Although the bright March sun is waking up the trees and sucking up the backcountry snow, there is still plenty of winter in the mountains.
Unfortunately, work and weather has kept me pinned down in Plattsburgh. Yeah, it’s not much of an excuse. I’m sure my bias against spring snow is part of it. You see, I’m a waxer who hates the challenge of the crazy snow conditions this time of year brings.
Because I am someone who loves the Adirondack outdoors, I also love the Winter Olympics. Why?
Skiing, skating, sledding … these are the most Adirondack of organized sports. Our mountains, lakes and valleys are ready made for downhill, skating and cross-country.
Heck, we’ve had two Olympics in Lake Placid, near the heart of the High Peaks.
Two short videos from a recent ski near one of my favorite spots, Chateaugay Lake in the northern Adirondacks.
Our January thaw, followed by ice and sleet, has put a stop to most backcountry gliding for now. But with luck we’ll have a storm soon and I’ll get a bit more skiing in.
Right now I’m off to find some skateable ice. Here’s hoping the winter gives you some outdoor fun.
Too early to ski?
Sure, if you are a eager backcountry type you’ve driven and hiked to find snow.
Me, I’ll wait till the snow finds me, although I am tempted to take a trip to the Whiteface Toll Road for an early season session.
Too late to hike? Sure, many of you hike all winter.
Me, once the temps dip and the trails get icy, I keep my hikes on the flat lands of the Champlain Valley. Thanksgiving is often my cutoff, although a brisk hike up Lyon Mountain can make the turkey taste better.
So what to do in the between-times?
Geocaching is the perfect outdoor fun in the fall/winter, winter/spring transitions.
A solar eclipse in stages.
Now that the “Great American Eclipse” and all that solar hoopla is over, let’s turn our attention to the April 8, 2024, solar event: The Great Adirondack Eclipse.
On the afternoon of that early spring day, a total solar eclipse will be viewable from almost all of the Adirondacks and northern New York.
Draw a line from Plattsburgh to Watertown and you’ll have the path of totality.
So if you are in Saranac Lake, Lake Placid or hiking in the High Peaks that day, you’ll see it. Of course the path of totality also includes Burlington, Syracuse and a big swath of the central and southern United States as the eclipse track heads through Dallas and into Mexico. But in the interest of marketing, let’s ignore that.
September and October are a time of valley fog in the Adirondacks.
The waters are still warm enough and the nights are already cool enough that our mornings are sometimes bathed in white mist.
I’m sure, if you know ocean fogs, those impenetrable white banks that block highways and lead to massive pileups, you will think our fogs are tame. And they are small scale.
You’ve got one week of Adirondack vacation … and it rains. Sound like a nightmare?
Well, if you are stuck in a tent, it could be tough to turn a flood into fun. Even in a cottage, cabin or camp, you might be tempted to throw the kids into the car and head for the nearest mall.
Don’t. Rain can be a fun opportunity. Looking on the bright side of cloudy weather is a necessity this summer, when it seems to have rained every other day.