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Entries Tagged as 'snow'

DEC Advises Backcountry Visitors of Winter Conditions Throughout the Adirondacks

December 30th, 2015 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Winter Recreational Opportunities Available with Proper Preparation and Precautions

The recent snowstorm is providing good conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondack backcountry, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. Visitors should be prepared with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice and cold to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience.


“Now that snow has arrived in the Adirondacks, people can begin to take advantage of all the winter recreation opportunities in the Park,” Acting Commissioner Seggos said. “However, winter can also present dangerous – even perilous – conditions to those who are unprepared. Visitors exploring the backcountry should dress for cold weather and use snowshoes and skis to navigate trails where appropriate.”

Snow depths range from 2 to 6 inches, deeper in some local areas. The snow is wet with a surface crust of sleet and frozen snow, but will harden with the forecasted below freezing temperatures. The deepest snows are in the northern, eastern, and central Adirondacks where snow conditions for cross country skiing and snowmobiling range from fair to good. Snow depths are thinner and there is more ice in the western and southern portion. Snow depths are much deeper in the higher elevations like the High Peaks and other mountains over 3,000 feet. Additional snow is forecasted during the next several days with 6-12 inches expected in the western Adirondacks.

While snow is present throughout the Adirondacks, ice has only recently begun forming on waters and is not safe. Although the ice may have snow on the surface, it is not thick enough to hold the weight of anglers, snowshoers, skiers, skaters or snowmobiles. Ice will remain unsafe until temperatures fall below freezing for a significant continuous period. Avoid ice over running water, near inlets and outlets and near boathouses and docks – especially those with “bubblers” or other ice prevention devices. Learn more about safe practices for travel on ice on DEC’s website.

All seasonal access roads are closed to public motor vehicles at this time. Use of these roads by motor vehicles can tear up and rut snowmobile trails and even the roads themselves.

Most gates and designated snowmobile trails in the northern and central Adirondacks are or will be open by the weekend including the Moose River Plains, Perkins Clearing, Speculator Tree Farm and Franklin County trail systems. Much of these trail systems are just now being checked for blowdown, washouts and other problems. Snowmobilers should check on local trail conditions before heading out.

Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobiles trails should keep to side to allow safe passage of snowmobiles. Snowmobiles should slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers.

Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks and other mountains that exceed 3,000 feet should carry snowshoes for their safety and the safety of other backcountry users. Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent “post holing”, which can ruin trails and cause sudden falls resulting in injuries. Ice crampons and traction devices should be carried for use on icy portions of the trails including summits and other exposed areas.

In addition, backcountry visitors should follow these safety guidelines:

  • Dress properly with layers of wool and fleece (NOT COTTON!) clothing: a wool or fleece hat, gloves or mittens, wind/rain resistant outer wear, and winter boots.
  • Carry a day pack with the following contents: Ice axe, plenty of food and water, extra clothing, map and compass, first-aid kit, flashlight/headlamp, sun glasses, sun-block protection, ensolite pads, stove and extra fuel, and bivy sack or space blankets.
  • Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia.
  • Check weather before entering the woods – if the weather is poor, postpone your trip.
  • Be aware of weather conditions at all times – if the weather worsens, head out of the woods.
  • Know the terrain and your physical capabilities – it takes more time and energy to travel through snow.
  • Never travel alone and always inform someone of your intended route and return time.
  • Traveling through snow takes more energy and time than hiking the same distance, especially in freshly fallen snow. Plan trips accordingly.

Call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518-891-0235 to report lost or injured people or other backcountry emergencies.

The DEC Adirondack Trail Information webpage provides current trail condition information and links to current weather, snow cover and other important information to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Adirondack backcountry winter experience.

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 2/16-2/22/15

February 23rd, 2015 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

“DEC Forest Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods.”


Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Essex County
Sentinel Range Wilderness – Town of Keene
Lost Hiker: On February 20, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker off trail on Pitchoff Mountain. The 56 year-old-male from Corning, NY stated that after coming from the north summit he had lost the trail due to heavy snow pack. DEC investigators obtained location coordinates by having the hiker contact 911 at 6:41 p.m. Six DEC Forest Rangers responded. As they reached higher elevations, three foot snow pack of unbroken trail, wind, snow drifts and temperatures at 0°F limited responders speed to a ½ mile per hour. The Rangers located the hiker at 11:15 p.m. in good condition, and he was able to snowshoe back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 1:25 a.m.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information webpages for more information.

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DEC Advises Backcountry Visitors of Winter Conditions Throughout Most of the Adirondacks

December 11th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Winter Recreational Opportunities Abound with Proper Preparation and Precautions

NYSDEC LogoThe recent snowstorm provided great conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondack backcountry the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reports today. Backcountry visitors should be prepared with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice and cold to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience.


“Now that snows have arrived in the Adirondacks, winter recreationist can take advantage of all that the Park has to offer during the upcoming holiday vacation period,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “However, recreationist must be aware that winter can also present troublesome – even perilous – conditions to the unprepared. Visitors exploring the backcountry should dress for cold weather and use snowshoes and skis to navigate trails.”

Snow depths range from 6 to 20 inches or more. The deepest snows are in the eastern Adirondacks with the thinner depths in the western portion. Snow depths are deeper in the higher elevations like the High Peaks and other mountains over 3,000 feet.

Seasonal access roads are closed. Motor vehicles should not be driving on seasonal access roads that serve as snowmobile trails in the winter such as the Moose River Plains Road.

Most gates and designated snowmobile trails are or will be open by the weekend. Snowmobilers should check on local trail conditions before heading out. Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobile trails should keep to the side to allow safe passage of snowmobiles. Snowmobiles should slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers.

Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks are required to use snowshoes or cross-country skis for their safety and the safety of other backcountry users. It is strongly recommended that visitors to other parts of the Adirondacks do the same.

Skis or Snowshoes Required

Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent “post holing”, which can ruin trails and cause sudden falls resulting in injuries. Ice crampons should be carried for use on icy mountaintops and other exposed areas. In addition, backcountry visitors should follow these safety guidelines:

  • Dress properly with layers of wool and fleece (NOT COTTON!) clothing: a wool or fleece hat, gloves or mittens, wind/rain resistant outer wear, and winter boots.
  • Carry a day pack with the following contents: Ice axe, plenty of food and water, extra clothing, map and compass, first-aid kit, flashlight/headlamp, sun glasses, sun-block protection, ensolite pads, stove and extra fuel, and bivy sack or space blankets.
  • Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia.
    Check weather before entering the woods – if the weather is poor, postpone your trip.
  • Be aware of weather conditions at all times – if the weather worsens, head out of the woods.
  • Know the terrain and your physical capabilities – it takes more time and energy to travel through snow.
  • Never travel alone and always inform someone of your intended route and return time.
  • Traveling through snow takes more energy and time than hiking the same distance, especially in freshly fallen snow. Plan trips accordingly.

Ice has only recently formed on most waters especially on large waterbodies. Alternating periods of freezing and thawing have occurred over the past month weakening any ice that is present. Always check ice thickness before traveling across it. Avoid ice over running water, near inlets & outlet and near boathouses & docks – especially those with “bubblers” or other ice prevention devices. Ice that holds snow will not hold the weight of a snowmobile at this time and may not hold the weight of a person.

Skiers and snowshoers are reminded that the Avalanche Pass Slide in the Eastern High Peaks is closed to public recreation of any type during the winter.

Call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518-891-0235 to report lost or injured people or other backcountry emergencies.

The DEC Adirondack Trail Information web page provides current trail condition information and links to current weather, snow cover and other important information to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Adirondack backcountry winter experience.

