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Adirondack outdoor conditions for this weekend

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

It's just two more weeks until the official start of spring, but we've got some of the best conditions for outdoor recreation we've had all winter with everywhere around the Adirondacks picking up at least 3-6 inches of fresh snow this week.

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Reported by

John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

Trails are compacted snow over an ice base with a few inches of fresh on top. Still, beware of frozen washouts and other icy and rough areas on trails that may only be covered by light snow, or exposed by use or wind.

There is 12-15 inches of snow on the ground everywhere, with more at higher elevations and in the woods. There is about 15-20 inches in the southwestern Adirondacks, with as much as two feet west of Route 30 and in the snow pocket near Northville.  In the High Peaks, there is about three feet of snow at Lake Colden and more at higher elevations.  Skis or snowshoes are recommended everywhere, and required in the High Peaks Wilderness.

Rivers and streams are currently running below normal for this time of year, and most stream crossings remain frozen. Expect some rise in rivers and streams by Sunday as temperatures reach into the upper 30s in some areas this weekend, but nothing that should impede travel.

We had temperatures well into the double digits below zero Wednesday night, and lake ice will remain in good shape despite this weekend’s warming. However, some lakes, especially at access areas, will be rutted and rough under that new snow from recent thaws and refreezes.  And remember, ice fishing shanties are required to be removed by next weekend.

Ski conditions are very good. All the region’s downhill ski areas will be open this weekend with nearly all of their terrain open. Big Tupper, Mt. Pisgah, and Hickory Mountain will all be open for what could be some of the best downhill skiing conditions this year (outside of the occasional powder opportunities we’ve had). Very good conditions are being reported by skiers around the region and Big Tupper will have Chair 3 open to the summit trails.

All cross country areas are open with at least a 6-10 inch base, and a few inches of fresh snow on top. Pick a spot, excellent conditions are being reported around the Adirondack region and the groomers have been out this week.

All back-country ski routes are reported in very good condition with an 8-12 inch base and a few inches on top everywhere. Conditions also remain very good at higher elevations, with about three feet of snow at Lake Colden and all trails skiable, although the Marcy Truck Trail will be the better route to Marcy Dam this weekend, especially with what will probably be a busy weekend there. The blowdown below Indian Falls has been cleared.

Snowmobile trail conditions improved this week as well and everywhere conditions are good to very good and groomers have been out all week. However, be aware of washed-out areas that have refrozen, the occasional icy turn, and rough re-frozen slush ruts on lakes buried under new snow or exposed in wind-blown areas.

With warmer temperatures, plenty of base and new snow, it’s going to be one of the best weekends for outdoor recreation this winter.  Take this opportunity to get out to somewhere you haven’t been before, and rest assured the conditions will be fine.

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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