The Adirondack region is looking at incredibly low temperatures this weekend, with snow and ice present on all trails. If you’re planning on hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling this weekend you’ll want to brush up on adequate clothing for the weather and supplies you’ll need to bring with you.
The DEC is warning us that there are currently extremely cold temperatures in the Adirondacks. High temperatures through the weekend are expected to be in the single digits above and below zero, while the low temperatures will be in the teens and twenties below zero; wind chills will be much colder.
Temperatures and wind chills will be even lower on high mountain summits, the surface of bodies of water, and other exposed areas.
The snow depths are currently ranging from 12 to 15 inches with more in higher elevations.
Here’s the official forecast:
- Crown Point: Fri 7° and cloudy, Sat 12° and cloudy, Sun 4° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 4° and cloudy, Sat 12° and snow showers, Sun -5° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 15° and cloudy, Sat 18° and snow showers, Sun 8° and sunny
- Lake Placid: Fri 3° and cloudy, Sat 10° and cloudy, Sun -8° and cloudy
- Malone: Fri 4° and cloudy, Sat 6° and cloudy, Sun -8° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 6° and cloudy, Sat 11° and snow showers, Sun -3° and mostly sunny
- Saranac Lake: Fri 1° and cloudy, Sat 11° and cloudy, Sun -7° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 4° and cloudy, Sat 12° and snow showers, Sun -5° and mostly sunny
- Ticonderoga: Fri 2° and mostly cloudy, Sat 8° and cloudy, Sun -1° and partly cloudy
- Tupper Lake: Fri 0° and cloudy, Sat 12° and snow showers, Sun -7° and partly cloudy
Stay Safe in Frigid Weather
Those planning to venture outdoors – especially those heading into Adirondack backcountry – must take precautions to avoid hypothermia and frostbite.
The DEC advises those heading out this weekend to wear items of clothing to cover all skin including: layers of synthetic or wool winter clothing, warm socks and winter boots, insulated and wind resistant upper and lower outer shell, hat and gloves or mittens, scarf or ski mask, and goggles or glasses.
In addition, please adhere to the following:
- Hike, snowshoe, and ski on low elevation, wooded trails
- Spend only short periods of time in the outdoors
- Avoid high elevation summits and other exposed areas
- Keep in mind winds will create low wind chill temperatures and whiteout conditions
If you do decide to go out, be sure to carry a sleeping bag and shelter in addition to a flashlight with fresh batteries and extras.
The DEC is recommending you avoid high elevations during this time of extreme cold.
Snow and ice are present on all trails and at all elevations. The use of snowshoes or skis is warranted throughout the Adirondacks, except in the lower elevations along Lake Champlain.
The use of snowshoes or skis is encouraged to prevent post-holing, to avoid injuries, and to ease travel on snow.
The use of snowshoes or skis is required in the High Peaks Wilderness.
Crampons should be carried and used on icy summits and other areas where ice is built up.
Ice on Water
Ice has just recently begun forming. Always check the thickness of ice before traveling across it. Avoid ice over running water, near inlets and outlets, and near boathouses and docks – especially those with “bubblers” or other ice prevention devices.
Remember that ice that can hold the weight of snow cannot necessarily hold the weight of a person or a snowmobile.
Most snowmobile trails are open and the trails are in good condition thanks to the recent snow accumulations. Snowmobilers should still check local conditions before heading out.
Remember to slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers. If you are skiing or snowshoeing on a designated snowmobile trail make sure to keep to the side to allow safe passage of snowmobiles.
Practice Leave No Trace
Please abide by the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace when you’re recreating in the High Peaks Region. This is important to protect lands and waters of the Adirondacks that we all love.
