Keep your fingers crossed for a March miracle folks...that's about the only thing that can save the ski season at this point. The most recent thaw and rain has been, in a word, devastating. The Lake Placid Nordic Festival and Loppet were cancelled, as was the Mountaineer's annual Backcountry Ski Festival, and our annual Avalanche Pass Ski Swap.
Ski trail conditions across the region remain very icy with bare ground still showing in some locations, especially after more rain and 40 degree temps on Saturday. There's very little snowpack remaining at lower elevations.
The Jackrabbit Trail cannot be recommended for skiing until we receive more snow. There's a chance for a few inches of accumulation mid-week, but the forecast for Thursday is for temps in the mid 40s and rain (again), so a rebound doesn't look promising at this point.
National Weather Service Forecast for Lake Placid
NYSDEC reports 17 inches at the stake at Lake Colden. We have 5 to 8 inches in the lower elevations of the High Peaks. There is about 6 to 10 inches of snow on the ground at about 2,000 feet, with 14 to 18 inches at about 2,700, and fresh snow above about 3,500 feet with as much as two feet on and near summits. Skiers have reported up to 8 inches of fresh snow on trails at higher elevations in the High Peaks (above 3,500 feet) but approaches will barely be skiable. The rain brought high water to most of the streams and with much of the ice blown-out, some water crossings will be difficult. Backcountry travelers should also expect to encounter water on top of the ice on Avalanche Lake, Lake Colden and other water bodies.
Paul Smiths VIC reports a few trails open, but trails remain closed at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, Dewey Mountain, and Cascade XC Center.
Even the reliable "low snow" skiing options are still in rough shape. The Whiteface Toll Road, Marcy Dam Truck Trail and South Meadow Lane remain icy. The road to Camp Santanoni is skiable with generally 6-7" of snow in Newcomb. This dense base should survive Thursday's rain. We'll check again on Friday to see how much new snow we get at the tail end of the thaw.
Otherwise, with a base and some trails open at the Paul Smith's VIC, the Hays Brook and Fish Pond truck trails also have a base that should survive the thaw - again just a question of how much new snow we get afterwards to cover up the icy base.
Going further afield, Lapland Lake XC Ski Center near Northville http://www.snocountry.com/cross-country-ski-resorts/ny/laplandlakexc is still reporting 8-12", which is enough to groom a loose granular surface on 33 km of their trails. Osceola Tug Hill in Little River near Camden, NY http://www.snocountry.com/cross-country-ski-resorts/ny/osceolatughillxc has 6-7" and 40 km open. Other possibilities include the ski to High Rock on the Oswegatchie, starting at Wanakena near Cranberry Lake and Cascade Lake near Old Forge/Eagle Bay.