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This weekend in the Adirondacks

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John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack reports on outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for each weekend.

Although it will remain near freezing and below in the central Adirondacks this weekend, this winter of abnormally cold temperatures appears to be coming to an end as daytime temperatures return to the 30s and 40s. Be reminded however, that winter conditions remain in the backcountry and there could be some mixed precipitation and snow at higher elevations this weekend.

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Reported by

John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

There remains one to two feet of snow on the ground at lower elevations, with more in the woods and more than three feet at higher elevations with snowdrifts and ice on most summits. Skis or snowshoes will be needed everywhere.  Expect to encounter blow-down if you head in early, or are traveling on lesser used, secondary trails. Also, expect icier conditions in the morning, and in sheltered and shadowed areas, especially to the north, while southern exposures, especially in the Southern Adirondacks, will warm enough to soften the snow and even provide some spring skiing conditions in the afternoons.

The Colden Trap Dike is filled with wind blow snow and climbing there is reported by the interior caretaker to be extremely difficult.  Climbers should also be aware that beginning April 1, the peregrine falcon nesting season will close Moss Cliff in the Wilmington Notch, Upper and Lower Washbowl Cliffs in the Chapel Pond area, and the usual routes on the Main Face of Poke-o-Moonshine.

Due to the late snowmelt, rivers continue to run below normal for this time of year, but are expected to rise somewhat this weekend. Lake ice remains in good shape – many smaller lakes and bays of larger lakes have as much as three feet of ice - although we will start to see some slush on Sunday that will start to become a problem for the rest of the season. 

The region’s rivers are currently running below normal for this time of year, but only because the snowmelt is so late. Stream crossings are generally frozen and snow covered, but rivers and streams will begin to rise as warmer temperatures begin melting some of our snow pack. That will likely delay stocking and slow the start of trout season, which begins April 1st .

There’s still plenty of time for skiing though. Most of the region’s downhill ski areas will be open this weekend. Gore and Whiteface are will have nearly all of their terrain open, including the glades at Gore and the slides at Whiteface. Expect harder conditions in the morning, and in sheltered and shadowed areas, while southern exposures at Gore will probably soften enough to provide some nice spring skiing conditions in the afternoons. Titus and Hickory Mountain will also be open this weekend, as will McCauley in Old Forge where the North East Regional Pond Skimming Championships will be held on Sunday.  Oak Mountain and Big Tupper have both closed for the season.

All cross country areas are open with a one to two-foot base and the groomers have been out all week. The coming warm-up may mean that this could be the last or next-to-last weekend at Cascade and the Whiteface Club, but others should continue to operate through next weekend at least.

 

All back-country ski routes are reported in good condition with plenty of coverage everywhere, although skiers in the southern exposures may encounter wet and sticky conditions and possibly some slush in the southern Adirondacks. The best bets for this weekend will be the Newcomb and Paul Smiths areas, along with the Southwestern Adirondacks which has some of the deepest snow and should remain just cold enough to keep the best conditions this weekend.

Snowmobile trail conditions remain good. Use caution however, as there are reports of a few icy corners and a few spots where some obstacles are starting to show. Conditions will begin to deteriorate this weekend, especially on village trails and those with heavier use, but snowmobiling should last at least through next weekend. The portion of the Warren County Bike Trail that connects snowmobilers to trails in Washington County has closed for the season and the southern Warren County trails are notably thinner – this will likely be the last weekend for riding there.

Looking ahead, we can expect milder weather and some rain next week with temperatures reaching into the mid-40s, possibly breaking 50. There may be a brief return to cold weather in time for next weekend, but in general the thaw has begun, and mud season, which could be considerable this year, is just around the corner.

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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