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Increased Avalanche Danger From Valentine’s Snowstorm

February 14th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Snowstorm Creates Excellent Skiing Conditions
Increases Risk of Backcountry Avalanches

NYSDEC LogoPlenty of new snow has made for excellent skiing and snowshoeing conditions in the backountry. Skiers planning to ski backcountry glades and slides should be aware of the increase risk in avalanche.

The recent storm left 10 to 16 inches of new denser powder snow on top of the 2 feet or more of less dense snow already on the ground. Due to the winds from the storm expect wind loading on the leeward side of mountain slopes. Strong temperature gradient snows were already present in the snow pack. Be aware of the risk of avalanches.

Know Before You Go

  • Have a basic knowledge of avalanche risk, prediction, avoidance and rescue.
  • Carry beacons, shovels & probes
  • Check for avalanche conditions before skiing.
  • Obtain your own data. The presence of ski tracks on a slope doesn’t eliminate the risk of avalanche.
  • Remember safe travel techniques.
  • Know how to self-rescue and have a rescue plan.
  • Skiing, snowshoeing and other travel is prohibited on Avalanche Pass Slide.

There is more information on avalanche awareness and preparedness on the DEC web site at: Avalanche

via NYSDEC

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DEC Advises Backcountry Visitors of Winter Conditions Throughout Most of the Adirondacks

December 17th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Winter Recreational Opportunities Abound with Proper Preparation and Precautions

NYSDEC LogoThe recent snowstorm provided great conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondack backcountry the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reports today. Backcountry visitors should be prepared with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice and cold to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience.



“Now that snows have arrived in the Adirondacks, winter recreationist can take advantage of all that the Park has to offer during the upcoming holiday vacation period,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “However, recreationist must be aware that winter can also present troublesome – even perilous – conditions to the unprepared. Visitors exploring the backcountry should dress for cold weather and use snowshoes and skis to navigate trails.”

Snow depths range from 8 – 20 inches or more. The deepest snows are in the western and southwestern Adirondacks and the thinner depths in the northeastern section. Snow depths are deeper in the higher elevations like the High Peaks and other mountains over 3000 feet.

Most designated snowmobile trails are open as well. Snowmobilers should check on local trail conditions before heading out. Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobiles trails should keep to the side to allow safe passage of snowmobiles. Snowmobiles should slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers.

The roadways on the Essex Chain Lakes Tract in the towns of Newcomb and Minerva in Essex County provide new excellent cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. The Town of Newcomb will plow the Goodnow Road and parking areas along the road near the access points to the Essex Chain Tract. This is the first time the public will be able to access these lands in the winter in more than 100 years.

Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks are required to use snowshoes or cross-country skis for their safety and the safety of other backcountry users. It is strongly recommended that visitors to other parts of the Adirondacks do the same.

Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent “post holing”, which can cause sudden falls and result in injuries. Ice crampons should be carried for use on icy mountaintops and other exposed areas. In addition, backcountry visitors should follow these safety guidelines:

  • Dress properly with layers of wool and fleece (NOT COTTON!) clothing: a wool or fleece hat, gloves or mittens, wind/rain resistant outer wear, and winter boots.
  • Carry a day pack with the following contents: Ice axe, plenty of food and water, extra clothing, map and compass, first-aid kit, flashlight/headlamp, sun glasses, sun-block protection, ensolite pads, stove and extra fuel, and bivy sack or space blankets.
  • Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia.
  • Check weather before entering the woods – if the weather is poor, postpone your trip.
  • Be aware of weather conditions at all times – if the weather worsens, head out of the woods.
  • Know the terrain and your physical capabilities – it takes more time and energy to travel through snow.
  • Never travel alone and always inform someone of your intended route and return time.

Traveling through snow takes more energy and time than hiking the same distance. Plan trips accordingly.

Ice has formed on most waters and is thickening on high elevation ponds and lakes and small to mid-size bodies of water. Check ice thickness before traveling across it. Avoid ice over running water, near inlets and outlet and near boathouses and docks – especially those with “bubblers” or other ice prevention devices. Ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person.

