Too warm and wet to groom

Spring skiing forecast

Executive summary: Wee amounts of snow may refresh trails in the north country on Sunday, but better spring skiing conditions will be in the first part of next week. The warmth and wet weather makes grooming impossible for now. Call ahead.

[3/30 update]: Prospect Mountain and Viking are open.

[3/31 update]: Rikert declared today the last day of their season. Lapland Lake is calling April 1 the last day. Lapland Lake says the drop in skier visits and mechanical problems with grooming equipment contributed to the call, despite a decent base. Cascade and Mt van Hoevenberg are closed today, likely due to rain and/or wind.

Poor weather for the weekend

Universal klister

A storm has moved in from the west. Downstate we’ll see scattered rain showers, but the north country will see more rain and some wind as well. Up north the rain could alternate with some snow; however with the warm temperatures forecast for Saturday the remaining snowpack will get wetter and more compact (if that’s even possible). Trails will be wet and mushy or slick if ice is exposed.

An ominous sign: for the first time this season Prospect Mountain hasn’t updated just before the weekend. Viking is closed Friday and Wild Wings is closed for the weekend.

Hit up the ‘State of the touring centers’ link for details. Snow depth map is below:

Snow depth in Northeast US, March 29
Snow depth in Northeast US, March 29

On Sunday a cooling trend begins, so precipitation in the mountain regions may change over to snow. The Tug Hill plateau, Adirondack high peaks, and select areas of VT and NH might get a bit of a refresh on the base by end of Sunday before the front moves out. The cooling trend lasts thru Monday.

Does anybody really care what day it is?

Altay skier in fancy coat
The only thing this Altai skier knows is that it was a great day to ski

With the early week forecast to be a bit cooler and below freezing at night, it looks like a chance for some nice spring skiing in the mornings on Monday and Tuesday, maybe even Wednesday. Advise calling your chosen touring center before you go.

Good time to be someone who sets their clock by the seasons and not the day of the week.

Time for rock skis

More debris and soft, wet snow means breaking out the old waxless skis.

The countdown begins

I’m starting to hear a fat guy readying for his last aria

Tin container opera singer
Is it time for me to sing?

Here’s to the groomers…

…bless ’em all (with apologies to Frank Sinatra, Jack Segal, and Robert Wells), because against all odds, Notchview is hanging in there with skiable conditions.

The award for spirited and dedicated grooming goes to Notchview in Massachusetts, and Minnewaska State Park in New York. Both have done incredibly well in a less-than-optimal winter. The award is of course, issued by the authority of me.

Notchview might be forced to give it up by this weekend despite a late-season snowfall that revitalized them as well as several other centers. Hope they manage to make it through the weekend just to say you could ski there through the month of March.

This may or may not be the last real update of the season, but for what it’s worth you can check out the snow depth map below for an overview of skiable territory, and hit the ‘State of the touring centers’ link above for details about conditions.

Snow depth in Northeast US, March 25
Snow depth in Northeast US, March 25

Spring skiing forecast

We’re starting to wind down the ski season in earnest. Weather in the early part of the week will help maintain spring ski conditions, but with a warmer weekend in store, expect that much of the snow base will melt off by next week.

Skiing into April isn’t just a possibility- some of the places that have a really good base now will continue to have something to ski on after this weekend. The snow last Friday helped out areas from southern VT up through to the High Peaks region. The places to go to are going to be pretty familiar: Prospect Mountain, Lapland Lake, Garnet Hill, and Osceola being the closest with the best. In addition, places like Cascade and Mt. van Hoevenberg in the High Peaks, and Timber Creek, Wild Wings, and Mountaintop in Vermont are all looking pretty good for now.

How good? Take a look at the pic below:

Sunny day and perfect snow at Mt. van Ho

To some extent, what you want to call ‘skiable’ conditions now depends on your expectations. Unless you can get on trail pretty early, trails will be soft and wet. And less well maintained. Every area will be watching for the cost-benefit intersection on grooming. In addition the people involved in operating a touring center for the winter will have springtime jobs to get to and might not be available after next week.

So count your blessings- skiing’s out there if you want it!

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