Lake Colden Caretaker Report:
- 30 inches of snow at the stake on the shores of Lake Colden (elevaiton 2,750 feet)
- 3 to 4 inches in the higher elevations
- Snowshoes needed beyond Marcy Dam (elevation 2,355 feet)
- Between Adirondack Loj Trailhead and Marcy Dam trail is ice covered by snow
- South Meadow Lane and Marcy Truck Trail are skiable
- Avalanche Trail and most other trails are in good condition for skiing
The trail through the Elk Lake Easement lands connecting to the High Peaks Wilderness is open for the public once again. However, the Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake Road will remain closed through the spring mud season. This will add four miles to a roundtrip hike; plan accordingly.
The gate on Corey’s Road will remain open until March 1st, however, the road and parking areas may not be plowed. If you do not have four-wheel drive, and there is snow on the ground, you might consider parking along the plowed section of road and walking. Do not block traffic here. Also, have a shovel in your vehicle in case you need to dig it out after a snowstorm.
South Meadow Lane is closed to public motor vehicle traffic until the end of spring mud season. Vehicles can park at the barrier just off the Adirondac Loj Road. Do not block the opening; it’s used for emergency access.
The lower gate on the Gulf Brook Road is closed until the end of spring mud season.
A large tree has fallen on the lean-to on the Mr. Van Ski Trail, causing severe damage and rendering the lean-to unsafe and unusable. The DEC is working with partners to evaluate the extent of the damage, and determining what will be needed for repairs.
Several sections of the Phelps Trail in the Upper Johns Brook Valley contain extensive blowdown. Please use caution when hiking around this area. The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook on this trail between the Garden Trailhead Parking Area and Johns Brook Lodge has been replaced.
The Cold Brook Trail between Indian Pass and Lake Colden is no longer a designated trail and is not maintained. It hasn’t been a designated trail since Tropical Storm Irene devastated this trail in 2011.
A new section of the Bradley Pond Trail to Santanoni Mountain has been constructed near the beginning of the trail to avoid the two crossings which had unusable bridges. The new trail section leaves the old trail just as the trail leaves the gravel road and crosses Santanoni Brook on a newly constructed bridge, and then joins the old trail a short distance later.
The Owl’s Head Trail across private lands to the summit is closed to public access and use on weekends, but is available for public use on weekdays. When hiking here please stay on the trail and avoid trespassing on private lands.
Blowdown has been cleared from the Blueberry Horse Trail between Calkins Creek Horse Trail and Ward Brook Horse Trail in the Western High Peaks. The trail has been “brushed out” (trailside vegetation has been trimmed). The trail is once again passable to horses and riders, however, riders should take care near drainages and several stream crossings that will be muddy. The DEC plans to improve the trail tread of this route in the future.
A new section of Bradley Pond Trail to Sanatanoni Mountain has been constructed near the beginning of the trail to avoid the two crossings, which had unusable bridges. The new section leaves the old trail just as the trail leaves the gravel road and crosses Santanoni Brook on a newly constructed bridge, and then joins the old trail a short distance later.
The high water bridge over Calamity Brook has been repaired. Although it leans slightly, it is usable for crossing. The lean will be corrected at a later date. The repairs were completed by SCA High Peaks Backcountry Stewards, a DEC Forest Ranger, and the DEC High Peaks Wilderness Land Manager.
The bridge over Ouluska Brook on the Northville-Placid Trail has collapsed into the brook. Due to low water conditions, crossing the brook is still possible.
The Boquet Lean-To on the Dix Mountain Round Pond Trail has been moved away from the river and repaired by volunteers from the Adirondack 46ers.
A trail reroute has been constructed around the flooded area on the North Trail to Giant Mountain just past the lean-to.
Beaver activity has flooded parts of Jack Rabbit Trail.
The Calkins Creek Horse Trail has two bridges out, making it impassable for horse-drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
Many of the herd paths found on Mount Marshall and some of the other trail-less peaks meander around the slopes of the mountain without reaching the peak. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.
Fixed ropes, harnesses, and other equipment are often abandoned in the Trap Dike. Do not use any of these materials – they have been aged and weatherized, making them unsafe.