Out of doors Circumstances (1/6): Fluctuating temps, mixture of rain and snow predicted for Excessive Peaks –

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The following are just the most recent notices regarding public lands in the Adirondacks. Visit the Adirondack Backcountry websites for a complete listing of the notices, including seasonal road conditions, vie ferrate closures, specific trail conditions and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

High Peaks Wilderness: Snow Report (01/05): The following report describes the conditions as of Thursday, May 1st. Changing weather can affect conditions. There is 24 cm of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow depths vary at higher elevations. Conditions now call for the wearing of snowshoes in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness where snow depth exceeds 8 inches. Microspikes and crampons are required. Ski slopes have deteriorating conditions. Lake and river crossings are unsafe due to thin ice and open spaces.

Sable Highlands Conservation Easement: the Barnes Pond Road Gate was closed for the season.

Grass River Wild Forest: There are active crops on the Seveys Conservation Easement. While there are still trails that will be closed as soon as conditions allow Moorstrasse (C7A) will open.

LAST WEEK

High Peak Wilderness: Be careful at creek crossings. Due to recent flooding and subsequent cold temperatures, creeks can have a deceptively thin layer of ice on deep water.

Snowmobile Trails in Clinton & Franklin County: The floodgates for snowmobile trails in the counties are open. Conditions will be variable.

General information

For more trip planning resources, visit the Adirondack Backcountry main page.

What you need to know (01/05):

  • Temperatures & Conditions: Baseline temperatures in the High Peaks region are forecast to fluctuate throughout the weekend from lows in the mid-teens to high 20s to highs in the low to high 30s. Rain-snow mixtures on Friday should give way to some snow showers on Saturday. Cool or cold, wet conditions carry a high risk of hypothermia. Snow and ice conditions have been badly affected by recent rain and warm temperatures, but winter conditions remain at higher elevations. Keep in mind that conditions will be tougher at peaks and higher altitudes. Carry extra layers, cold-weather gear and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions. Bring microspikes or crampons and snowshoes. If you are unprepared for the conditions or if the weather worsens, return to the starting point.
  • water transitions: Never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially after rain or heavy snowmelt. With daytime precipitation forecast, keep in mind how water crossings can swell between your first crossing and your return. Don’t trust ice to hold your weight, especially over running water.
  • Sunrise sunset: sunrise = 7:29 am; Sunset = 4:33 PM Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp, even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Travel: Plan to arrive at your destination early and have several backup plans in case the parking lot fills up at your desired location. Some seasonal roads may be closed for the winter season and not all parking lots are plowed. Check the latest notices for road closure announcements.

Check the weather: Check the weather forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for select peak forecasts. Check both day and night temperatures, and remember that temperatures drop as altitude increases.

Season roads: Many seasonal access roads are closed in winter. Check the latest communications for specific closure announcements and be prepared to turn back and take an alternate route.

Snowmobiles: Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and check local club, county and state websites and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile Web Map, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.

Water conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are higher than average for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for current flow of selected bodies of water. Personal flotation devices (PFDs, also known as life jackets) are highly recommended.

Security & Education

Winter Hike Smart NY Poster

Whether you’re hiking, skiing or fishing, Hike Smart NY can help you prepare with a list of 10 essentials, clothing guides and tips for planning your trip with safety and sustainability in mind.

Recognize the signs of hypothermia

Hypothermia is a serious risk in any cold, wet weather. It occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it, resulting in a dangerously low body temperature. Protect yourself and your hiking partners by knowing the signs of hypothermia.

Signs of hypothermia:

  • Freeze. This may be accompanied by tremors.
  • The “Umbles”
    • Stumbling: slow, stiff, uncontrolled movements.
    • Mumbling: slurred, slowed down, or incoherent speech; drowsiness or confusion.
    • The fumbling: slow reaction time, falling objects or poor coordination.
    • The grumbling: a change in behavior or attitude (often apathetic or negative).
  • After the “hum” it gets even worse. You will notice uncontrollable tremors, deterioration of the “shells” and an altered state of mind.
  • Once a person has reached severe hypothermia, their shaking actually stops and their muscles become stiff. The person may become unresponsive, and their pulse and breathing may slow.

What to do:

If you or a member of your party show signs of hypothermia, act quickly. Put the person in a shelter, rewarm them, make sure they are wearing dry clothes, and let them rest. Encourage them to eat and drink warm beverages. Once the person is better, it’s probably best to go back to where you started. If a person has reached severe hypothermia, seek professional help immediately.

Learn more about recognizing and avoiding hypothermia in DEC’s How to: Recognize and Avoid Hypothermia video.

Leave no trace

Leave No Trace 2021 partner logo

Follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace to minimize your impact on the Adirondacks’ environment and natural resources. Use proper trail etiquette to ensure an enjoyable experience for yourself and others, and tread lightly!

Resolve to leave no trace in 2023

From your neighborhood park, to your favorite local trail, to the most remote reaches of the Adirondack backcountry, you can help preserve outdoor spaces for yourself, other users, and future generations by doing your best not to leave a trace. As 2023 begins, resolve to reduce your impact as you recreate in the year ahead. Start by reading the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace, or take it a step further and take an online Leave No Trace course.

If you have young adventurers, get them thinking about Leave No Trace with fun activities in Bigfoot’s Playbook. There are many ways to get involved, including volunteering, attending a local event, or becoming a member. Whether you’re new to Leave No Trace or have been doing it for years, try to take it a step further this year.