Out of doors Situations (12/2): Snowshoes advised for top summits, trails messy & slippery because of skinny ice protection –

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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 (12/01): There is about 5 inches of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Higher peaks have about a foot of snow – bring snowshoes. The trails are currently not in good condition. Because of the thin ice cover, trails are generally messy and slippery. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are impassable.

William C. Whitney Wilderness: Public access to Lake Lila is closed during the winter season.

Moose River Plains Complex: The gates to the Moose River Plains Recreation Area will be closed to public motor traffic for the winter season on Monday, December 5th.

LAST WEEK

Lake George Wild Forest: The Cat Mountain Red Trail from Edgecomb Pond Road to the summit is currently undermarked as hikers take trail markers as souvenirs. Without appropriate marking, the path is difficult to walk in winter. For the safety of other hikers, please leave trail markers where you find them. The Blue Trail offers a well-marked alternative route to the summit.

Moor River Complex: The Low’s Lower Dam maintenance project has begun and public access to Low’s Lower Dam will be closed from December 6, 2022. During construction, which is expected to last until late fall 2023, public boat launches will not be permitted at Low’s Lower Dam. Access to Hitchens Pond and Low’s Lake during construction will require extensive transportation, and users are encouraged to explore other areas to visit during construction. For more information, see the full press release.

General information

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

What you need to know (12/01):

  • Temperatures: Temperatures in the region call for highs in the mid 30’s to 40’s and overnight lows in the low 20’s to 30’s throughout the weekend. These temperatures are estimates for base elevations. Always expect more extreme conditions at high altitudes. Scattered showers with possible snowfall are expected throughout the weekend. The weather changes quickly in the mountains. Carry extra layers, cold-weather gear and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions. Microspikes or crampons are recommended for anyone planning to hike this weekend and are required at high altitudes. Snowshoes may be required on some trails as snow continues to fall.
  • water transitions: Never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially after a rain or storm. If rain is forecast during the day, keep in mind how water crossings can swell between your first crossing and your return.
  • Sunrise sunset: sunrise = 7:13 am; Sunset = 4:17 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.

Check out 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: Due to recent snow, some seasonal access roads are beginning to close. Check the latest notices for any 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.

Safety at the top

As winter sets in over the Adirondacks, the weather on peaks and higher trails becomes increasingly dangerous. Conditions at the trailhead will not match those at the summit and the weather can change quickly. Here’s how to stay safe this winter:

Expect changing conditions – Expect significant drops in temperature, stronger winds and possible whiteout conditions on exposed peaks.

Pack the essentials – Check out the Hike Smart NY 10 Essentials. Pack headlamps, extra layers, traction gear, and snowshoes to prepare for wintry conditions. Have emergency accommodation and be prepared to stay overnight in an emergency.

Leave a plan – Tell someone where you’re going, which route you’re taking and when you plan to return.

glue together – Hiking alone in winter is dangerous. Take a friend and stay within sight, especially above the tree line.

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!

Plan your route

Winter conditions can be unpredictable. Snow cover, frozen water crossings, and other obstacles can make your intended route impassable. Here are some tips for planning and preparing a safe winter hiking route:

  • Research your route: Be aware of potential obstacles such as water crossings, seasonal access issues, and exposed or high elevation areas. Make a note of possible alternate exits in case you need to turn back throughout the day.
  • stay low: Trail conditions are more consistent at low elevations where tree cover is greater and terrain is less technical.
  • Turn around: Don’t be afraid to turn around and come back to your trek another day. The mountains are going nowhere. If conditions worsen or you feel unsafe, use your route research and take your emergency exit route.