Snow Conditions

Jan 13 Update:  The roads are flat groomed, skate lanes are excellent. The track set on the roads is still good. The E-Z Trail is flat groomed and track set. Toadstool via the connectors off E-Z is track set. Trails groomed well.

Night skiing tonight should be good. Skiers report track set on other trails is fast but good.

Jan 13:  There is night skiing tonight until 8:00 P.M. with Barry Walch as your host. Barry has been kind enough to organize night skiing for a number of years. When he does not have a volunteer to cover the evening, he has covered them. We have a core of a few dedicated volunteers who normally cover the nights. We'd like a few more folks to throw their hat into the ring for even just one night a year to help out. If night skiing isn't your thing the lodge is a pleasant and quiet spot to read or work offline on your laptop. You can reach Barry at barry.walch@higleyfriends.org to offer your help.

The youth ski program starts January 22nd with sign-ups appreciated by the 15th. This is a family-oriented program where you get to spend time with your child as they learn and have fun with other children. You can sign up by going to this link:  Higley Flow Ermines Youth XC Ski Club - REGISTRATION FORM (google.com).

Invest in yourself this New Year! The adult lesson program begins this Sunday.  It is a four-lesson program with the first lesson free and the remaining three lessons a $30.00 package. Danielle Jerry and Bob Platte have invested a great deal of effort in creating a quality program that leaves every participant with better skills and more enjoyment. You can sign up by contacting Danielle at higleymasters@higleyfriends.org. She will send you detailed information which will put your mind at ease if joining is outside your comfort zone.

Lastly, what is it this year with freezing rain? In spite of it our skiing continues to be respectable. We will be checking things out this morning, grooming some, and reporting back after we finish.

Jan 11:  Bundle up! It will be a pretty day, but not a warm one  Fortunately xc skiing generates heat! 

The temperatures should be rising tonight as Joanne LaBarge hosts this evening's skiing until 8:00 P.M.

Jan 10:  The Park received between 1/2 and 1 inch of snow that has helped conditions. The roads and camp loops are flat groomed and in really good shape.  The trackset has  been redone on the roads and camp loops where it needed doing. Raquette Ridge has been groomed and trackset where appropriate, Pine and Overlook have been flat groomed beside the existing trackset.  E-Z has been trackset. 

Skiing is not at its best but it is better than expected after yesterday's weather.

Jan 9:  E-Z was groomed late yesterday afternoon. It is alternating between sleet and light freezing rain this morning. We will wait until Monday to groom after this weather system has passed.

Hopefully this changes back to snow early so skiers can enjoy the afternoon.

Jan 8:  The roads are flat groomed, Overlook, Pine, Toadstool, Cedar Brook, Raquette Ridge have all been groomed and trackset.

Efforts got off to a stuttery start this morning, first with the below zero temps, then with a red squirrel who decided to build a nest in the nice warm engine compartment of the Friends sled, and an electrical issue.

The sky is blue, the snow is great, the temps have warmed.  One skier told me I should tell everyone to get off the sofa and get out and enjoy the day-so I'm passing it on!

Jan 6:  An inch or more of fresh snow should make for beautiful conditions today.

We hope you can get out there and enjoy them.

Jan 5:  It was snowing at a good clip this morning. The roads have been  re-groomed and Tom will be working on the trails this afternoon.

Night skiing tonight until 8:00P.M.. Carol Rossi-Fries will be your host.

Jan 4:  Grooming today and night skiing tonight and Thurs.night until 8:00P.M..

Barry Walch will be your host this evening.

Jan 3:  Conditions should have set up well overnight with the cold temperatures. We will work on the trails again tomorrow.

We've waited so long for this, too bad we did not get it for the holidays, but it is here now so enjoy!

Jan 2:  Finally-snow! The Park received 3-5 or 6 inches of snow depending on how sheltered the area. 

The roads are flat groomed and track set. The E-Z , Outlook, Pine, Warm Brook, and Toadstool trails are groomed and track set.  The skate lanes are very good. The cold temperatures tonight should help the other trails set up well. 

