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This weekend in the Adirondacks

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Each Friday, John Warren of the Adirondack Almanack checks in with outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks.

Although spring officially starts next week, Wednesday's storm dumped an additional one to two feet of snow across the Adirondacks, on top of the foot or more already on the ground provided the best conditions of the year around the region.

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Reported by

John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

The deepest snow  – about three feet at lower elevations – can be found from the High Peaks west and south into Herkimer county. There is more than four feet of snow at Lake Colden.

Skis or snowshoes will be needed everywhere. Be prepared to break trail though, and expect to encounter blowdown on trails from the high winds associated with the storm. Breaking trail always takes a lot more effort, causal visitors to the woods this weekend may want to stick to more popular areas where trails are broken early and blowdown is cleared sooner.

The snow that fell Wednesday has also added significant stress to the existing snow pack, and considerably raised the potential for avalanches. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour quickly loaded slopes and the strong winds have loaded leeward slopes as well.

Avoid traveling on open areas with slopes between 25 and 50 degrees and no vegetation. If you are going to travel into avalanche terrain – know how to gauge the threat of avalanche, carry a shovel, probe, and transceiver, and know how to use them. If you are unsure, don’t go.  Avalanches occur often in the Adirondacks and they can have deadly consequences. This is not a weekend to take unnecessary risks in avalanche terrain.

Rivers and streams are running below normal, and stream crossings will be generally covered with ice and snow.  Lake ice will remain in good shape, but is now covered with one to two feet of snow. Ice shanties are required to be removed on Saturday. 

All the region’s downhill ski areas will be open this weekend with all of their terrain open, including at Big Tupper, Mt. Pisgah, and Hickory with the best conditions of the year. Big Tupper is reporting that this will be their last weekend for the season; Oak Mountain is planning to close after next weekend.

All cross country areas are open with some of the best conditions we’ve had all year. Facilities have a 10 to 20-inch base and plenty of groomed trails. All back-country ski routes are in excellent condition, but be on the lookout for blowdown.

Snowmobile trail conditions are now some of the best of the year, with the only caveat that some lake trails may turn slushy this weekend. The groomers are all out, and trails everywhere are open and in outstanding condition. The portion of the Warren County Bike Trail that connects snowmobilers to trails in Washington County has reopened.

There are simply outstanding conditions out there for this weekend. Get out and enjoy them, but be safe.

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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