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Adirondack Explorer

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Backcountry-ski conditions about to deteriorate

backcountry skiing

The snowy woods at Dewey Mountain on Tuesday. Photo by Phil Brown.

I just got back from touring the Andalusia region of southern Spain with Carol Fox and my daughter Martha. On one day we took a wonderful hike into the Sierra Nevada where we saw goats roaming the treeless hills. Although the mountains are not far from the Mediterranean Sea, they are snow-capped. The highest top 10,000 feet.

I wore a T-shirt on that hike. I felt a little guilty about soaking up the sun while friends back home, especially in the Adirondacks, were suffering through below-zero days.

OK, so I didn’t feel guilty. However, as I perused posts on Facebook, I felt a tinge of regret about missing out on the skiing in the Adirondacks. I kept reading that the conditions were superb.

On Tuesday, my first day back, I had a lot of work to catch up on, but I did manage to sneak out for a little ski trip on Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake. As is my wont, I shuffled to the summit on my boards and then skied back down to the bottom. The trip takes just a half-hour or so.

The conditions were indeed superb. Good base, plenty of powder. When I went off trail, I sank up to my shins in snow. It felt good to be back!

Unfortunately, ski conditions are expected to worsen soon. Rain is forecast for Wednesday night through Saturday morning. The silver lining is that quite a bit of snow, not rain, is forecast for higher elevations.

It will turn colder again over the holiday weekend, so let’s hope we’ll get more snow and a return to primo conditions everywhere. And I don’t mean T-shirt weather.






Phil Brown

Contributor Phil Brown was editor of the Adirondack Explorer from 1999-2018. When he isn't at his desk, he's usually out hiking, paddling, skiing, or doing something else important.

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