Recent report is that, while it is icy and crusty to Marcy Dam and up to Avalanche Camp, there was little or no rain above that elevation, so Avalanche Pass is in good shape as are the Marcy and Wright Peak Ski Trail above 2,600 feet or so.
Cold temperatures have returned, unfortunately without much new snow following Friday's warm weather. The best skiing will be at the groomed centers, and they do have plenty of snow to groom. Elsewhere, trails that were broken out before Friday's thaw will be quite fast and bumpy. Unbroken areas now have a breakable crust.
Cold through Wednesday this week with some snow possible Wednesday and into Thursday. Thursday will also see a warming trend back to the low 30s through Saturday. We'll update later this week when the actual amount of snow expected (or actually falls) is known.
As predicted, we did see temperatures around 40for a few hours this afternoon along with some light rain. No significant loss of snow, but definitely not a help to the skiing surfaces. When it cools down tomorrow, expect fast, icy conditions where it has been broken out, but a light breakable crust in unbroken areas. There will be some new snow showers in the next few days, so surface conditions will improve-if slowly. Temperatures will remain below freezing through Thursday or perhaps longer, with highs only in the low 20s Sunday through Tuesday. Perhaps not the greatest report for the upcoming Presidents Week, but at least we have a good layer of the white stuff on the ground, and therefore the groomed centers will have a good base to groom.
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise headline noted that the storm ..."wasn't as bad as predicted...." Well I guess it's all what one considers to be a "bad" snowstorm. Anyway, the Saranac Lake/Paul Smiths area received 4-5" of new snow, increasing to 6" in LakePlacid and about 8" in Keene. The snow fell at relatively warm temperatures, so it's a bit dense (at least in Keene), but probably just what we needed to cover up and stick to the crust.
Mt. Van hoevenberg, Cascade, and the VIC are grooming today, and should be able to have most of their terrain open and groomed by tomorrow. Thursday will be colder, but then it warms up again on Friday with even a chance for a bit of rain along with some additional snow. Then cooler on Saturday, further cooling Sunday through next Tuesday with high temperatures only in the low 20s.
Next update on Friday evening when we see just what Friday's weather has been and what it has done to the skiing. Otherwise, it's back to the mandatory use of skis or snowshoes in the High Peaks Wilderness (which now includes what was formerly the separate Dix Wilderness) and certainly needed elsewhere for you safety and the preservation of the trail surfaces.
Currently the conditions outside of the groomed centers can be summed up as "dust on crust". That, however will change starting Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday as this area is predicted to get 6-12" of new snow, and even 6" will be enough to bring every popular trail back into good conditions. Don't wait, however, as by Friday it will be back above freezing with change of rain or snow extending into Saturday. Sunday will again turn cold with temperatures only in the low 20s. So, up and down with the temperatures. The headline for one story on North Country Public Radio said "How the polar vortex is causing bipolar weather." Next update late Wednesday when we can report on the storm totals.
The good news is that most areas have held onto a base through this latest thaw. Thursday was back to warm temperatures that will continue through Friday, so the soft surfaces will permit some skiing on Friday. The weekend, however, will be cold again; and as Josh's comment to the earlier report stated, only the groomed centers will be able to offer good skiing. Mt. Van Hoevenberg currently reports 40 km open and groomed and about 25km of track set on the cross-country side of the road. Cascade X-C Center will reopen on Saturday, 2/9.
The lake ice was plenty thick enough before this thaw to still be crossable - just watch for any inlets that might have made things unsafe. Also, some streams such as the Opalescent through Flowed Lands or Marcy Brook at Indian Falls may have opened up again. Be prepared to alter plans.
With the cold this weekend, good traction will be needed for any hiking on area trails. No significant snow in sight until next Tuesday, and it won't take all that much to get us back to good conditions again. Stay tuned.
The storm Tuesday night and into Wednesday didn't produce but about 2-3" after predictions of mush more, but the skiing remains good just about everywhere. After today's (Thursday's) cold with a high barely above zero, it will be near 10 on Friday and then mid to upper 20s on Saturday and Sunday. That, unfortunately, will be the end for the moment of the nice powdery surfaces since it will be mid-40s on Monday with some rain, followed by temperatures in the 30s Tuesday through Thursday next week. So far, it doesn't look like a major meltdown, but experience has taught to expect that thaws have a way of lengthening. Stay tuned, but get out and ski this weekend!
We've posted details below, but if you want to save time, we can say that pretty much any trail has good cover, and most have been broken out.
So, 2" here, 2" there, and it has added to a pretty much full recovery from last Thursday's thaw. Most of this snow has fallen in isolated snow squalls, so some areas may have been missed, but they seem to have been fairly widespread and have affected all of the area. Tuesday (high in the 20s) and Tuesday night will see at least 6" of new snow and possibly 12", so the rest of the week and weekend will be even better. Turning colder on Wednesday and very cold on Thursday with a high not far above zero. Slight warming on Friday, and then a high in the mid-teens on Saturday. Even warmer on Sunday with a high near freezing. We've posted details below, but if you want to save time, we can say that pretty much any trail has good cover, and most have been broken out.
Unfortunately, we didn't escape the warmer temperatures and rain that have reduced the snow depth by nearly one-half. What is left is now quite dense, so we won't lose too much more before it cools down this afternoon. Meanwhile, temperatures around 40 and raining as of 10 AM.
Once it cools down, we should get a few inches of new snow, which will mitigate what would otherwise be very fast, icy conditions on the trails that have already been broken out. Unbroken areas will have a breakable crust. Best skiing for this weekend will be at the groomed centers, once they are able to work the snow Friday. We'll do a full update Friday evening when we know what the grooming has been able to do.
And don't forget that this Sunday is BETA's 27th Annual Ski & Swim Fundraiser from 2-6 PM at the Crowne Plaza in Lake Placid. Current members admitted for a small donation. Others can join BETA at the door. More details on Friday evening on the possibility of any ski-ins to the party.
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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