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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Finally, snow in the Adirondacks

Fresh snow on Baker Mountain in Saranac Lake. Photo by Phil Brown.

Fresh snow on Baker Mountain in Saranac Lake. Photo by Phil Brown.

We finally got a bit of snow in Saranac Lake. Not enough for backcountry skiing, but enough to get you thinking about it.

On my lunch hour yesterday, I hiked Baker Mountain and took the photo above. The few inches we got might be enough to ski on golf courses, the Whiteface highway, and a few of the easier trails in the region. I hope to check out the trail to Moose Pond later in the week.

This is a good time to remind people that the Adirondack Ski Touring Council regularly updates cross-country-ski conditions online. It reports that Nordic centers near Lake Placid have some trails open.

Here’s the report on backcountry conditions:

“Whiteface Highway skiable, although there will be short stretches that have been blown clear of snow. Marcy Dam Truck Trail possibly skiable with caution. Main Loop at Henry’s Woods on Bear Cub Lane just barely skiable. With 5 inches reported at Paul Smiths, the Hayes Brook and Fish Pond truck trails are finally skiable, although caution definitely advised on the first hill on the Fish Pond Truck Trail. Lake ice on Avalanche and Lake Colden crossable. No other ice should be assumed to be safe, although the cold Tuesday night has probably made many lake crossable. On the higher summits, finally enough for snowshoes above 3,000 feet; but with much ice under the snow, traction aids will be very useful, if not required, on steep trails getting to that elevation. Definitely be prepared for winter conditions on any of the higher summits. Meadow Lane, access to the Marcy Dam Truck Trail, closed to vehicles for the winter.”

One shortcoming of the council’s report is that it concentrates on the Tri-Lakes Region (Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake), so you rarely see accounts of conditions in other parts of the Park, such as Old Forge or Cranberry Lake.

 Here’s the link to the full report.

Let’s hope we get some real snow soon. It is January, after all.

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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