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This weekend in the Adirondacks

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John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack looks at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend.

Trails and access points remain icy under light snow. Traction devices are recommended, and crampons should be carried for use where it's icy.

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Reported by

John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

Lower elevations around the Adirondack Park have about 6-8 inches of snow. There is a few inches more on the ground in the Southwestern Adirondacks, about 8-10 inches. In the High Peaks, the Lake Colden Interior Caretaker reports 24 inches at the stake and more at higher elevations, but there is less snow on the ground to the north and north west of the High Peaks, about 4 to 6 inches.

Snowshoes or skis are required above Marcy Dam, and recommended at higher elevations around the park. Backcountry ski conditions remain good above Marcy Dam, but only fair below.

Most lakes have about a foot of ice, and remain good opportunites for cross-country skiing, skating, and snowmobiling. Remember, though, always check the depth of ice before and during crossings.

Most of the region’s downhill resorts are open this weekend. Whiteface and Gore are both reporting about 80% of their terrain open. McCauley and Oak Mountain will be open this weekend, with about 50% of their terrain open. Big Tupper remains closed; but Mount Pisgah will be open and Hickory Mountain in Warrensburg will reopen this weekend.

All cross country areas are open, but expect a firmly packed somewhat thin base of 2 to 4-inches and limited trail selection in the Central Adirondacks, with a 4 to 6-inch base at Paul Smiths. Tupper Lake trails cannot be recommended. Lapland Lake has an 8 to 10-inch base (they picked up another foot of snow last weekend), and Garnet Hill near North Creek, which has about a 4 to 6-inch base after more snow this week, is a good bet. Cranberry Lake and the Inlet – Old Forge corridor are also ski-able and Fern Lake Park has been groomed.

Aside the higher elevations, backcountry skiing is generally only fair, but there are a few sopts of good cover and reasonable skiing. Everywhere, be sure to use caution and be aware of obstacles, thin cover, and fast downhills. The Jackrabbit Trail is skiable, but still fairly thin. The best bet remains the smoother terrain of the Peninsula section. There is better cover on the roads and truck trails including the Ausable Road, Hays Brook Truck Trail, Burn Road near Little Tupper, and the Lake Lila Road. Marcy Dam Truck Trail has been skied, but is not recommended. The Fish Pond Truck Trail is skiable, although some blowdown remains. The best bet continues to be in Newcomb and the Essex Chain which received more snow this week.

Snowmobile trails remain generally thin, but mostly ride-able. Expect to encounter very icy turns, some very thin and bare spots, and uncovered obstacles. Warren County Trails can not recommended, and the best bets remain in the Perkins Clearing and Moose River Plains areas (although it’s thinner on the east side of the plains). Trails in the Town of Webb are in Fair to Good condition, and some additional snow has brought the groomers out in the Old Forge – Inlet Corridor and in the Lake Pleasant – Speculator area. The C8 Snowmobile Corridor in the towns of Duane and Franklin has reopened as has the Seventh Lake Mountain Multiple Use Trail.

Finally this week, the long range forecast is looking much brighter for winter sports enthusiasts with colder temperatures and the possibility of some large snow events over the next two weeks. Some forecasters are calling for the snowiest February in many years. We’ll know more around Wednesday when some snow is expected.

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.

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