Thursday we picked-up 2-3 inches of new snow across the region. Friday was mild with temps in the high 20s. Late Friday night it warmed up and since this morning (Saturday) we're getting an intermittent mix of rain and snow. Forecast is calling for a "freezing drizzle" tonight with a low of 20F overnight, then temps will drop to 14F by 10am Christmas day. With the now saturated snowpack, that means, unfortunately, that things will be pretty firm after tonight. Then on Monday and Tuesday warmer temps will return along with freezing rain and rain. Looks like skiing will be best on groomed trails for the next few days.
On the Jackrabbit Trail near Craig Wood this morning we found the snow to be extremely sticky, both in and out of established ski tracks. Snow cover is really good on all sections of the Jackrabbit, but caution still needed when descending the steeper downhills as many larger rocks and drainages are not quite filled-in. As is typical the Paul Smiths "snow belt" has the most snow as compared to Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Wilmington and Keene.
On Friday we patrolled the Wright Peak Ski Trail and found completely untracked, powder conditions on its entire length (not untracked anymore sorry folks ;) Approaching from Heart Lake the old Marcy Dam trail was in great shape. However the hiking trail to Wright/Algonquin is still extremely rough. When ascending with skins the skiing is not bad, but skiing down on the hiking trail will test your skills (and your patience) at this point. Hiking trail to Marcy Dam is skiable but still has thin cover. Whales Tale has been skied but could use more snow before it can be recommended. The best skiing is still found on the South Meadow Rd and Truck Trail to Marcy Dam.