Dec 27, 2013 — John Warren of the Adirondack Almanack takes a look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for the weekend each Friday morning.
We lost considerable snowpack this past week, but snow and ice are still present at all elevations, and traction devices will be necessary for any foray into the backcountry.
Snow cover is more substantial in the lake effect areas of the Southwestern Adirondacks, along the Western Slopes, and along the Northern edge of the Adirondack Park.
Trails in the lower elevations have considerable ice over snow and middle elevations have a mix of snow and bare ground. There is about 6 inches of snow at Lake Colden, and about 8-10 inches at higher elevations.
Snow conditions in the Adirondacks are not conducive for snowshoes or skis. Nearly all surfaces, from the parking areas to higher summit trails are very icy, bare and patchy snow.
Rivers and streams are running well above normal levels for this time of year and there is ice on all waters, but open areas grew this week, and there is a considerable amount of dangerously thin and layered ice. It would be a good time to stay off of frozen waters, and if you do venture out for skating or ice fishing, use extreme caution.
The region’s downhill resorts took a hit with the warm weather and rain, but all will be open this weekend with the exception of Big Tupper and Hickory Mountain. Oak Mountain is reporting 30% of their terrain open; Whiteface 47%; and Gore Mountain is reporting 57% of their terrain open.
Cross country skiing is limited to lake effect snow areas, and smoother terrain at Paul Smith’s, Lapland Lake, and Garnet Hill. Conditions will be thin and icy, although forecasts are calling for a few inches of snow this weekend, so there may be some improvement, visitors should call ahead. No backcountry skiing can be recommended.
Snowmobiling has ended for the time being in the Adirondacks as well, although there is still riding at Tug Hill.
Outdoor sports enthusiasts have been lucky so far this season with early snow cover and plenty of opportunities to get out in early winter. This week’s warm-up changed that but continued cold weather is being forecast, and that will protect our base, for the next round of snow.
The Adirondack Almanack is online at www.AdirondackAlmanack.com