Compiled on Thursday January 22, 2015
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/
Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 2. Wind chill values as low as -8. West wind around 5 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.
Friday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Wind chill values as low as -4. Southwest wind 6 to 10 mph.
Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. Southwest wind around 8 mph.
Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 32. Southwest wind around 7 mph.
Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 9. Northwest wind 8 to 11 mph.
Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 16. West wind around 10 mph.
Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around -5. Northwest wind 5 to 8 mph becoming light and variable.
Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 14. Northeast wind around 6 mph.
Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around -6. North wind around 8 mph.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 13. North wind around 7 mph.
Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around -5. Northwest wind around 7 mph.
Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 16. West wind around 7 mph.
Latest Regional Forecast: National Weather Service – BTV
Wilderness conditions can change suddenly. Weather conditions may change at any time, check current weather conditions and short-term forecast before entering the backcountry. All users should plan accordingly, including bringing flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Weather conditions may alter your plans; always be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods.
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.
Backcountry Snow Report: No new snow in the past 72 hours. There are 26 inches at 3,000 feet. Strong temperature gradient still exists – keep “thins” in mind.
Skis, Snowshoes & Traction Devices: Snowshoes or skis are required all trails in the High Peaks – and should be worn on all backcountry trails – where snow depths exceed 8 inches. The use of snowshoes or skis avoids “post-holing”, eases travel, and prevents injuries. Traction devices, such as crampons, should be carried and worn when warranted.
Trail Conditions: Trails are skiable but better conditions exist at the higher elevations where the snow cover is deeper.
Blowdown: Blowdown may be present on trails, especially lesser used secondary trails.
Ice on Water: Check the thickness of ice before traveling across it – ice that holds snow may not bear the weight of a person. Avoid ice over or near running water, near inlets & outlets and near boathouses & docks – especially those with bubblers or other ice prevention devices.
Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger and snow will be deeper – especially where drifts form. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits or in heavy falling and/or blowing snow.
Avoid Hypothermia: Stay dry and warm. Drink plenty of water, eat food and rest often.
Hunting Seasons: Small game hunting seasons and some waterfowl hunting seasons remain 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. 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).
Lake Colden & Avalanche Lake: Avoid the area immediately around inlets and outlets.
Adk Loj to Lake Colden Trail Conditions: Snowshoes are required beyond Algonquin Junction (2,250 ft.). The trail is skiable from Adk Loj Trailhead to Marcy Dam. Beyond March Dam trail conditions are good. Lake Colden Caretaker reports 26 inches of snow at the stake.
Marshall Herd Paths: The herd paths on Marshall do not lead to the summit. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.
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.
Elk Lake Trails and Clear Pond Gate: 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 open for public use. The Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake Road is closed and will remain closed until the end of the spring mud season. This will add 4 miles to roundtrip, plan accordingly.
Avalanche Pass Slide: The Avalanche Pass Slide is closed to public recreation of any type through the winter.
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.
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.
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.
Courtesy of DEC Region 5