Skiers and snowshoers are reminded that the Avalanche Pass Slide in the Eastern High Peaks is closed to public recreation of any type during the winter.

Call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518-891-0235 to report lost or injured people or other backcountry emergencies.

The DEC Adirondack Trail Information web page provides current trail condition information and links to current weather, snow cover and other important information to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Adirondack backcountry winter experience.

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Notice: High Water in the Adirondack High Peaks

March 13th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Danger Thin IceTuesday’s rain and warm temperature has raised the levels of waters in streams and drainages throughout the High Peaks. Crossings may be treacherous if not impossible.

Lakes and ponds, such as Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden, have a foot of water and slush on their surfaces and are not skiable.

Below freezing temperatures overnight have begun to harden snow but beware of thin crusts of snow or ice over top slush and water especially in low lying areas, over and around streams and drainages and on lakes and ponds.

Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing through the weekend. Water levels will drop and snow, ice and slush should harden.

Courtesy of: NYSDEC

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ADK Has Your Passport for Winter Wilderness Adventure

December 31st, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Winter is a great time to explore the Northeast’s greatest wilderness, and the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) can take you there.

Adirondack Mountain ClubWhether you’re a novice or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, ADK’s winter 2013 schedule of guided trips, outdoor workshops and skills programs has something for you. New this year is Beginner Winter Skills, designed to teach such essential skills as snowshoeing, shelter building and avalanche awareness. Beginner Winter Skills, scheduled for March 3, is $65 for ADK members and $72 for nonmembers. Other beginner programs include Beginner Backcountry Skiing (Jan. 19 and Feb. 16) and Introduction to Backcountry Snowshoeing (Jan. 27 and Feb. 24).

Also in 2013, ADK is bringing back Winter Family Weekend, two days (March 9 and 10) of winter exploration for both adults and children at the Heart Lake Program Center. Activities will include animal tracking, sledding, snow art, games, a campfire and more. Join us for one day or both. Cost is $10 per day for adults, $5 for children, and includes use of snowshoes.

Winter Camping 101 (Jan. 12-14) is designed for those who are eager to begin winter explorations, but lack the confidence or the know-how. This experiential, cold-weather workshop will cover the fundamentals of equipment, nutrition, low impact camping and safety. Participants will travel by snowshoe to a backcountry camping spot where they will learn how to set up camp, cook, stay warm and dry, and be prepared for the unexpected in demanding winter conditions. Cost is $180 for members and $198 for nonmembers, and includes instruction, group gear and food.

Other outdoor skills programs include GPS 101 (Jan. 6 and Feb. 2), an introduction to backcountry navigation using global positioning systems, and Map and Compass Fundamentals (March 17). ADK is also offering a Wilderness First Aid course (March 23-24) and a Wilderness First Responders course (April 6-13), both of which are conducted by Wilderness Medical Associates.

The winter schedule begins Saturday, Jan. 5, with a guided hike to the summit of Esther Mountain, a 4,240-foot trailless peak. This and other trailless winter hikes are strenuous and require a full day of snowshoeing; and participants should have prior hiking experience and be in good physical condition. The 2013 schedule includes two additional Esther hikes, as well as hikes to the summits of Street and Nye, Tabletop and Phelps. Cost is $55 for members and $60 for nonmembers.

Most ADK guided trips and workshops will be held at ADK’s Heart Lake Program Center on Adirondack Loj Road near Lake Placid or in the adjacent High Peaks Wilderness. The Feb. 2 GPS 101 class will be held at ADK’s Member Services Center in Lake George. For more information, visit the ADK website (www.adk.org) or call (518) 523-3441.

The Adirondack Mountain Club, founded in 1922, is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the protection of the New York State Forest Preserve. ADK is a nonprofit, membership organization that protects the Forest Preserve, state parks and other wild lands and waters through conservation and advocacy, environmental education, responsible recreation and stewardship.

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