It appears that spring is finally here as Monday and Tuesday saw the first serious melting. This will continue through the upcoming weekend with temperatures finally hitting 60 on Sunday and continuing into next week. However, there is still a lot of snow yet to melt, so backcountry routes near Lake Placid, Newcomb, Paul Smiths, and Tupper Lake will remain skiable at least through the weekend. Exposed southern slopes will melt out first - even if the adjacent north-facing slope still has two feet of snow.
Lake Colden still has three feet of snow with 4-6 feet remaining above 4,000 feet. Skis or snowshoes will thus continue to be required for all travel in the peaks for at least two more weeks and probably through the end of the month.
With the warming temperatures, no lake ice can be assumed to be safe, and the streams will be going out. Remember that the stream crossed on snow or rocks early in the morning can be an uncrossable raging torrent by the afternoon as temperatures warm and snow melt increases.
This will be likely be the last update for this season as your regular reporter is leaving to spend the next two weeks north of the Arctic Circle in Norway. I thank those of you who have commented on these reports during the season; and don't forget that this site has a "donate" button.
Spring weather, but just barely, this past week has melted some of the snow, but most still remains. Surfaces did melt enough to be hard and fast in the morning before softening in the afternoon. Mt. Van Hoevenberg is still in full operation (50km set track and regroomed for skating) with the exception that the lodge is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Paul Smiths VIC still has all 20 km open, and the Jackrabbit Trail remains skiable from end to end.
Lake Colden reports 39" of snow at the stake. A more detailed report not available due to phone trouble. However, given that temperatures were only just above freezing and then cold at night, the lake surfaces should be still firm snow, and the streams (including the Opalescent in Flowed Lands) should still be frozen and crossable.
The rain predicted for Friday night will likely be sleet in the peaks, and then valley temperatures only in the 40s Saturday and Sunday. Monday may make it to 50 in the valleys before falling back to the 40s for the rest of the week. Bottom line: spring is here but just barely and the snow will last through another full week and weekend.
Trail conditions are updated frequently during the season, but always check local weather conditions as well before departing on your trip.