With temperatures fairly warm by day and freezing or below by night some interesting snow conditions can develop. (Read: Difficult and varied conditions.) Stay safe out there in the Adirondacks by reading up on the latest notices from the DEC below.
The ADK Weather Report: Sun, Snow & Everything In Between
- Crown Point: Fri 38° and partly cloudy, Sat 45° and rain and snow, Sun 45° and scattered showers
- Indian Lake: Fri 33° and partly cloudy, Sat 41° and rain and snow, Sun 40° and rain and snow
- Lake George: Fri 42° and partly cloudy, Sat 48° and rain and snow, Sun 44° and scattered showers
- Lake Placid: Fri 31° and mostly sunny, Sat 41° and rain and snow, Sun 41° and rain and snow
- Long Lake: Fri 33° and partly cloudy, Sat 41° and rain and snow, Sun 39° and rain and snow
- Malone: Fri 32° and mostly sunny, Sat 43° and rain and snow, Sun 45° and scattered showers
- North Creek: Fri 35° and partly cloudy, Sat 44° and rain and snow, Sun 40° and rain and snow
- Old Forge: Fri 31° and partly cloudy, Sat 41° and rain and snow, Sun 41° and scattered showers
- Saranac Lake: Fri 32° and mostly sunny, Sat 41° and rain and snow, Sun 42° and scattered showers
- Ticonderoga: Fri 36° and partly cloudy, Sat 42° and rain and snow, Sun 42° and scattered showers
- Tupper Lake: Fri 31° and mostly sunny, Sat 41° and rain and snow, Sun 42° and scattered showers
While sunny, winter days can make for a gorgeous outdoor experience, sun and snow can also be a dangerous combination. Snow blindness can occur when the sun reflects off the snow (this can happen on cloudy days as well). Bring eye protection in the form of sunglasses or goggles and cover exposed skin with clothing or sunscreen, as you can still get a sunburn.
Look up the forecast for your destination again before heading out:
Temperatures are Warming, Conditions are Varied
The Adirondacks are set to see the warmest temperatures of 2021 so far this weekend. Conditions for hikers, backcountry skiers, and other winter recreationists are expected to be significantly different than last week.
Variable weather like what’s forecasted for this weekend, with warm days and below freezing temperatures at night, can create a freeze/thaw cycle. This freeze/thaw cycle can lead to instability in snowpack and may increase the risk of avalanches.
Unstable snowpack has been reported on open slopes, and you’ll need to assess the stability of the snow before hiking or backcountry skiing on open slides and faces.
Prepare Accordingly for This Weekend
Hikers and skiers should expect difficult snow conditions with a crusty, icy surface and deep, soft snow underneath. Use extreme caution when traversing slides or steep, open terrain and learn how to prepare for avalanche conditions (last week’s Avalanche Risk is still in effect). Continue to use snowshoes and skis to help you stay on the surface of deep snow. Expect terrain that is not covered in snow to be icy. Use trail crampons where ice is steep and thick.
As always, but especially now, remember that temperatures and conditions will change drastically between the trailhead and the summit. Warm, wet conditions at the base will yield to freezing temperatures and deep snow at high elevations.
You’ll want to dress in layers, bring extra clothing in case you get wet, and be prepared for all conditions with both clothing and gear. Take wind chill into consideration when packing. Add extra time into your schedule to account for the possibility of changing gear and clothing as needed. Be prepared to turn around at any time if conditions get worse.
Colden Caretaker Report
There’s approximately 2 feet and 9 inches of snow at the Colden Caretaker cabin and 5 feet or more of snow remains on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. The trail from Marcy Dam to Lake Colden is skiable.
Snow accumulation data is collected every other week at a variety of Adirondack locations.
Recent Notices to Know
High Peaks Wilderness
The Adirondack Mountain Club’s High Peak’s Information Center is open once again, from 7am to 3pm. Snowshoe, microspike, and ski rentals are available here.
For the Snowmobilers
Saranac Lake Wild Forest
The C7 snowmobile trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Clear can be used by snowmobiles. Work on the trail removal project is paused until spring. Riders should pay attention to any caution or warning signs.
Leave No Trace, Winter-Style: Help Keep Invasive Plants at Bay
What does it mean to practice “leave what you find?” You might think it means being careful not to disrupt or remove items from nature, and that’s true. But it also means taking care to not accidentally remove anything either. Even in the winter we can unintentionally contribute to the spread of invasive plants.
Invasive seeds can spread to new locations by catching a ride on boots, clothing, gear, or pets. Check yourself, your companions, pets, and gear for seeds or mud before and after your Adirondack adventure. Doing things like shaking off your boots and clothing or wiping down your gear after your hike can do wonders.
Boaters – Come to Take This Boating Access Survey
The previously mentioned boating survey regarding an overnight gate closure program at Mossy Point and Roger’s Rock boat launches is still up. You can take it and/or email them with your feedback up until March 12. The information gathered will inform a more permanent program and support the state’s ongoing efforts to protect Lake George from invasive pests.
A Few More Notes to Know
A minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is the general rule for safety. Ice thickness is not uniform on any body of water.
Most seasonal access roads have closed for the winter season.
Please continue to Play Smart, Play Safe, Play Local.