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This weekend in the Adirondacks

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

Now that the recent spate of warmer weather has ended, trails, parking lots, and other access points are very icy and traction devices are recommended for all hikes. You'll want to have crampons for extended icy areas, especially in steep terrain, on summits and other open areas.

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Reported by

John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

There is plenty of snow above about 3,500 feet, as the rain this past week fell as snow above that elevation and so snowshoes or skis will be needed there.  Ski conditions are not suitable in the lower elevations, but fair above 3,500 feet.

The Lake Colden Interior Caretaker reports 16 inches at the stake, and with several inches of fresh snow. Lower elevations in the central and southern Adirondacks have about 4 to 6 inches, with 2 to 4 inches of snow on the ground elsewhere.

This week’s rain and melting snow brought the levels of rivers and stream to well above normal for this time of year. The threat of flooding from ice jams is generally over for now, however, some river and stream crossings may be impassible this weekend. 

There was as much as 10 inches of water on top of lake ice this week, and although cold weather has returned, expect to encounter layered ice, and some water and slush as the days warms. The warm weather and rising waters has also compromised the integrity of ice along shorelines and ice over moving water has melted completely or is very thin. Many wetland crossings are open water or have rotten ice. Use extreme caution on ice this weekend, as some areas will be treacherous.

Most of the region’s downhill resorts will be open this weekend. Whiteface is reporting about 50% of their terrain open and Gore about 60%. McCauley and Oak mountains will be open this weekend, but Big Tupper and Hickory remain closed; Mount Pisgah may be open, but you should call ahead to be sure.

The Garnet Hill and Lapland Lake cross country ski areas both survived this week’s warm-up, but Garnet Hill has closed all but the trails on the west side of the lodge and no other cross country ski areas can be recommended.

The only backcountry skiing that can be recommended is in Newcomb which picked up a few inches yesterday. Camp Santanoni is hosting its first winter weekend there and the Adirondack Interpretive Center is having a new year celebration, so that would be a good spot for this weekend. If Cranberry Lake and the Inlet – Old Forge corridor gets a few inches in one of these clipper storms we’re expecting, those areas will be ski-able again.

Snowmobilers won’t be so lucky and will need a more substantial snow. Although there is an icy base left on some trails, no riding can be recommended at this time. Some low-lying areas remain flooded, bare spots abound, and the groomers are parked for lack of snow.

Weather patterns are currently setting up to allow some more cold weather to drop into our area which should eliminate the chance more rain while increasing the chances of snow through the end of the month.  One of the series of clipper systems were’re expecting over the next couple weeks could bring the new snow we need.

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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