Thursday, May 12, 2011

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (May 12)

The Almanack’s web platform went down this week on Thursday and this week’s conditions report was lost. You can still hear this week’s report (which aired Friday morning) online at WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1) and North Country Public Radio.

What follows is a transcript of this week’s radio report.

While waters have receded in the central Adirondacks some areas downstream of the region’s major rivers and along Lake Champlain are still experiencing flooding and more rain is expected this weekend.

Most waters are still above normal and impassable river, stream and brook crossings, and flooded trails and campsites are still a problem in many areas of the backcountry.

Many docks, boat launches, water access points, and low-lying waterfront properties also remain affected by high waters.

Boaters and paddlers should be aware that waters are cold and swift and may contain logs, limbs and other debris. High waters also conceal navigation hazards that are normally easily seen and avoided. Rivers running above normal include the Hudson, Sacanadaga, Beaver, Raquette, Saranac, AuSable, and Bouquet.

Expect higher than normal traffic on the Grasse River which is playing host to the 50th Annual Canton Canoe Weekend from Friday through Sunday. Races start and finish at Canton’s Taylor Park.

In the backcountry, trails and campsites may be flooded or covered and blocked by fallen trees and other blowdown due to saturated soils.

This is a good time to stay off wet trails in the High Peaks, and to stick to the lower elevation mountains along the Southern Adirondacks, including in the Lake George basin.

Snow is present at elevations above 3000 feet on north facing slopes and snowshoes will be needed at elevations above 3500 feet.

Lower and mid-elevation trails are wet and muddy. Be prepared by wearing waterproof footwear and gaiters, and remember to walk through – not around – mud and water to avoid widening the trails.

The gates are shut on roads typically closed during mud season, including those in the Lake George and Moose River Plains Wild Forests, the Perkins Clearing and Elk Lake easement lands, the unpaved section of the Corey’s Road in the Western High Peaks, and the Lake Lila Road in the Whitney Wilderness.

Looking at some local conditions, in the High Peaks the first bridge on the East River Trail has been washed away and high waters make crossing there risky, the first bridge west of Henderson Lake on the trail to Preston Ponds and Duck Hole is now impassible, as is the Opalescent Cable Bridge on the East River/Hanging Spear Falls trail. The high water crossing bridge at Bushnell Falls has been removed.

On the Northville Placid Trail in West Canada Lake Wilderness the bridge over West Canada Creek has gone out during the recent floods.

The Wakely Dam Area remains closed due to significant damage from flooding

Finally this week a reminder that all rock climbing routes on Moss Cliff in Wilmington Notch, the Upper and Lower Washbowl Cliffs at Chapel Pond, and 54 routes on Nose of Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain between and including Garter and Mogster remain closed through the nesting season.

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