We exceeded expectations, and now have 8-10-12 inches of new snow on top of what we got last week. The snow fell at temperatures near freezing, so it is a bit dense and heavy for "powder", but still a fine medium for skiing. With this additional snow, it is safe to say that all popular ski routes are now fully skiable - and that includes Marcy and Wright. We'll try to post updates on at least sections of the Jackrabbit Trail that have been broken out. For now, we can say that the Old Mountain Road section between Mountain Lane near Lake Placid and Keene has been tracked. McKenzie Pass between Whiteface Inn Rd and McKenzie Pond Rd is also tracked as of Wednesday night. Shorter sections of the Jackrabbit are likely still untracked.
In the High Peaks, Wright Peak ski trail has been skied. The approach from from Adirondack Loj is well-tracked by skiers and snowshoers. We broke trail from Marcy Dam over Whales Tail ski trail Wednesday afternoon through knee-deep snow. There was a big blowdown at the height of land on Whales Tail but it is easily passed through the trees. Some of this will be cleared ASAP, but some is now too buried with snow and will have to wait.
If you're headed out in the backcountry, plan ahead and give yourself extra travel time, especially if you think you might be breaking trail. Keep in mind that all this new snow fell on a severely diminished base. Prior to this storm many trails were ice or bare ground. Streams were largely melted out with minimal ice. Even now with 16+ inches of new snow in the backcountry, many stream beds are still open with running water. Many small stream crossings have unstable ice, making it easy to break through...so carry a scraper!
For those looking for groomed skiing this weekend, be aware that on Saturday the Lake Placid Loppet will keep much of Mount Van Hoevenberg closed to recreational skiing; but next door Cascade will have about 20 km available to take up the slack.
More on Friday, 3/16, as we know more about the weekend weather (so far maybe just a bit cooler), and whats been broken out.