Compiled on Thursday March 26, 2015
Weather: This is the National Weather Service seven-day forecast for the Marcy Dam area of the High Peaks Wilderness on Thursday, March 12. Hikers & campers should expect and prepare for colder temperatures, stronger winds and more snow in higher elevations compared to the forecast. Always check current forecasts before entering the back country as the weather forecast can change. National Weather Service Burlington: http://www.weather.gov/btv/
Thursday Night: Snow, mainly before 2am. Low around 26. West wind 3 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Friday: A 40 percent chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 35. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Friday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow showers, mainly between 10pm and 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 3. North wind around 7 mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 26. North wind around 8 mph.
Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 5. West wind 7 to 9 mph.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 36. West wind around 8 mph.
Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. Southwest wind around 13 mph.
Monday: A chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. West wind 10 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Monday Night: A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22. West wind 9 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 38. West wind around 9 mph.
Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. West wind 8 to 10 mph.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. West wind around 6 mph.
Latest Regional Forecast: National Weather Service – BTV
Wilderness conditions can change suddenly. Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change, check current weather conditions and short-term forecast before entering the backcountry. Plan ahead – bring flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Always be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods.
Electronic Technology: Do not depend on electronic technology in the backcountry. Cell phone coverage is spotty at best and often non-existent. GPS signal can be poor under heavy tree cover. Batteries expire quickly in cold temperatures. Plan and prepare before entering the backcountry and carry a map & compass for navigation or at least as backup.
Late Winter Conditions: Days are becoming longer and warmer. Snow, ice and cold temperatures are present at all elevations. Daytime high temperatures are alternating above and below freezing, nighttime lows are below freezing for the most part in the lower to mid-elevations. Carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing. Put on and remove layers as needed to keep comfortable. Dress and pack properly to avoid being cold & wet. Include an outer layer that is water & wind resistant.
Skis, Snowshoes & Traction Devices: Snowshoes or skis are required all trails in the High Peaks and should be worn on all backcountry trails. 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. Sliding down trails while wearing snowshoes or traction devices can result in injuries.
Trail Conditions: Trails are in good condition. In the lower elevations snow pack can be icy and crusty when temperatures are below freezing and soft when warm. Four inches of snow fell this past week, the snow depth at Marcy Dam (2,350 ft.) is 30 inches and 39 inches at Lake Colden (2,750 ft.). Snow depths are deeper and snow conditions more consistent in the higher elevations. Watch for ice and snow falling from exposed, ledge areas. See Snow Information on next page.
Ice on Water: Slush and water are present on top the ice on lower elevation waters. Ice has begun melting on streams and rivers. 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.
Blowdown: Blowdown may be present on trails, especially lesser used secondary trails.
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).
- The High Peaks received 4 inches of snow during the past week.
- There has been some warming of temperatures, but below normal temperatures will return this weekend.
- Accumulating snows are forecast for today into Friday.
- Some spring conditions have been observed, especially on slopes that are receiving significant sun.
- Snow stake at the Marcy Dam is currently recording 30 inches and the state at Lake Colden is 39 inches.
- If you are plan to travel in avalanche terrain be sure to:
- Carry essential equipment – avalanche transceiver/beacon, shovel, & collapsible or ski-pole probe;
- Dig test pits;
- Remember the red flags;
- Travel safely; and
- Have a self-rescue plan and the tools to accomplish it.
Just because you see a ski or boot track on an avalanche slope doesn’t mean one cannot occur. Make your own decisions.
Corey’s Road: The gate on Corey’s Road is closed and the road will remain closed until the end of the spring mud season. Those seeking to access the Calkins Brook and Ward Brook Trails must park at the Raquette Falls Trailhead and traverse the 3 miles to the summer parking lot.
Clear Pond Gate: 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 roundtrip for any excursions from the trailhead, plan accordingly.
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.
Trap Dike: The Trap Dike is full of snow, considerably more time and effort is required to climb the dike.
Avalanche Pass Slide: The Avalanche Pass Slide is closed to public recreation of any type through the winter.
Lake Colden & Avalanche Lake: Avoid the area immediately around inlets and outlets.
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.
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.
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.
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