Thursday, April 2, 2015

It’s April, But Don’t Put Away Skis Yet

Carol MacKinnon Fox summits Mount Van Hoevenberg on skis. Photo by Phil Brown.It may be April, but there’s still skiing to be had in the backcountry. Wednesday morning I skied to the top of Dewey Mountain outside Saranac Lake and enjoyed a fun run down in virtually midwinter conditions.

Last weekend, Carol MacKinnon Fox and I skied over the summit of Mount Van Hoevenberg and found plenty of snow on the descent. There also was plenty of snow last weekend on the Mr. Van Trail in the High Peaks Wilderness.

I hear the conditions at higher elevations were fantastic. The Adirondack Ski Touring Council reports there is still five to six feet of snow at 4,000 feet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWednesday morning, the temperature was hovering near zero in Saranac Lake. On the ungroomed trails near the top of Dewey, the snow was unbreakable crust, covered with a little light powder from a few days ago. It made for good, fast skiing.

Over the next few days, we can expect to lose some of our snow, especially at the lower elevations. Temperatures are forecast to rise into the fifties today and Friday, with a chance of rain each day. Over the weekend, it will be colder, with the high temperatures near Saranac Lake forecast to hover around freezing.

Of course, winter will come to an end sometime this month, but snow will remain in the High Peaks longer than in the lowlands. If you’re willing to carry your skis, you’ll find skiing.

Photos by Phil Brown: Carol MacKinnon Fox summits Mount Van Hoevenberg on skis; and the Dewey Mountain summit on April 1st.

This post appeared first on Adirondack Explorer.


Phil Brown

Since 1999, Phil Brown has been Editor of the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack.

Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing.

He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.

Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.




4 Responses

  1. Jan Hansen says:

    As much as I love to ski…. I’ve had it at this point. Sunshine, warm temperatures and hiking, road biking, mountain biking and getting the Hornbecks out on the waterways is on my agenda.

  2. Chris says:

    I could go for another powder day or two..

    Any recommendations on one or two of the best resources to check out regarding backcountry skiing in the Adirondacks?

    • Phil Brown says:

      Chris, two standard resources are “Ski and Snowshoe Routes in the Adirondacks” by Tony Goodwin and “Backcountry Skiing Adventures” by David Goodman (which covers routes in New England and New York). A more recent book is “Adirondack Trail Skier” by Spencer Morrissey.

      The Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine runs stories about backcountry-ski trips in its winter issues.

      • Chris says:

        Thank you Phil – I’ll look forward to perusing through these to keep my mind off the heat and bugs, once they arrive.