Thursday, March 13, 2014

High Peaks Gets Up To 2 Feet Of Snow

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASkiers finally got the big dump they had been waiting for all winter. What’s more, the snow that fell was light powder, not the heavy stuff.

I’d say we got at least a foot in Saranac Lake. That would be in line with North Country snowfall totals reported by the National Weather Service: 16 inches in Duane Center (northern Franklin County), 14 inches in Malone, and 13 inches in Tupper Lake.

Michael Muccilli, a meteorologist with the service, said the northern parts of Herkimer and Hamilton counties got 6 to 12 inches.

» Continue Reading.



Saturday, March 8, 2014

Current Mount Marcy Backcountry Ski Conditions

Summit of Marcy in Winter (Phil Brown Photo)I skied Mount Marcy from Adirondak Loj on Friday. Conditions were very good below tree line; above, there was a lot of wind slab and ice. Bring MicroSpikes or crampons if you are headed to the actual summit. The last signpost was about six feet above the snow. In a good winter it’s buried, or nearly so. Thanks to Ron Konowitz and his helpers for removing blowdown on the ski trail below Indian Falls and shoveling snow to improve conditions. Ron is the president of the Adirondack Powder Skier Association.



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Mar 6)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Feb 27)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Don Mellor On Post-Thaw Ice Climbing Conditions

Don first pitchYesterday I complained about the deterioration of backcountry-skiing conditions caused by last week’s rain and thaw. But what has happened to ice-climbing conditions?

I am a novice ice climber. In my mind, I figured a little rain and a little melting followed by subfreezing temperatures would improve conditions. More water means more ice, right?

Not necessarily, according to Don Mellor, author of Blue Lines: An Adirondack Ice Climber’s Guide.

Mellor has been climbing and studying ice for more than thirty-five years and has found that it is frustratingly unpredictable. Just because one route has good ice doesn’t mean another route will.

That said, Mellor thinks certain routes—particularly those in gullies, which hold a lot of ice—may have been helped by last week’s thaw. “Gullies have enough substance to weather a lot of abuse. I climbed Chouinard’s [above Chapel Pond] with my daughter on Saturday and found it fine. As I would have predicted,” Mellor told me yesterday.

» Continue Reading.



Monday, February 24, 2014

Checking Out Ski Conditions After The Thaw

Phil at VICLast week’s rain and thaw bummed out backcountry skiers, but things could have been worse. We still have a solid base, but we could use several inches of powder on top of it.

Unfortunately, there are no sizable snowstorms in this week’s forecast. We got a dusting of snow last night, and we may get a total of an inch or so over the next few days. Small snow showers also are predicted later in the week.

The Adirondack Ski Touring Council is recommending that skiers stick to groomed trails until we get more snow. “The only exception is that it never warmed up all that much at the elevation of Lake Colden, so skiing there is still pretty good—just not so good getting there,” the council says on its website.

I went skiing both Saturday and Sunday to check out the post-thaw conditions.

» Continue Reading.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Feb 20)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

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» Continue Reading.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Feb 13)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

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» Continue Reading.



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Feb 6)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

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» Continue Reading.



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Signs of an Unstable Snowpack in the Backcountry

Adirondack AvalanchesWhile out skiing yesterday afternoon I saw several signs that the snowpack is unstable and extreme caution should be used if you are tempted to head towards the slides after this recent snowfall.

I came across numerous small slides, such as the one in this photograph, on N and NW aspects at slopes as low as 25 degrees.

Whooping and shooting cracks were prevalent. I was skiing the trees but any turns made near a convex roll produced a small slide.  If you venture into avalanche terrain make sure you have the knowledge to assess the risk, know proper travel techniques, and are carrying a beacon, probe, shovel, and the knowledge to use them.



Monday, February 3, 2014

Marcy Trail Needs More Snow For Skiing

Unbroken-trail-600x4501Well, I couldn’t wait any longer. After we got a few inches of snow Saturday night, I decided to ski Mount Marcy.

