A tuck-n-go ski kicked off winter 2014 in the Adirondacks.
Conditions were fast for today’s tuck-n-go ski around the Porter Mountain Racing Loops on the Olympic cross-country ski trails at Mount Van Hoevenberg. This delightful ski was the perfect way to set the tone for a great Adirondack winter, officially here as of 6:03 pm.
After eight days of clouds, the inversion lifted this morning to reveal frosted Marcy, Phelps, and Tabletop Mountains.
Click on the image for a larger version of Adirondack winter wonderland.
Photo credit Edward Reed.
DEC ADVISES BACKCOUNTRY VISITORS OF WINTER CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT MOST OF THE ADIRONDACKS
The lifestyle hound is sorry he talked me into backcountry skiing on the Jackrabbit Trail in Lake Placid this morning.
Nearly two feet of snow fell at Adirondack Lifestyle HQ outside of Lake Placid, N.Y. in the last 48 hours, and this joyous fact was not lost on the lifestyle hound. He watched, dejected, as I prepared my skinny track skis for a blast around the Olympic trails at Mt. Van Hoevenberg this morning. I saw his spirits lift when he heard the snow at MVH was not firm enough yet for the tracksetter, so tracks would not be ready until this afternoon.
After a session of puppy-dog eyes and prancing underfoot, I got the message, “Get the big skis on and let’s check out the neighborhood.” So we did.
Backcountry ski conditions are suddenly excellent in the Adirondacks.
The section of Jackrabbit Trail outside of Lake Placid, going toward Keene, which I consider “Adirondack backcountry skiing lite” is in fine shape and very skiable, but skiers are advised to be aware of open water.
Skiers in the Adirondack backcountry are advised to watch out for open water, despite mid-winter ski conditions.
To that point, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation just issued a press release to remind outdoor recreational enthusiasts that winter conditions prevail in the Adirondacks. See below.
DEC ADVISES BACKCOUNTRY VISITORS OF WINTER CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT MOST OF THE ADIRONDACKS
Winter Recreational Opportunities Abound with Proper Preparation and Precautions
The recent snowstorm provided great conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondack backcountry the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reports today. Backcountry visitors should be prepared with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice and cold to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience.
“Now that snows have arrived in the Adirondacks, winter recreationist can take advantage of all that the Park has to offer during the upcoming holiday vacation period,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “However, recreationist must be aware that winter can also present troublesome – even perilous – conditions to the unprepared. Visitors exploring the backcountry should dress for cold weather and use snowshoes and skis to navigate trails.”
Snow depths range from 6 to 20 inches or more. The deepest snows are in the eastern Adirondacks with the thinner depths in the western portion. Snow depths are deeper in the higher elevations like the High Peaks and other mountains over 3,000 feet.
Seasonal access roads are closed. Motor vehicles should not be driving on seasonal access roads that serve as snowmobile trails in the winter such as the Moose River Plains Road.
Most gates and designated snowmobile trails are or will be open by the weekend. Snowmobilers should check on local trail conditions before heading out. Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobile trails should keep to the side to allow safe passage of snowmobiles. Snowmobiles should slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers.
Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks are required to use snowshoes or cross-country skis for their safety and the safety of other backcountry users. It is strongly recommended that visitors to other parts of the Adirondacks do the same.
Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent “post holing”, which can ruin trails and cause sudden falls resulting in injuries. Ice crampons should be carried for use on icy mountaintops and other exposed areas. In addition, backcountry visitors should follow these safety guidelines:
- Dress properly with layers of wool and fleece (NOT COTTON!) clothing: a wool or fleece hat, gloves or mittens, wind/rain resistant outer wear, and winter boots.
- Carry a day pack with the following contents: Ice axe, plenty of food and water, extra clothing, map and compass, first-aid kit, flashlight/headlamp, sun glasses, sun-block protection, ensolite pads, stove and extra fuel, and bivy sack or space blankets.
- Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia.
- Check weather before entering the woods – if the weather is poor, postpone your trip.
- Be aware of weather conditions at all times – if the weather worsens, head out of the woods.
- Know the terrain and your physical capabilities – it takes more time and energy to travel through snow.
- Never travel alone and always inform someone of your intended route and return time.
Traveling through snow takes more energy and time than hiking the same distance, especially in freshly fallen snow. Plan trips accordingly.
Ice has only recently formed on most waters especially on large waterbodies. Alternating periods of freezing and thawing have occurred over the past month weakening any ice that is present. Always check ice thickness before traveling across it. Avoid ice over running water, near inlets & outlet and near boathouses & docks – especially those with “bubblers” or other ice prevention devices. Ice that holds snow will not hold the weight of a snowmobile at this time and may not hold the weight of a person.
Skiers and snowshoers are reminded that the Avalanche Pass Slide in the Eastern High Peaks is closed to public recreation of any type during the winter.
Call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518-891-0235 to report lost or injured people or other backcountry emergencies.
The DEC Adirondack Trail Information web page (www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html) provides current trail condition information and links to current weather, snow cover and other important information to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Adirondack backcountry winter experience.
Breaking trail in two feet of heavy, wet snow was a workout for canine and human.
Ski conditions throughout the region could use a few days of nice, sub-zero temperatures to set up and compress the wet snow. This type of snow at this time of year starts a great base, and should set the stage for great conditions if temperatures remain below or close to freezing.