Get those skis out and enjoy it!

Dec 30:  Unfortunately, 29 degrees and snow showers in Potsdam is 35 soggy degrees in Colton with a mist.

Messy, unseasonable-yuck!

Dec 29:  Higley is still hanging on. We have skied for weeks at this point on snow packed to 1/2"-2" with mostly acceptable conditions. It is a tribute to the work the Park and Friends volunteers have done on the trails that this has been possible. We do expect that we are at a critical point where rain and warm temps will decimate the remaining snow we have, so enjoy it while we have it!  We are hoping that Sunday's mixed precip is mostly snow.

We flat groomed the roads and camp loops today, roads are pretty good, loops are icy in places.

We flat groomed and track set New Pine, which was good when we finished.

We flat groomed and track set E-Z which turned out OK but is getting thin.

All the conditions are right after we finished grooming. It was above freezing when we left so those conditions may deteriorate.

Dec 27:  The skate lanes have been groomed and seemed to come out fairly well. The coverage on the loops is thinner than on the roads.If you prefer your skate skiing firm the conditions are good.

The trackset on the roads and loops is well established, icy in spots. The trackset on E-Z is also holding up well but may be icy in spots.

We flat groomed Pine because there had been a lot of foot traffic on it. We also trackset Old Pine-thin to bare in some spots.

The rest of the trails have been skied but not groomed due to the thin conditions in the thicker woods. Conditions are marginal and challenging because of the crust we now have.

Dec 26:  We got a glaze of ice, a little thawing, a dusting, and barely, of snow. Our intrepid morning skier reports the flatter trails are the better bet with some icy conditions. He said the skate lanes looked ok, some ice in the track set. We are still hoping that a little snow will fall today, enough to groom would be a wonderful thing. 

We didn't get snow for our Christmas present, now we are switching focus to a New Year's wish for snow.

Dec 21:  E-Z has been groomed and is thin in the trackset

The main roads have been flat groomed and trackset. Coverage is good on the skate lanes, appears to be fairly good in the trackset.

The camp loops have been flat groomed, generally good conditions. Tried tracksetting C-F loops, generally poor conditions in the trackset, an inch of snow would make  a considerable difference in the trackset.

Woods trails seem to have stayed stable with no grooming.

Conditions are not mid-winter perfect, but considering the minimal cover we have, they are better than expected.

Dec 19 Update:  The roads and camp loops are flat groomed, camp loops have thin coverage.

The woods trails have skiable, ungroomed, marginal conditions. Pine and E-Z are flat groomed.  E-Z has a semblance  of a trackset.

A pair of Grandoe gloves was found, probably left on the top of a car. If they are yours they will be in the Park office.

Dec 19:  We got 3.5-4" in open areas here at the house. We will be going up in about an hour to see if there is adequate snow to flat groom the roads. We don't expect there will be enough snow in the woods to groom but there should be enough to ski most trails. We'll let you know more when we get back.

Dec 17:  Another wind storm wreaks havoc:  After the first windstorm, Henry & Randy worked two days clearing downed trees from the trails and roads. There are many more trees down but away from the roads which will not affect the winter season but mean more work in the spring.

The wind last night  brought down several more trees which have mostly been cleared.  Branches did come down too though not in the quantity of the first storm. Doug Welch and Ginger Storey-Welch dedicated considerable time to picking up the trails. Joan Trivilino also spent time on the Beaver Pond Trail.

If you are out for a walk on the trails or roads between now and when snow hits, please toss branches from the trails and roads.  It will make for a better surface once the snow comes.

Dec 13:  The Park was hit by the strong winds Saturday night. Henry and one of his workers worked all day Sunday clearing trails. They are all passable at this point. He is working on the roads today-A & B loop were particularly hard hit. Fortunately nothing critical was hit . All the electrical, bath shower and pump buildings survived. We owe a huge thank you to Henry for the arduous work he has done.

Two of our Friends group also deserve a huge thank you. Doug and Ginny Welch have been out clearing branches from the trails for the last two days. They cleared Cedar Brook, Raquette Ridge and Toadstool, also Overlook and Warm Brook except for the short section from the dumpsters to the Warm Brook-Overlook junction.

