Face of Pok-O-Moonshine, to allow for the nesting of Peregrine Falcons.
Skiing and snowboarding continues on spring conditions at Gore and Whiteface, which closed this week, but will reopen Saturday and Sunday. Skiing and boarding at all other downhill areas has ended for the season.
Cross country skiing has also generally ended for the season, however, the road to Great Camp Santanoni is still reported skiable. The approaches to backcountry ski areas have deteriorated and backcountry skiing can no longer be recommended, although a few die-hards will no doubt be out beyond on the Marcy Trail beyond the 50 meter bridge, which is still skiable.
Finally, there was a reminder last weekend of the fire danger at this time of year when an unattended campfire burned over some 20 acres in Washington County. Remember that it is illegal to leave a fire unattended until it is fully extinguished and also, the state’s temporary burn ban continues until May 14.
Those are the local outdoor conditions in the Adirondacks for this weekend, for North Country Public Radio, this is John Warren from the Adirondack Explorer’s Adirondack Almanack, online at www.AdirondackAlmanack.com.