Crew at Mount Van Hoevenberg Got to Work Early
Winter wonderland on the Olympic Nordic ski trails at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y.
A big, early season tip of the tuque goes out to the crew at Mount Van Hoevenberg cross-country ski complex in Lake Placid. Skiing on the Olympic trails was superb yesterday thanks to their speedy work to roll and pack the 15+ inches of snow that fell Tuesday night and throughout the day Wednesday. All trails were packed, open, and in great shape.
Snow fell through last night and this morning, and although we did not receive 21 additional inches promised by the folks at the National Weather Service, the total at HQ is ~21 inches of the lovely white stuff.
A foot of snow fell overnight at Adirondack Lifestyle Headquarters, outside of Lake Placid, New York.
Adirondack snow enthusiasts’ hearts are light this morning. A Northeaster snowstorm barreled up the coast last night and left a foot of fresh snow in and around the Adirondack North Country. Thank you Atlantic Ocean.
It is still snowing and the storm, in classic Northeaster form, will perform some kind of swirling meteorological magic and dump up to 22 inches of additional snow. At least that is what the NOAA weather forecast promised, and I plan to hold them to it.
Schools and other public gatherings are canceled or closed throughout the region. You can find updated information on closings and schedules at North Country Public Radio. This is a heavy, wet snow, so please be careful moving it. Snow shoveling is a workout and not to be confused with a fun workout like, oh maybe, skiing!
You know where I’ll be today.
Everyone is looking forward to unrelenting snow.
I admit I have been uncharacteristically quiet so far this ski season. I am gun shy. The last time I gloated about a predicted snowstorm, we were skunked. I have been loathe to get too excited about a forecast for fear of jinxing the outcome. It is therefore with much trepidation and caution that I exclaim, it is snowing really hard out right now and they say we could get up to 22 inches of wonderful snow!
The term “wonderful snow” is obviously a subjective phrase; an expression not everyone in the forecast area would use to describe the current meteorological pattern. Accuweather said, “Storm to Hover Over Northeast, Unleash Unrelenting Snow.” The words “Unrelenting Snow” in the headline reminded me of a business meeting the first winter after we moved to Lake Placid, 27 years ago. In the course of an introductory meeting with the COO of a large state-run organization with whom my firm did business, the man said to me, “Whatever made you choose to move here?! It snows every #!*#!* day!” Naturally, I replied, “It snows every day.”
Although it is the middle of December and contrary to what that man promised me 27 years ago, not much snow has fallen in the Adirondacks. I enjoyed a few days Nordic skiing on groomed trails at Mount Van Hoevenberg, Whiteface and Gore Mountains are open for skiing on man-made snow, but there has been no backcountry skiing. The Toll Road, or the Whiteface Memorial Highway, is not the backcountry, but I understand it is getting a great deal of traffic lately. It is time for some serious #!* snow.
Here’s to a winter with unrelenting snow, every #!*#!* day!
“For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America. He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage…” Ben Franklin’s thoughts on the choice for national bird.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Adirondack Lifestyle, including the wonderful wild turkeys who are regular visitors here at HQ. The six inches of fresh snow that fell yesterday and last night are icing on the cake this holiday weekend.
Practice gratitude and enjoy!
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) Seeks Help Locating Moose to Collar for Population Study
Adirondack Bull Moose
The resident biologist and his team at NYS DEC Region 5 need moose for a population study they are working on and they need your help.
The study, designed to determine how many moose there are in the Adirondacks, where they live, and if the population is on the increase or decline, is a long-term project of the DEC, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), Cornell University, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
The first step in the study is to get GPS collars on a few cow moose so their wanderings about the Adirondacks can be tracked. According to Ed Reed, Regional Wildlife Manager (and resident biologist), the team has four stunning GPS collars ready to be custom fitted on some lucky cow moose. Larger, expanding collars suitable for bull moose are ordered and will be available in next year’s Adirondack moose winter collection.
NYS DEC hopes to have four cow moose wearing GPS collars this year.
Since moose don’t usually volunteer for duty, the department has asked the public to call in any moose sightings. This is your chance to tell your Adirondack moose story!
If you see a moose, please report it immediately to the DEC at 518-897-1291. DEC appreciates the public’s assistance with this effort to learn more about New York State’s largest mammal. Click here for more information on moose.
Today’s first snow of the season here at HQ, at ~2,200 feet elevation, arrived early and stayed all day. Temperatures hovered around freezing, cold enough to keep the wood stove simmering, getting ready for the predicted low of 24 degrees tonight. My camera and I played hide and seek with the mountains as snow showers, some heavy, blew through most of the day obscuring and then revealing the lower snow-dusted peaks. Mount Marcy, hidden deep in the snow clouds, never even showed up for the game.
First snow in Lake Placid on Big Slide.
There is not enough to ski on yet, but here in Lake Placid, the first snow is celebrated and a good excuse to lift a mug of Adirondack Hot Cocoa to Ullr, the Norse god of snow, seeking his favor for the upcoming ski season.
I had no choice but to put down the coffee cup and grab the camera this morning. As you can see in today’s featured photo, the hardwood trees are mostly bare. The softwoods are the flora stars of this morning’s momentary sunrise show, caught unfolding before the backdrop of Pitchoff and Cascade Mountains.