From Adirondak Loj Road, I started by skiing up South Meadow Road. On Saturday afternoon, I had skied the road and the Marcy Dam Truck Trail as far as Marcy Dam. The road had been in great shape for skiing, but the truck trail had a lot of exposed rocks.

What a difference a day makes. The extra snow was enough to bury virtually all the rocks. Also, Forest Ranger Jim Giglinto cut through the worst of a tree that had fallen across the trail. It’s now possible to slide over the tree with skis on. After a few more inches of snow, you probably won’t even notice it. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Jan 30)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Skiing to Moose Pond Near Saranac Lake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was another cold but brilliant day in Saranac Lake. I skied to Moose Pond on my lunch hour, a pristine water body with knockout views of Moose Mountain and Whiteface Mountain.

As usual this winter, I was worried about the amount of snow cover and so was glad to discover that the trail has been skied a lot in recent days. There were well-packed ski tracks all the way to the pond. Snowshoers also have been using the trail. I want to thank them for hiking to the side of the ski tracks. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Jan 23)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Backcountry Skiing: Fresh Snow, But More Needed

Evergreen-flats-web-600x4143We got several inches of light snow over the weekend, so I went to the Jackrabbit Trail on my lunch hour Monday to check out the ski conditions. I skied the two miles from McKenzie Pond Road to McKenzie Pond. The woods were beautiful, with fluffy snow adorning the branches of the evergreens. The trail looked nice, too.

Unfortunately, there was little or no base underneath the fluff. For the most part, this was not a problem. In several places, though, roots and rocks lurked beneath the surface. The diciest spots were on two small downhills on the return trip. Both sections have rocks. I took these slowly. If the trail gets skied and the snow scraped off, I imagine the downhills will get worse. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Jan 16)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Jan 9)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Western Adirondacks Best Bet For Nordic Skiers

The view this morning from Baker Mountain outside Saranac Lake.The Tug Hill region east of Lake Ontario got clobbered by a lake-effect snowstorm Tuesday.  I was hoping we’d get a decent snowfall in Saranac Lake, but we received only a little more than a dusting. The woods on Baker Mountain looked pretty this morning, but they would have made for ugly skiing.

The western Adirondacks, however, picked up several inches of fresh snow.

Chris Tapper, business manager of Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company in Old Forge, said the Old Forge area got about five inches of light snow. The area now has about eight inches on the ground, and Tapper said most trails favored by Nordic enthusiasts should be skiable.

“Wider skis are going to be the tool of choice, because it’s light, fluffy snow,” Tapper said.

Rick Kovacs, owner of the Wanakena General Store, said Wanakena area received about six inches of snow Tuesday on top of a two-to-three-inch base. He said skiing should be good on most trails. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lost Brook Dispatches: Remote New Year’s Perfection

From Burtons PeakAfter four nights at Lost Brook Tract with Amy, two adult sons and our irrepressible dog Henderson, I’m raring to go for another year of Almanacking, though my contributions will be a little less frequent as I bear down with more purpose on the book I’m undertaking.

This stay at Lost Brook Tract was the best ever.  The weather conditions and quality of light were the most beautiful I’ve ever experienced in the Adirondacks, to which the photo can attest.  It was truly luminous. There was less snow than in past years but no less winter.  The temperatures ranged from a positively balmy 35 degrees on the first afternoon to properly Adirondack zero-and-below readings the last two days.  For New Year’s Eve I served a bottle of Prosecco we’d carried in.  It was frozen.  That’s cold.  I can report that thawing Prosecco by positioning it next to a flaming birch log flattens it into tepid watery juice faster than any other method I know.  Oh well, we had hot chocolate too.  And the salmon pasta was “spiced” with a little rye, which thanks to its higher alcohol content resolutely maintained its golden liquidity to the bitter end. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Jan 2)

adk0122093
This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

Get The Weekly Outdoor Conditions Podcast

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.



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