This weekend in the Adirondacks: There’s still time to ski in the spring

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View from Highway Life up Little Whiteface at the start of Easter Weekend 2021. Credit Ryan Finnerty/NCPR.

The Adirondacks received a considerable amount of snow this week. Although much of it has already melted, there is still deep snow at the higher elevations, and the heavy wet snow combined with the windy conditions this week has left a lot of blowdown on the trails that will take some time to clear. Expect to encounter an explosion if you go this weekend.

Tonight is expected to be chilly – into the mid-20s in some places, but warmer temperatures are forecast for the weekend, along with overnight rain showers or snow showers in the Adirondacks Saturday night.

Rivers and streams are largely operating at normal higher levels for this time of year. Some more challenging stream crossings may be impassable, but most should be fine for the weekend. Lake Champlain is approaching flood stage north of Whitehall and was less than about half a foot earlier in the week, but strong southerly winds yesterday pushed lake water north , alleviating the problem at the southern end of the lake, but creating some minor flooding along the northern shores.

The Hudson River is expected to rise about 6 feet at North Creek today and remain there through the weekend. The Raquette River at Piercefield should remain steady at around 8.5 feet.

Most of the waters are now ice free and the water temperatures are very cold. Upper Saranac Lake is about 40 degrees. Mirror Lake is in the lower 40s. PFDs are mandatory for all people in small watercraft until May 1 and cold water protection is strongly recommended for paddlers. Now is the time of year when drownings are more common due to cold water shock.

Alpine skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts are enjoying the end of the season. Gore Mountain, which received about 18 inches of new snow this week, will reopen today for spring skiing. In Whiteface they picked up about 14 inches of new snow this week and will be open as well. If you go be careful as these late spring conditions can be changeable with thin areas and patches of ice.

Snowshoes are still necessary in the High Peaks, where most trails at higher elevations and those along the northern slopes still have at least 8 inches of snow – many trails are icy and there are still muddy areas at lower elevations where the recent snow has already melted. The DEC Mud Season Advisory remains in effect, especially in the High Peaks area.

And finally this week, the parking reservation system at the Adirondack Mountain Preserve is now open for reservations on the AMR website

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