Compiled on Thursday December 5, 2013
The following forecast, provided by the National Weather Service (NWS), is based on conditions at low elevations. Hikers & Campers entering the High Peaks Region should expect, and be prepared for, conditions which will likely be more severe than those expressed in a general NWS forecast. Hikers & Campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the back country, as weather forecasts can change.
This Afternoon A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48. Very windy, with a southwest wind around 47 mph. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Tonight Rain showers, freezing rain, and sleet likely before 3am, then sleet likely between 3am and 5am, then a chance of snow showers and sleet after 5am. Cloudy, with a low around 22. Very windy, with a west wind 33 to 43 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New ice accumulation of 0.1 to 0.2 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Friday A 40 percent chance of snow showers, mainly after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26. Windy, with a west wind 26 to 28 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Friday Night A 30 percent chance of snow before 2am. Cloudy, with a low around 8. Wind chill values as low as -12. Breezy, with a west wind 21 to 23 mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Saturday Partly sunny, with a high near 20. Breezy, with a west wind 21 to 25 mph.
Saturday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 7. Northwest wind 14 to 17 mph.
Sunday Partly sunny, with a high near 20. Northwest wind 7 to 13 mph becoming northeast in the afternoon.
Sunday Night Snow likely. Cloudy, with a low around 11. East wind 8 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Monday Snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 30. Southeast wind around 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Monday Night Snow showers and sleet likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Breezy, with a west wind around 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Tuesday A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 20. Breezy, with a west wind 20 to 22 mph.
Tuesday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 2. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 22 mph.
Wednesday Mostly cloudy, with a high near 14. West wind around 18 mph.
Latest Regional Forecast: National Weather Service – BTV
Wilderness conditions can change suddenly. While believed accurate, weather conditions may change at any time. All users should plan accordingly, including bringing flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Weather conditions may alter your plans; you should be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods before entering the back country.
Cold Weather: The short current recent warm spell will be followed by a return to below freezing temperatures. Day time highs are forecasted to be in the 20s with night time lows in the single digits. Cold weather outer garments, extra layers of non-cotton clothing and a winter hat & gloves are necessary for any outdoor recreation activities.
Snow and Ice: Last week’s storm did not result in the snow depths that were forecasted. Much of the snow present is melting during the current warm spell. As temperatures fall below the freezing mark snow will harden. Snowshoes are not required at this time, but boots and traction devices are recommended. Crampons may be warranted on summits and bedrock slopes.
Trail Conditions: In the lower elevations trails should harden up by the weekend and may be icy in certain areas. Hard snow and ice can be expected in the higher elevations.
Shorter Days: Days are shorter. Clocks have been set back an hour as we return to Eastern Standard Time – darkness arrives very early. Plan accordingly and always carry a flashlight or headlamp and extra fresh batteries.
Summits: Conditions on and near summits are more extreme – stronger winds, colder temperatures, ice and snow.
Ice on Water: Ice has formed on most waters. Waters may have opened up during the warm spell and refroze with the return of the cold weather. No ice is safe at this time. Ice that holds snow will not hold the weight of a person at this time of year.
Cold Water: Water temperatures are mostly in the 30s. PFDs must be worn by all people at all times in boats less than 21 feet in length until May 1.
Hunting Seasons: Autumn hunting seasons for small game, waterfowl and big game are open. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails. Please recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists with the legal right to participate in these activities on the Forest Preserve. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare. Hikers may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution.
Blowdown: Blowdown may be present on trails. Plan accordingly.
NOTE: Fires are prohibited in Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Zone
NOTE: Group size regulations are in effect throughout the High Peaks Wilderness. Group size for overnight campers is 8 or less and for day use it is 15 or less.
Be Prepared Before Entering the Back Country:
Check (before entering the backcountry)
- Local Forest Ranger for current information.
- Current weather conditions and short-term forecast
- Appropriate outer wear and foot wear
- Layers of non-cotton clothes
- Map and compass and know how to use them and use them!
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Plenty of food and water
- Extra clothes and socks
- Rain gear
- Ensolite pad to rest on and insulate your body from cold surfaces
- Bivy sack or space blankets for extra warmth
Always inform someone of your itinerary and when you expect to return
Please be aware that accessing the Forest Preserve through the rest areas is prohibited. In accordance with New York State Regulation §156.3(d), vehicles may not be left unattended in the rest area, unless the operator or passenger is within the rest area. Also parking of vehicles for longer than three hours during the hours of darkness is not permitted in accordance with §156.3(c).
Corey’s Road: Due to planned logging operations at Ampersand Park the Raquette River Trailhead gate will be closed this winter. Public motorized access will be prohibited beyond there. It is nearly 3 miles from the gate to the Truck Trail Trailhead, plan trips accordingly.
East River Trail is Open: The new bridge on the East River Trail over the Hudson River is complete and the trail has reopened.
Elk Lake Trails: The trails through the Elk Lake Easement Lands are closed until the end of the big game hunting season in early December.
Duck Hole-Henderson Lake Trail: A new bridge has been constructed over Roaring Brook near Duck Hole.
Bradley Pond Trail: The first foot bridge on the Bradley Pond Trail has been dropped and is unusable. The stream can be forded /rock hopped most of time on the downstream side of the bridge site.
Klondike Trail: The bridge over South Meadow Brook on the Klondike Trail has been replaced. The trail can now be accessed directly from the end of South Meadow Road.
Hurricane Mountain Trails: A portion of the Hurricane Road on the Elizabethtown (east) side of the Hurricane Mountain is washed out. The Hurricane Mountain Trailhead at the end of the road cannot be reached. The trail from Route 9N is flooded by beaver activity and rains. It is passable if you are willing to wade. Currently the only easily accessible trail to the summit of Hurricane Mountain is from The Crows Trailhead on the O’Toole Road off East Hill Road on the Keene (west) side of the mountain.
Marshall and Other Trail-less Peaks: Many of the herd paths found on Marshall and some of the other trail-less peaks meander around the slopes of the mountain without reaching the peak. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.
Northville-Placid Trail: The trail contains a large area of blowdown near the Seward Lean-to. A detour around the blowdown has been marked with pink flagging.
Marcy Brook Foot Bridge: A new bridge has been constructed over Marcy Brook. It is located approximately 200 feet below Marcy Dam, upstream from the low water crossing that had been in use since Hurricane Irene washed away the old bridge over Marcy Dam.
East River Trail: The bridge over the Hudson River is out, use the nearby flagged ford (low water crossing). Crossing when water levels are high or when water temperatures are cold can be risky.
Southside Trail: DEC has closed the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John’s Brook Outpost and is not maintaining it at this time.
Cold Brook Trail: DEC has closed the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass and is not maintaining it at this time.
Trap Dike: Fixed ropes, harnesses and other equipment are often abandoned in the Trap Dike. Due to the age, weatherizing and wearing of these materials they are unsafe and should never be used.
Deer Brook Trail: The low water route through the Deer Brook Flume on this trail to Snow Mountain remains impassable due to severe erosion.
Calkins Creek Horse Trail: Two bridges are out – the trail is impassable for horse drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
Courtesy of DEC Region 5