Beaver Pond and Wood's trail may need attention.(for those of you who don't know the woods' trail is named for John Woods, hence the apostrophe)

There were a dozen trees down on both Warm Brook and Overlook. There may be some spots where trees were cut up that could benefit from raking.

If anyone feels like a walk in the next few days cleaning up these areas would help. Experience has also taught that some branches will be broken and hanging in trees and will come down over the next few days, so there may be a little more to pick up as the days go by.

I'm asking the teams to police the roads, Henry has cut quite a few trees and has plowed as many branches as he can to the side of the roads but if the teams could coordinate and clear remaining branches it would definitely be a big help.

Dec 9:  We got around 2+" of powdery snow, not the wetter snow with substance. Not enough to ski unless you are desperate. If you are, then the work done on the trails over the last several years will give you a mostly rock free surface.

Dec 5 Update:  FYI-Our intrepid early morning skier reports adequate coverage on the E-Z trail and Warm Brook and the edge of the road, with ski conditions skiable but not desirable. Other trails may be similar.

Dec 5:  Yesterday's dusting of snow did little to alleviate conditions at the Park. Conditions are poor to non-existent. We will resume the reports when there is something positive to report.

In the meantime-**THINK SNOW**, and work on those Christmas chores so you have time to ski when the snow falls!

Dec 4:  There is some base left.  The roadside of Overlook is mostly bare. E-Z is covered.  Other trails have bare spots and are rugged. 

If we get a few inches this afternoon it should help for tomorrow but we will have to wait and see. What is on the ground right now is brick hard and traction device is advised.

Dec 2:  Actually, lack of ski report, it is 40 degrees. Traffic on the trails today will hasten deterioration. 

Please do not use the trails until temps drop below freezing for a little while.  This will allow whatever is left to set up and will help in the long run.

Dec 1 Update:  The Park actually got about 2" of snow. E-Z is reset with very few thin spots. We are going up to flat groom at least the roads to try to preserve as much snow as possible tomorrow.

Skiing is not terrible by any means!

Dec 1:  Approximately an inch of snow overnight will freshen up the trails for today. It looks like the last day for a little while. It may be a little on the sticky side but it is a beautiful day to enjoy the trails.

Nov 30:  E-Z yesterday is the most open to snowfall of all trails. We trackset it. Some spots went through to moss or wood chips but it is generally skiable.

Skiers on Cedar Brook report it to be skiable.  Warm Brook has some rocks peeking through but also skiable.

Skate skiers on the roads report no bare spots and surprisingly good conditions. 

We are staying off with the grooming equipment because of the minimal cover. If we get a few inches of snow before the thaw on Thurs. we may flat groom to try to preserve a base.

This snow is an early season gift, enjoy it if you can find time!

Nov 28:  The second of the three grooming sleds made it to the Park today. We made an additional pass on the roads with the 6' groomer widening yesterday's grooming. We trackset in a few spots where there was sufficient snow and tried in a few spots there was not.

Thanks to all the work the trail crews and volunteers have put in, most trails are marginally skiable, though not groomable. The steeper hills are a poor choice if you are planning on snow plowing-just not enough snow.

Nov 27 Update: The roads and camp loops have been flat groomed 8' wide, they should be skiable.

E-Z has been flat groomed. The other trails have not been groomed; not quite enough snow yet, but those who have been out report them to be skiable. There are some branches, oak and beech leaves down.If you are out please toss downed branches off the trail. The beech branches are hanging low, particularly on the access trail by the kiosk.

Should be a better than average first day-

Nov 27 It is here-finally! We have not been to the Park yet but we can tell you there is about 5"  on lawn furniture here, considerably less on unfrozen ground surfaces where the warmth has melted fallen snow from the ground up. There may be adequate snow to ski the roads at the Park and possibly barely E-Z and Overlook. We will check to see if we can flat groom the roads but it is likely to be a situation where we could make it worse.

Early season skiing-but skiing!