The week ahead: Update 2/11/16

Well, I can only look upon this week as a tremendous waste of opportunity. The deep trough did carve its way through the eastern United States, but the smaller scale features were far too disjointed and disorganized to produce the major snowstorm we desperately needed.

At any rate, Indian Lake picked up about 2-3 inches of air-fluff snow the past few days. Moose River Plains into the western Adirondacks did a bit better, in the 3-6 inch range.

Weekend Outlook:

The best description I can offer is deeply-frozen early April die-hard conditions with a fresh coat of white paint. Not very appetizing, but that’s what it is.

Perkins Clearing, Moose River Plains and Powley Road will be the places to hit this weekend. 538/Newcomb trail could offer a dark horse decent ride, if you park at the Northville/Lake Placid trail head near Lake Durant and worm your way back to 538 via S84.

Can you bop around the Indian Lake village trails? Yes, if you’re really careful.

Would you want to ride from Indian Lake village out to Cedar River Headquarters along the 18 miles of hell known as C8? You can…if you like medieval torture chambers. I certainly wouldn’t suggest it.

Lakes are glare ice with a thin coating of powder. Studded tracks would be a great asset with the slippery conditions.

If you decide to ride this weekend, dress for survival! This panel shows morbidly cold air over ilsnow land on Saturday. These are the forecasted temperatures for mid-day Saturday, which are actually lower than what they will be at sunrise:


This kind of cold, combined with stiff winds is dangerous and potentially life threatening. I guess if there isn’t enough snow for good riding, it might as well be cold enough to make you want to stay inside anyway.

I give you the info, you can decide what you want to do with it. As for me, I’m staying inside this weekend… Read More…

Slim Pickin’s: Update 2/5/16

I’m not gonna sugar coat this on you: We’re on the edge of completely skunked around here. Taking a walk around town Thursday felt every bit of early April as opposed to February.

Snow cover ranged from very thin to completely baked in the exposed areas. In the woods, snow pack was in the 3-6+ inch range. The lakes still have ice, but some parts looked a bit scary with large expanses of black ice.

Here’s what it looked like down in Bear Trap Swamp Thursday afternoon:


Once the trail got into the woods, it looked a little better:

IMG_3903 (1)

If you’re content with slithering around on a fan-cooled beater snowmobile, you can get some die hard riding in. For the rest of us, it would be better to wait for another time to ride. After all, it is early February and winter does have some time left.

Weekend Outlook:

Status quo through Saturday. Then a clipper system will deposit minor snows across ilsnow land Saturday night into early Sunday. If lake-effect snow helps out, that could place Moose River Plains and Perkins Clearing back into marginal play for Sunday. Not a promise, but there could be a bit of fresh snow later this weekend for the hard-core diehards who do make it up here.

Next Week:

All eyes are on Tuesday. Unfortunately, it appears as though the southern system (X2) will be too far ahead of the northern system (X1) for the two to phase into a blockbuster snowstorm:


However, the very steep PNA+ may cause the northern system to dig deep enough to generate a decent snow event on Tuesday. If not, we’re looking at another miss to add to the pile of misses we’ve had all winter. It’s just something to watch at this point.

That’s it for now…


Custer’s Last Stand: Update 2/2/16

It’s looking bleak out there…

I’m starting to feel a bit like George Custer surrounded by the Indians at Little Big Horn.

Well, I’m glad I got out there last Thursday. The conditions did hold up into Saturday. But the scene took a definite turn for the worse on Sunday as temperatures shot into the 40s. There isn’t much margin when we have little snow.

We didn’t get much rain Sunday night or Monday, but the wind has really eaten away at the snow pack. I measured around a half-foot of snow “in the woods” Monday afternoon, but I can tell you the exposed spots are much thinner. The remaining pack is ripe, so Wednesday’s rain and warmth will bring us to the edge of oblivion, at least for the Indian Lake village trails.

Weekend Outlook:

Colder weather will return later in the week, but there probably WON’T be a significant lake-effect snow to bring things back to life for the western Adirondacks before the weekend. A strong clipper moving through Quebec Saturday night could MAYBE produce enough snow to bring Moose River Plains and Perkins Clearing back to life a bit for Sunday.

Next Week:

If Ole Man Winter Custer is going to make his last stand, I think it needs to start next week with the EURO ensembles showing a dream scenario for us around February 9th:


Massive warming will be occuring in western North America under PNA+/EPO- with a powerhouse trough simultaneously digging into the eastern United States in good alignment with the Polar Vortex (PV).

If this clicks for us with a big snowstorm, it may be the Hail Mary that saves February and salvages something for the second half of winter.

If we can’t get a big snow out of such a seemingly good set-up, I don’t know if it ever happens for us. Heading into Presidents’ Week with nothing to show for it could be the death knell for this snowmobiling season.

With this being a week away, it’s far from money in the bank. Individual models range from a miss, to a major snowstorm, to a storm that cuts too far inland and gives us rain. But at least we have an opportunity for something big to happen for us.

I’m not counting on March to bail us out if February come up empty. If winter is going to make a stand for the second half, it’s gotta start soon!

For the ilsnow nation,



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