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,


Darrin Rides to Newcomb Again: Update 1/28/16

I was off work today and hadn’t ridden in almost a week. So I hit the “Newcomb Playbook” again.

The Indian Lake village trails were pretty rough this morning. But S84 heading out toward Blue Mountain was actually half-way decent riding, except for those bony spots under the tall pines. The worst part was about a mile before the Newcomb trail.

After I met up with Lenny Baglieri of the Blue Mountain Rest, we headed up 538/Newcomb trail. The new snow was about 3-5 inches throughout and we even hit some untracked stuff. Overall, it was nice riding but there were some hazards that could take you by surprise.

Here is some of the Newcomb trail goodness:


As to be expected, there were some lumps on the south side of Joseph Mountain, but it was cushioned a bit with the fresh stuff. As we lost elevation and descended toward the Newcomb T with C8B, new snowcover diminished to around an inch or two at best.

For the heck of it, we tried making the run toward Long Lake. But as I suspected, it was rough and nasty and we gave up after a couple of miles.

Then we doubled back to C8B and make the run over to the Newcomb House for lunch. That trail was a mixed bag of treats and had some decent hazards, but was just good enough to make it into Newcomb. Read More…


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