- Update, Monday, 12/3.
- We did have a few short periods of heavier rain, but the snow cover is still good. Temperatures will fall this afternoon and remain below freezing for the rest of the week. Some light snow predicted here and there, but no significant snowfall is predicted. Conditions will be hard and fast until the crust is softened by several inches of new snow - and that could happen in different spots at different times. Meanwhile, the groomed centers will be able to continue to offer good conditions. Next update on Thursday, 11/6.
- Updated as of Friday afternoon, 11/30
New snow accumulations range from 6-8 inches in the area with much more at higher elevations. Temperatures in the valleys were at or slightly above freezing when the first snow fell, but later snows were lighter - especially at the elevation of Lake Placid/ADK Loj. This combination makes for good skiing and a great base going forward. Temperatures will remain a degree or two either side of freezing through Saturday, but temperatures will rise to the low 40s on Sunday with a good chance of some light rain, but then cool off to below freezing by Tuesday of next week.
JACKRABBIT TRAIL CONDITIONS Base depth: 8-12"
- Surface Conditions: Powder
- Km Open - 50
- Remarks - All sections skiable. Most sections have been broken out.
- Snow depth at Lake Colden: No report yet, but definitely enough to ski.
- Snow depth at 4,000 feet - 4 feet based on reports from snowshoers.
- Hiking trail from Adirondak Loj skiable. Truck trail very skiable.
- Avalanche Pass still a bit rough getting from Marcy Dam to Avalanche Camp, but the ski trail to the top of the pass is in good shape.
- Marcy and Wright Peak skiable higher up, but quite rough getting to 3,000 feet.
- All of the truck trail skis (Connery Pond, Hays Brook, Fish Pond, etc.) are now fully skiable.
- Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake cannot be recommended as crossable, but we'll try to learn more when we get the snow depth at Lake Colden.
- Whiteface Highway - Still being plowed
- Keene Valley/Garden Parking - Not yet skiable
- Lake Road to Lower Ausable Lake: Good cover.
- Newcomb area has 10-12 inches of snow, so Newcomb Lake Road is good skiing. Sufficient snow to ski to Moose Pond, but no report whether the trees that were down last summer have been cleared.
- Boreas Ponds also skiable, but no report on current plowing situation or whether the route has been broken out.
- X-C SKI CENTER CONDITIONS: (Groomed, trail fee required)
- Mt. Van Hoevenberg X-C Ski Center:
- 50km of trails, open daily, rentals, lessons, 518-523-2811, www.whiteface.com/activities/cross-country-skiing
Base Depth (packed) - 7"
- Off track snow depth - 20"
Inches New Snow - 4"
Surface Conditions - Packed powder
Km Open - 50
Km Tracked 40
- Remarks - Beautiful skiing
- Cascade X-C Ski Center:
- 20 km of trails with connection to 50km at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, open daily, rentals, lessons, restaurant, bar. 518-523-9605, www.cascadeski.com
Base Depth(packed) - 5"
- Off track snow depth - 18"
Inches New Snow - 4
Surface Conditions - Packed powder
Km Open - 20
Km Tracked - 15
Remarks - Ski shop open plus beautiful skiing
- Paul Smith's VIC: www.trailhub.org/trail/generatepdf?orgid=TXpFMA==&actid=TVRVPQ==
- 30 km of trails, open daily, rentals, 518-327-6241,
Base Depth (packed) - 8"
- Off track snow depth: 20"
Inches New Snow: 7"
Surface Conditions - Powder
Km Open - 30
Km Tracked - 20
- Off track snow depth: 20"
- Dewey Mountain - Saranac Lake
- 13 km of trails, open daily (including nights until 7PM Tue. - Fri.), rentals, 891-2697 http://www.deweymountain.com
Base Depth (packed) -
- Inches New Snow -
Surface conditions -
Km Open -
- Km Tracked
Remarks - Lower trails groomed, upper trails ungroomed. All skiable.
Tupper Lake free x-c ski trails
No current report
Despite the "Winter Storm Warning" for tonight and tomorrow, we'll only count out inches after they fall. In any event, it will likely be heavy, wet snow - not nice fresh powder. Predictions range from 5-9 inches for the Lake Placid area; but if the snow is actually as heavy as the temperatures would indicate, it could lead to the need for a lot more trail clearing.
The snow did melt back with the recent warmer temperatures, so we do need some new snow to keep this early season of skiing going. As promised below, a more complete new report by Thursday with weekend conditions for all areas.
As of Saturday afternoon, the cold snap is over with temperatures back just above freezing. A bit warmer on Sunday with a chance of rain showers in the morning. Then cooling off a bit for the rest of the week with maybe a bit of new snow here and there. So, it may be a thaw after some good skiing, but we'll take a November thaw over a January thaw any year.
