Compiled on Friday November 28, 2014
Weather: Hikers & campers should expect and prepare for cooler and windier conditions in higher elevations, and more rain. Always check current forecasts before entering the back country as the weather forecast can change. National Weather Service Burlington: http://www.weather.gov/btv/
Friday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Calm wind becoming west around 6 mph in the afternoon.
Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. West wind around 7 mph.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. South wind 7 to 10 mph.
Saturday Night: Cloudy, with a low around 26. South wind around 10 mph.
Sunday: A chance of rain and snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 42. Southwest wind 8 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Sunday Night: A chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. West wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 32. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph.
Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 15. Northwest wind 8 to 10 mph.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 28. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming calm.
Latest Regional Forecast: National Weather Service – BTV
Holiday Weekend Weather: National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Advisory from 9 am Wednesday through 7 am Thursday. 3 to 5 inches of snow is forecast. Chance of snow Thursday. Mostly cloudy Friday and chance of snow Saturday. Temperatures will remain below freezing until Sunday. Sunday temperatures are forecast to be in the 40s with a chance of rain and snow showers. Dress and pack appropriately for these conditions. Weather forecasts can and do change; always check current weather conditions and forecast before entering the backcountry.
Winter Conditions: Winter conditions are present throughout the area. Snow, ice and cold temperatures are present at all elevations. Carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing. Put on and take off layers as needed to keep comfortable. Plan trips to be out of the backcountry before dark. Always carry a flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries just in case.
Trail Conditions: Much of the snow melted with the warm temperatures and rain earlier this week. Currently there is less than an inch of snow at Lake Colden (2,770 ft.). Snow is forecast at all elevations with 3 to 5 inches expected on the ground by Thursday morning. Most trails are frozen solid but mud & water may be found under ice in low areas, in drainages and along waters.
Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger and snow will be deeper. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits.
Proper Footwear: Boots should be worn on all hikes. Traction devices should be carried and worn when conditions warrant to avoid slips and falls. There is no snow base; snowshoes and skis are not warranted.
Ice on Water: Ice has gone out or thinned considerably from the warm weather and rain earlier this week. Ice remains present or is forming along shorelines, in bays & backwaters and in high elevation waters. Ice will not bear the weight of a person, even if it has snow on it. Ice is present on Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake but not it is not thick enough to hold the weight of a person.
Water Levels: Water levels are high in rivers, streams, and drainages but should drop over the next few days with the return of below freezing temperatures. Stream crossings on trails may be difficult with deeper waters and icy rocks.
Avoid Hypothermia: Stay dry and warm. Drink plenty of water, eat food and rest often.
Blowdown: Strong winds earlier this week is likely to have resulted in blowdown on trails, especially lesser used secondary trails.
Hunting Seasons: Hunting seasons for big game, small game and waterfowl are open or will open soon. 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. There is no record of a hunting related shooting incident in New York State involving a hiker.
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).
Avalanche Lake Outlet: The bridge on Avalanche Lake Outlet is washed away. During low water rock hopping will be necessary to cross, during high waters crossing will require getting wet
South Meadow Road: The Town of North Elba has closed and barricaded South Meadow Road off the Adirondak Loj Road. The road will remain closed through the spring mud season.
Clear Pond Gate and Elk Lake Trails: The Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake Road is closed and will remain closed until the end of the spring mud season. The two trails that pass through the Elk Lake property to Panther Gorge in the High Peaks Wilderness and the southern approaches to Dix Mountain in the Dix Mountain Wilderness are also closed, but will reopen at the end of the Northern Zone Regular Big Game Season on Monday, December 8.
Hurricane Mountain Trail: The trail from the Route 9N trailhead has been rerouted to bypass areas flooded by beavers. The trail now extends 3.4 miles from the trailhead to the summit. The reroute and new footbridges were completed by the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program.
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.
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.
Closed Campsite: The designated campsite on Big Slide Mountain Brook in Johns Brook Valley near the intersection with the Phelps Trail has been permanently closed due to site degradation. Other designated campsites are located across from the Howard Lean-to and just past Johns Brook Lodge. Signs on the hiking trail direct hikers to these sites.
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.
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.
Deer Brook Trail: The low water route through the Deer Brook Flume on this trail to Snow Mountain remains impassable due to severe erosion.
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.
Courtesy of DEC Region 5