It’s not mud season yet

– at least in most places –

But we’re starting to see where even minor differences in elevation and latitude make a difference between skiing and not skiing.

Notchview hasn’t updated today, so I’m guessing they’re in wait-and-see mode pending the outcome of precipitation today into tomorrow. Will they be open? Call ahead.

Meanwhile, all the usual spots are open with decently skiable conditions for this time of the season: Prospect Mountain, Lapland Lake, Garnet Hill, and more. Conditions are now generally granular and some frozen granular. Watch for ice in spots that get direct sun.

Precipitation this weekend could give a refresh with some new snow on Saturday, but it will mainly be of use to the areas that have really good trails- not much help for reviving areas that have closed due to lack of snow.

Check out the ‘State of the touring centers’ link above for the details; snow depth map right here:

Snow depth in Northeast US Mar 21
Snow depth in Northeast US Mar 21

Weekend weather-

Mix of snow and rain Friday. Up north it will start as snow in the early morning, then change over as the day warms up. In the Adirondacks and northern New England states it could turn back to snow Friday evening before ending sometime during the morning or mid-day Saturday.

Daytime temps will pop up to the 50s in the flatland areas on Sunday before dropping back down to late-winter temps on Monday and Tuesday.

And by the way, welcome to spring!

crocus buds emerging from snow

Adjusting for conditions

Look for depth and grooming

Sounds like what you’d look for in a person, right? In this case it applies to mapping out your skiing options for the next few weeks. The snow coverage is shrinking, but there’s still some great skiing to be had, especially in areas that have good snow depth and take care of it.

In terms of timing, either the midweek or Saturday. If some snow comes in, Saturday could be a nice fresh-powder day. Sunday the snow will turn pretty soft by midday due to rising temps.

The picks for this week that are in range of downstaters include: Prospect Mountain, Garnet Hill, Lapland Lake, and Notchview.

Able to take a long weekend? Think about the White Mountains- Jackson NH, Great Glen, Bear Notch look like they have pretty good skiing, to judge by the waxing recommendations. Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe and Osceola are also good bets.

As usual, hit up the ‘State of the touring centers’ link for details. Snow depth map below. The areas in the darker blue where the depth is greatest are probably your best bets through the rest of March. Osceola says they’ve got enough base to make to April 15!

Snow depth in Northeast US, Mar 19
Snow depth in Northeast US, Mar 19

Weather outlook

Daytime temps in the 40s to 50s Wednesday and Thursday from the far north to the NYC area, then 30s to 40s Friday and Saturday. Sunday gets warm again, up to almost 60 downstate and in the mid-40s at the Canadian border. For the most part, nighttime temps will go below freezing, allowing snow to harden for the following day.

Modest lake effect snow Tuesday. On Thursday morning precipitation moves in from the west with patchy rain, snow, and wintry mix, but mostly rain. On Friday this could become mostly snow in northern NY, VT, NH and ME. The precipitation will dissipate early on Saturday. In terms of snow, don’t expect a lot.

More rain late Sunday and early Monday, and it could fall as snow in the Adirondacks and northern VT/NH.

Cooler weather to the rescue, on the way

3/16 update-

Antelope4455 reports that Minnewaska trails are too thin to groom. It’s pretty likely this was it for the season. Northfield is open, although they warn of bare spots in open areas. Lapland Lake is open with 45k, and reports variable conditions with granular snow and a dusting of new snow. Prospect Mountain is open with granular conditions.

A warm rainy Friday won’t kill the weekend

Honestly, today (Friday) the conditions are not great for skiing pretty much everywhere in the Northeast. If you hit up the ‘State of the touring centers’ link above, you’ll see lots of closed and TBD markers. To paraphrase Osceola, “better bring a set of dry clothes to change into” if you go out today. But the weather coming will work in our favor and touring center statuses will change for the better.

Put your dime on Sunday as the best day to go, unless you can’t or are headed to Lake Placid for the Loppet. Saturday will probably be decent weather and conditions for skiing but many trails will likely not be regroomed if you go early.

If I were to redo the map tomorrow, or better yet Sunday, a lot of centers will have reopened and regroomed, and conditions will have turned around to nice spring skiing. The question becomes the inevitable ‘where would I go if I had the day free to ski?’

By Sunday the choices will be clearer. Call Minnewaska to see how things are there. Notchview would be a good bet, but call ahead. Prospect Mountain is a reliable standby if you can do an early start day trip.

If you can do Saturday-Sunday overnight, then the possibilities include Lapland Lake, Garnet Hill, Viking, and maybe Wild Wings. All of them plan to regroom Saturday and should be in good shape by Sunday.

Here’s the snow depth map. Hudson Valley is looking snowless all the way to Albany, so we’re really lucky that Minnewaska has managed to maintain skiable conditions for this long.

Snow depth Northeast US Mar 15
Snow depth Northeast US Mar 15

Weather outlook

Temperatures Sunday through Thursday are setting things up for spring skiing in the Northeast. From lower- to mid- Hudson valley on north, daytime temps will generally above freezing and nighttime temps below, which helps degrade snow into granules of ice. On the other hand, if the base is already solid ice the surface will need to be ground up by mechanical means.

The Lake Champlain valley could reach 60 degrees Friday, but by Sunday it will feel late-winter as the temperatures will be in the 30s up north.

Light showers or rain throughout the Northeast on Friday. Lingering chance of showers or rain on Saturday, which could be mixed with snow in the Adirondacks and northern regions of New England, and in the lake effect zone of upstate NY. Beyond that, low chance of precipitation during the workweek.

Springtime crop of skiers

Today’s moment of bliss is from Mt. van Hoevenberg via Instagram:

Growing up skiing