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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 each weekend.

The return of cold weather after last weekend's warm-up has hardened the trails. Snow squalls late this week, however have provided a couple inches of fresh snow on top of hard snow and some ice.

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Reported by

John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

In general, northern slopes, protected areas, and those at higher elevations retained much of their snow despite last week's warm-up. There is also considerably more snow in the woods than there is in open areas and more snow on the ground in the southwest Adirondacks, where there is 10 to 12 inches in open areas in Inlet, Old Forge, Lake Pleasant, Speculator and up into Blue Mountain and Indian Lake. There is less snow in the southeastern and eastern Adirondacks, including Warren County, Eastern Essex County, and into the Keene Valley where there is 8-10 inches at lower elevations. 12-16 inches is being reported at the Paul Smith’s VIC., and in the High Peaks, there is about 30 inches of snow at Lake Colden and more at higher elevations.

All the region's downhill ski areas will be open this weekend. Gore Mountain and Whiteface are both reporting about 85% of their terrain open. Big Tupper will be open; but you’ll want to call ahead at Hickory. Conditions are being reported by skiers around the region as good, but use caution as some trails will be fast.

All cross country areas are open with at least 6-8 inches of hard base, and a topper of a few inches of fresh snow, including Dewey, Tupper Lake and Paul Smith's. There is about a 16-18 inches of base at Garnet Hill and at Lapland Lake. Because of last week's warm-up groomed trails are going to provide the best cross-country skiing and are being recommended over backcountry routes this weekend.

Back-country ski routes at lower elevations are reported to be icy and rough and rutted. Conditions remain good at higher elevations, but the problem is getting there. Backcountry skiers will find the best skiing on smoother terrain, especially on lesser-used trails. Again, you’re going to better off on groomed trails this weekend.

Snowmobile trails remain open everywhere but conditions are hard packed with a few inches of powder on top. Southern Warren County trails are in thin and fair condition, trails in Northern Warren and Hamilton counties are good to fair. Herkimer County trails will be good to very good this weekend as they have been getting some lake effect snow. Everywhere however, be aware of washed-out areas that have refrozen, icy turns, and rough re-frozen slush ruts.

Lake ice remains good and the slush and water from last week has refrozen, however, lakes are now rutted and rough as well which will make them less ideal for snowmobilers and skiers.

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

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