Nine Days of Snow and Great Skiing in the Adirondack Mountains

Ski conditions everywhere in the Adirondack Park were terrific last week.

Backcountry Skiing in the Adirondacks 02-2018

Before the descent into Keene, N.Y., from the Jackrabbit Trail in Lake Placid.

It was raining when our plane landed in Albany a few weeks ago. It was also midnight and I was too tired to be worried about ski conditions in Lake Placid, but I was sad when I saw raindrops on the Boeing’s window. After 14 days of backcountry and Nordic skiing in the western U.S., two travel days sufficed as rest and I was ready to get back on skis and to my Lake Placid home.

All aboard the Adirondack Park’s most annoying roller coaster, Adirondack weather!

There was plenty of cold, good snow, and skiing when the resident biologist and I left on January 9. Then, we watched from afar as the temperature in Lake Placid climbed to 55 degrees just three days later. When it went down to -11 the next day I knew the Adirondack Park weather roller coaster was back in operation.

Ice Skating in the Adirondack Mountains 02-2018

Terrific ice skating on Adirondack lakes was small consolation after a recent thaw/freeze cycle.

Charting the temperatures = roller coaster graph.

Fortunately, it snowed again and skiing in the Adirondack Mountains was back on when we got home by the third week in January. A few days later it rained and washed any powdery snow down to two inches of packed slush. Then the temperature went below zero and that sluice froze into cement. You see where this is going. Outdoor recreation enthusiasts who want to have fun in the Adirondack Mountains have learned to be flexible, so we lace up our ice skates when we must. Today, however, we celebrate nine straight days of great skiing in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains.

Carpe Adirondack Diem was the order of the day.

The roller coaster weather pattern is not a new phenomenon. Unstable weather — steep swings in the temperature — has become more common in the Adirondack Mountains, so some us of have learned to seize the moment and ski as much as we can, while we can. (I believe that is a quote from Theodore Roosevelt’s ski bum younger brother.)

So we skied between work and family obligations in the backcountry, at Mount Van Hoevenberg, in the backyard, anywhere, and as much as we could.

Twenty-two inches of snow fell in nine days!

Backcountry Skiing Shadows in the Adirondacks 02-2018

Sunny days were a treat, but snow clouds were more than welcome.

Skiing in the backcountry, high and low, was terrific. Whiteface was in great shape as were the commercial cross-country areas. It was fun while it lasted, and for that we are grateful.

Skiing powder at Mt. Van Ho in the Adirondacks 02-2018

Fresh powder on the Olympic trails at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid.

Skiing at Whiteface in the Adirondacks 02-2018

Whiteface Mountain boasted excellent conditions. Photo: Christine Voce

Cross-country Skiing Groomers at Mt. Van Ho in the Adirondacks 02-2018

The groomers at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid.

Skiing across frozen streams in the Adirondacks

Stream crossings were snowy and safe.

First Tracks Nordic Skiing at Mt. Van Ho in the Adirondacks 02-2018

Die Waldeinsamkeit is easy to find in the Adirondack Mountains. A favorite untranslatable German word, Waldeinsamkeit means, “that feeling of being alone in the woods.”

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