The snow we had made everything at the groomed centers plus all of the gentler early-season favorites skiable. Some, besides the truck trails, definitely exhibited "early season" conditions, but Whiteface Landing and the McKenzie Pass section of the Jackrabbit Trail for two examples were still very skiable. As of tomorrow, all of the conditions reported below will be deteriorating, but this does not appear to be any great meltdown. With the up and down weather predicted for the week, we'll probably wait until Thursday, 11/29 to update this report as conditions will likely be changing on a daily, if not hourly, basis until then.
As of Wednesday evening we have picked up a few more inches of snow during the day, but otherwise no significant change in the snow conditions reported earlier. All sections of the Jackrabbit Trail and all popular early season backcountry routes have been broken out from Friday's storm. The only really news is the weather which will be extremely cold for November on Thursday, Thanksgiving day, but quickly warming up. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday will see temperatures near 40 (the normal high for this time of the year)and with a chance of some showers. Tuesday will cool down to around 30 for a high followed by high 20s on Wednesday.Thus minimal loss of snow, but perhaps a benefit overall in firming up the base for what looks like a good, long ski season. (Hope that statement doesn't jinx it).
We have now been able to get a better idea of what the recent storm produced and what area conditions are either in person or from reliable reports. Snow depths did vary widely with 12" in Keene but only 6" or so past Marcy Dam. Still lots of white stuff to slide on. Temperatures were generally above freezing today, Saturday, but no significant melting. There may be a light crust when the temperatures drop. Some lakes have frozen over, but no ice is safe yet.
Weather for the coming week is for a chance of light snow and a return to below normal temperatures for November, but about normal for "true" winter.
Next update as we receive updates, but o later than Wednesday, 11/21, when we have a better idea of the weather for the long Thanksgiving weekend.
JACKRABBIT TRAIL CONDITIONS Base depth: 8-12"
As predicted, the Adirondacks have received 8-12" of snow depending on ones location. This fell on a crusty base of 3-4". Not quite mid-winter conditions yet, but just about everything except for the steeper and rougher terrain will be skiable for the weekend. The snow has stopped (at least for now) as of 10 AM, so it looks as though the Whiteface Highway will be plowed without any new snow for the weekend, but we don't need that option with all the other skiing now possible.
All sections of the Jackrabbit Trail should be skiable, and we'll post updates as those sections are broken out.
Without actually getting there, or getting a reliable report, we can't say how Avalanche Pass might be; but we should be able to update that by tomorrow. In any event, get out there and ski.
Looks like now a major winter storm with 6-9" of new snow by Friday afternoon. We'll update tomorrow on what we actually get, but even half that would make many ski routes skiable - including much of the Jackrabbit Trail. We already have a pretty good base in most areas, so this may be the beginning of a long ski season - unless of course until the jet stream changes and we end up on the "high temperature" side of the flow.
It's looking good for an early winter and ski season. The forecast for today says 4-6" of dense snow, but we've learned the hard way not to count our inches until they fall. There is the possibility of some rain mixed in this afternoon, followed by much colder temperatures on Wednesday. So, unless it keeps snowing after it cools down, we will have a crusty surface. Maybe not so great for skiing immediately, but it should make a nice base for the additional snow that may fall on Friday and Saturday. Next update probably not until Friday, 11/16, when we've had a chance to check out the various possible early season routes such as the Newcomb Lake Road, Fish Pond, and Hayes Brook. Additionally, Mt. Van Hoevenberg was already planning to open this weekend on a limited loop of "snow factory" snow; but more of the area may be open by then as well.
Regarding the earlier condition report about the Ausable Club golf course being skiable, this is now the official and definitive ruling from the Ausable Club: My post did generate a definitive answer about skiing on the Ausable Club golf course. The ruling is IT IS NOT PERMITTED. I'm sorry to have just gone by long tradition in my earlier post. However, with the significant increase in traffic through the Club and the consequent chance that there would be more skiing there,I and everyone else must comply with this ruling. Furthermore, with better snow elsewhere skiing there is no longer a necessity just to get sliding. And we will check the Lake Road for conditions this afternoon, and skiing is permitted there. Update: Lake Road is being driven to bring in firewood. Possible to ski the center, but not recommended. We'll check some of the other early season routes tomorrow and Friday and post before the weekend,
UPDATE 11/10 - 6pm:
We headed up the toll road tonight in very high winds. As we were skiing up, 3 pick-up trucks came down, one plowing a single lane in the middle of the highway. They were not spreading salt. Despite this there was ice covering the pavement all the way to the bottom, and enough snow on either side of the plowed lane to ski uphill, but it will of course be more difficult to maneuver on the downhill.
As is typical for early season conditions, above the pump house there is decent snow cover and a few inches of fresh on the sides to make good turns on the downhill. Descending below the pump house is a dicey with large patches of ice and narrow strips of mostly hard snow mixed with frozen chunks from the plowing on Friday night. We didn't get anywhere near the 3-6" forecast yesterday.
