Feb. 8 weekend forecast- pack the wax box

Summary: Skiable snow has now been transformed to ‘klister conditions’ (for those who still wax for classic skiing), and the Ginzu-groomed frozen granular composition means fast skate skiing. However, snow and wintry mix in the forecast will change the waxing conditions considerably, so hold off on prepping those skis or figure on taking the wax box with you.

Garnet Hill reports “Our conditions are the best they’ve been all season”, which just makes me feel it’s so unfair. Why does great skiing have to be a 4 hr drive away? (They do have rooms available for the weekend- just sayin’). For 25% less drive-time, Prospect Mountain looks plenty skiable, and Notchview is doing what they can with what they’ve got.

Event: In case we get really lucky, Shawangunk Nordic Ski Association (SNSA) is ready with a free XC clinic at Mohonk Mountain House scheduled for Sunday Feb. 9. For details see the Event posting on their Facebook page.

BETA report from Monday gives details on generally good conditions of Jackrabbit trail segments. A regional report to come later this week.

For full details for each touring center, go to ‘State of the touring centers‘ or find it in the nav menu. Below is the snow depth graphic as of today:

Forecast: A two-punch weather system enters the region in the latter part of the week. The first shot comes from the southwest on Thursday, bringing light to moderate snow/wintry mix to the region before shifting to ice/freezing rain and rain.

On Friday the second shot brings more precip with some heavier snowfall predicted from the Catskills northward. Accumulation is very likely on Friday and could be heavy in some spots, but once again it will be concentrated north of Albany and the MA-VT/NH border. Some parts of the far north (ie, Tug Hill, High Peaks, northern New England) could get as much as a foot of snow. There may be lingering snow/rain showers into early next week.

Daytime temperatures will trend downward until by Saturday it will actually feel wintry, with temperatures in the low teens in the far north and mountain country, while we in downstate will see temps in the mid-30s. There could be some gusty winds Friday night and early Saturday. Sunday highs will in the 20s in up north, and in the low 40s in the NYC area. The warming trend in temperatures will continue through to Monday and Tuesday.

Thanks for reading- be prepared to wax for anything.

Rode Violet Multigrade ski wax
Rode Violet Multigrade ski wax

Palindrome day ski conditions and forecast

Groundhog Day 02-02-2020, and one of only 12 palindrome dates this century. Bonus: it’s a palindrome whether you follow MM-DD-YYYY or DD-MM-YYYY format.

It’s also a day to view the movie ‘Groundhog Day’, in which the main character repeats the same experiences day after day, and only by observing the smallest details over and over does he gradually realize true meaning in life. Kind of like skiing cross-country. And now back to regularly scheduled programming.

Summary: Generally overcast weather and precipitation should help sustain or even improve skiing conditions in the north country and northern New England over the course of the week. How much it helps skiing in the sub- 4-hour drivability range is hard to guess right now.

I should have added Pineridge to my list of the best-and-closest centers earlier this week, but otherwise I’ll ‘groundhog-day’ the places within a reasonable drive-time:

Good conditions still to be found most places north of Albany and the MA-VT/NH border, including Lapland Lake, Garnet Hill, the always-reliable Prospect Mountain, and at never-say-die Notchview.

Feb. 1 weekend ski conditions and forecast

Hit up the ‘State of the touring centers‘ for the details on touring centers. BETA reports states backcountry conditions in the ‘dacks should be about the same as earlier in the week, with some chance of a dusting of snow from this weekend. Specifically: “Avalanche Pass has been regularly skied and will only improve with a few more inches at higher elevations, though the Marcy Dam truck trail is still the better approach for nordic touring into that area.”

Here’s the snow depth graphic for today:

Forecast: Today, lake effect snow showers in central NY and Tug Hill, with some light snow showers through the north country and New England, possibly as far south as the Catskills. These will finally dissipate in the far north by Monday midday.

Rain comes into the region from the southwest Tuesday morning. The High Peaks and northern New England may see more of a wintry mix. By early Wednesday, the rain will convert to snow and wintry mix more generally across the northeast.

Snow showers could continue from the mid-Hudson valley northward Wednesday night, before flipping back to rain and wintry mix on Thursday south of the High Peaks and northern New England. However, snow showers and snow may continue in the north country through Friday and Saturday, so keep a ‘weather eye’ out for this as the week goes on.

Weekday daytime temperatures will seesaw from 30s in the far north to 50s in NYC early in the week, dipping to range from the 20s to 40s midweek, and back up again for the weekend. In other words, a warmish February week.

Thanks for reading on Groundhog Day;

Thanks for reading on Groundhog Day.

Feb. 1 weekend ski conditions and forecast

Summary: Go north! Or North by Northeast. Good conditions still to be found most places north of Albany and the MA-VT/NH border, including Lapland Lake, Garnet Hill, the always-reliable Prospect Mountain, and at never-say-die Notchview.

If you really want great conditions, head to the Tug Hill plateau or the White Mountains. As usual, hit up the ‘State of the touring centers‘ for details.

BETA update from Jan. 27 says conditions can be ‘wonky’, and according to the AMC NY/NJ Google group, cover is getting thin and crusty. Also from that group were a couple of postings for backcountry skiers or advanced cross-country/Alpine skiers aspiring to do backcountry:

Snow depth graphic for the northeast:

Snow depth northeast US, Jan. 30 2020 with touring centers marked
Snow depth northeast US, Jan. 30 2020

If you happen to be planning a ski trip, may I suggest the Canadian Rockies, particularly Silver Star/Sovereign Lake in BC, or Lake Louise in Alberta? Looks like they’ve got lots of snow. Lake Louise is famous of course, and for Nordic skiing, Silver Star is pretty well known. The adjacent Sovereign Lake Ski Club trails expand the cross-country ski options tremendously.

Snow depth in Canadian Rockies, Jan. 30 2020

Forecast: as for us here in the northeastern US, this weekend moderate daytime temperatures ranging from low 30s in the north to low 40s in the NYC metro. Mountain regions will see daytime temps in the teens to low 20s.

Possible snow or rain showers in the NYC metro overnight Sat-Sun, but no accumulation. A much wider band of rain/snow showers may begin moving into the northeast from the south late Sunday night, but any accumulation is unlikely outside of lake effect areas.

Starting Monday, a warming trend brings the temperatures up to mid-30s in the north and low 50s in the NYC area. Nighttime temperatures might not be low enough to do snowmaking. Increasing chance of rain showers in the midweek starting Tuesday. Combined with a drop in temperatures starting Wednesday, it could mean snow for areas north of Albany and the MA-VT/NH border.

Thanks for reading.