Thursday, August 22, 2013

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Aug 22)


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

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SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

** indicates new or revised items.

** KNOW THE LATEST WEATHER: Check the weather before entering the woods and be aware of weather conditions at all times. The National Weather Service (NWS) at Burlington and Albany cover the Adirondack region. NWS Burlington provides a weather forecast for elevations above 3,000 feet and spot forecasts for the summits of a handful of the highest peaks in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. [LINK]

** MOST WATERS RUNNING AT NORMAL LEVELS: Although Lake Champlain remains above normal for this time of year, most local rivers and streams continue to run at or just above normal levels for this time of year. Afternoon thundershowers could cause water levels to rise locally, making low water crossings impassable and drainages fill with water.

** SOME TRAILS REMAIN WET AND MUDDY: Although many trails have dried out, some trails around the region continue to be wet and muddy due to a wet July, especially in low lying areas and near waterbodies. Wear appropriate footwear, stay on the trail, and hike through muddy areas to avoid widening the trails or creating herd paths.

** LOCAL WATER TEMPERATURES: The Lake Champlain water temperature at Burlington has risen to 73 degrees, the water temperature at Diamond Island has risen to about 70 degrees; the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George is holding steady at about 76 degrees.

** FIRE DANGER MODERATE: The fire danger is MODERATE. Campfires are prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness at all times. It is illegal to leave a fire unattended until it is fully extinguished. Use care with open fires.

PEREGRINE FALCON RESULTS: All rock climbing routes re-opened last week, but DEC has now released information on 13 cliffs that were monitored this year for peregrine falcon activity. Two nesting sites were inactive this year and three sites had nests that failed. Eight nest sites produced 17 peregrine falcon, including two fledglings at Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain produced after a delayed start to the breeding season. DEC is thanking the volunteers that monitored the nesting sites and the climbing community for their cooperation in avoiding the closed cliffs and routes while the peregrine falcons nested and raised their young.If you have any questions on peregrine falcons contact the DEC Region 5 Wildlife Office at 518-897-1291.

ASH WOOD QUARANTINE EXPANDED: In an effort to combat the spread of the invasive emerald ash borer, New York has expanded a quarantine on ash wood products across 42 counties. Currently, untreated firewood is banned from entering New York. Since 2008 it has been forbidden to move untreated fire wood more than 50 miles from its source. In Upstate New York, only the Adirondacks is outside the quarantine.

RECENT CHANGES IN THE ADIRONDACK BACKCOUNTRY

These are recent changes (within the last two weeks) to outdoor recreation roads, trails and facilities around the Adirondacks.

** indicates new or revised items this week.

HIGH PEAKS – LAKE PLACID REGION
Including, Wilmington, Keene, Western High Peaks

** Wallface Rock-fall: A rock fall has changed the expert rated 735-foot route Free Ride on Wallface in the High Peaks. The belay station at the end of the sixth pitch at Lunch Ledge is affected, a new belay has been set to the left. You can read more about the rock fall in this report by Phil Brown.

** Route 73 Emergency Road Repairs: Department of Transportation is making emergency road repairs on Route 73 between Chapel Pond and the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead. Traffic has been reduced to one lane of alternating one-way traffic.

Whiteface Resort Adding Glade: Whiteface ski ara is adding a new glade on Lookout Mountain. The 1,500 foot long expert glade will be cut half-way down Hoyt’s High and will also connect the Summit Chair lift, adding an additional 4.7 acres to the mountain’s 283 acres of skiable terrain and 3,430 of vertical feet, the most east of the Rockies .This is the first new trail added to Whiteface Mountain since the opening of Lookout Mountain in 2008. Other mountain improvements include the addition of 35 snow guns for Easy Street, Broadway, and Excelsior and boom fan snow gun for the Lower Valley trail. A new Pisten Bully 600 Winch Cat has also been added to Whiteface’s fleet of cats and groomers. Weather permitting the first day of the season is scheduled to begin, Friday, Nov. 29.

SOUTHERN-CENTRAL ADIRONDACKS
West Canada Lakes, Fulton Chain, Long Lake, Speculator, Indian Lake

Jessup River Wild Forest – Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands: Jessup River Road and Old Military Road have been repaired by DEC staff and the landowner and are open to motor vehicles.

EASTERN-SOUTHEASTERN ADIRONDACKS
The Hudson, Schroon, Lake George, Champlain, Sacandaga, Washington Co

** Lake Champlain Water Level High: The lake level is still about a foot and a half above average for this time of year.

Lake Champlain Bridge Work: The Lake Champlain Bridge will be reduced to one alternating lane, during the day on weekdays from Monday, August 19th through September 24th.

** Lake Champlain Algae Blooms: Small amounts of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) were reported from Malletts Bay Fish and Wildlife Access in Colchester. A large blue-green algae bloom is located in St. Albans Bay; it is heaviest along the bay’s western shore.   Anyone in these areas should avoid algae blooms and be aware of changing conditions. Anyone active on these areas of Lake Champlain should watch for and avoid algae blooms. Do not swim, bathe, or drink the water, or use it in cooking or washing, and do not allow pets in algae-contaminated water.

** Cassayuna Lake Algae Bloom: A suspicious algae bloom has been reported in Cassayuna Lake, Washington County. Avoid all contact with algae blooms. Do not swim, bathe, or drink the water, or use it in cooking or washing, and do not allow pets in algae-contaminated water.

** Lake Sunnyside Algae Bloom: A blue-green algae bloom continues to be reported in Lake Sunnyside, Warren County. Avoid all contact with algae blooms. Do not swim, bathe, or drink the water, or use it in cooking or washing, and do not allow pets in algae-contaminated water.

NORTHERN-NORTHWESTERN ADIRONDACKS
Santa Clara, Tupper and Saranac Lakes, St. Regis, Lake Lila

Tupper Lake Snowmobile Trail Groomer: The Tupper Lake Town Board is planning to purchase a used groomer for the 30 mile network of snowmobile trails created and maintained by the Tupper Lake Snowmobile Club. The groomer purchase is expected to make the club eligible for New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) grants from snowmobile registration fees. Through NYSSA, the state pays club volunteers $7.25 an hour, and a portion of club operating expenses.

** Blue Mountain Road: The bridge over Quebec Brook on Blue Mountain Road in the Town of Waverly, Franklin County, is being replaced by a county crew and will be closed for six to eight weeks starting Monday, August 26.  There will be no detour possible. During the closure period access to the Quebec Brook Waterway Access Site will be from the south only and access to Azure Mountain will be from the north only.

** Route 73 Emergency Road Repairs: Department of Transportation is making emergency road repairs on Route 73 between Chapel Pond and the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead. Traffic has been reduced to one lane of alternating one-way traffic.

** Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain: The Poke-O-Moonshine Fire Tower steward schedule has been revised. Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine will provide interpretation at the fire tower several days a week through Labor Day, and on weekends in September.

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General warnings and announcements drawn from DEC, NWS, NOAA, USGS, and other sources. Additional detailed Adirondack Park camping, hiking, and outdoor recreation information can be found at DEC’s webpages. A DEC map of the Adirondack Park can also be found online [pdf].

The DEC Trails Supporter Patch is available for $5 at all outlets where sporting licenses are sold, on-line and via telephone at 1-866-933-2257. Patch proceeds will help maintain and enhance non-motorized trails throughout New York State.

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