Skiing should be decent Sunday morning for more adventurous skiers but we can't say for sure that the plow won't be out again. Use caution on the downhill below the pump house.
More snow on the Ausable Club golf course than any other course, but the surface is a bit crusty. Must park at the bottom of the hill and walk up, but it's skiing. Lake Road not quite ready without going up about two miles, and then lots of foot prints in the 2-3" of snow. The above generated a definitive answer about skiing on the Ausable Club golf course. The ruling is IT IS NOT PERMITTED. I'm sorry to have just gone by long tradition in my earlier post. However, with the significant increase in traffic through the Club and the consequent chance that there would be more skiing there,I and everyone else must comply with this ruling. Furthermore, with better snow elsewhere skiing there is no longer a necessity just to get sliding.
The National Weather Service forecast for tonight and Saturday:
Snow is expected to move into the area later this afternoon and persist well into the evening hours. Total accumulations of 3-6" are expected across the Adirondacks, with 2-6" possible for east and central Vermont, with highest amounts above 1000 feet. Snow will begin to taper off after midnight tonight and will be replaced by periods of drizzle or freezing drizzle.
The Whiteface toll road should be skiable by Saturday morning provided that crews do not plow the road between now and then. Local golf courses might also provide some decent kicking and gliding, depending on localized snow accumulation. Only one way to find out...get out there and see for yourself!
UPDATE SATURDAY MORNING
A quick "windshield survey" after the Friday's snow revealed that the Whiteface Highway has been plowed. Otherwise it would be good skiing. As for the golf courses, only Craig Wood is just barely white, so it looks like another weekend of hiking. If you do go hiking, expect, icy trails right from the trailhead on many peaks, and traction will definitely be needed before reaching any summit. Afternoon temperatures in the valleys will be in the 30s, but with high winds predicted, it will be full-on winter on the summits. Sunday will only see temperatures in the 20s in the valleys, so be prepared for winter condition on Sunday as well. The long-term outlook for next week is continued cold with several chances for more snow. We'll keep you informed.
After a rainy few days early this week and more in the forecast for Friday, it looks like temperatures will finally start to drop next week. As of today, the forecast for Saturday looks promising for some decent snow accumulation on the Whiteface Toll Road. Since the road is being plowed by construction crews during the week, Saturday and Sunday are really the only hope for laying down some tracks on the highway.
Rain and sleet overnight on Friday will likely fall as snow at higher elevations and snow will continue through the day on Saturday and into the evening. Sunday will be chilly but clear and sunny. If you're itching to slide on snow, the best bet will be Saturday afternoon or early Sunday morning.
This would be a fitting weekend to ski the highway - Sunday is Veterans Day and the road is dedicated to the memory of all American veterans. A little history since we don't have any other skiing to report on this week (excerpted from here):
A road up the mountain was first suggested over 100 years ago by a Lake Placid entrepreneur, but it was not until the 1920s that a highway up Whiteface was promoted with real vigor — after a road was paved up Pike’s Peak in Colorado.
The construction project was dedicated in 1929 by New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Six years later, Roosevelt returned as the American president to cut the ribbon opening the highway. It was the suggestion of a wheelchair-bound FDR that led to the blasting of an elevator tunnel to carry visitors from the parking lot to the summit of Whiteface Mountain.
If you didn't manage to grab the brief window last weekend, it looks as though you'll have to wait a while longer. Warmer weather and rain this past week took care of the early snow. There is some hope for some snow at higher elevations on Saturday night, but no guarantees just how high. So drive over to the Whiteface Highway on Sunday to take a look, but we won't be able to provide a report in advance. Any snow will be plowed off on Monday with next week again predicted to be slightly above average temperatures and more rain.
As long as it is only "slightly" above average temperatures and precipitating as we get to the "real" winter it could mean a good season, but that's just a dream at the moment. For now, take a hike, stay in shape, and be ready for the next time we can report some skiing.
UPDATE: 4 PM SATURDAY 11/3: Snow not quite accumulating on the Whiteface Highway at the toll house, but probably is accumulating within 1/2 mile. High winds tonight will determine where any additional snow actually accumulates, but it also appears that the snow producing weather is moving on.
No report tomorrow since I and most other BETA volunteers will be working on blowdown removal and drainage cleaning on the Old Mountain Road section of the Jackrabbit Trail. Never particularly "exciting" work like building a new trail, but essential to preserve what we have. Hope you will consider joining us at the leisurely hour of 10 Amon Sunday, 11/4, at the bottom of Mountain Lane just off Rt. 73 about equidistant between Cascade X-C Ski Center and the entrance to Mt. Van Hoevenberg.
Trail conditions are updated frequently during the season, but always check local weather conditions as well before departing on your trip.
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