NYSDEC Issues an Avalanche and High Water Risk Notice for the Adirondacks

Cold weather alert
Average read time 1 min

The NYSDEC has issued a statement in light of the rapidly changing weather. The statement says (the DEC) “advised backcountry users in the Adirondacks, especially the High Peaks Region, of potential avalanche and high water risk following mild temperatures, high winds, and rain. Warmer weather and rain will melt existing snowpack, swelling waterways and making water crossings dangerous. High winds and a return to colder temperatures will then result in re-freezing. Avalanche danger increases during thaws and snow becomes increasingly unstable as it undergoes freeze/thaw cycles”.

Please read the entire statement here.

Three factors before you enter avalanche-prone terrain

The Information Service states that backcountry travelers should be aware of three factors that need to be considered before heading out into avalanche-prone terrain.

  1. Avalanche Hazard, weather and mountain conditions.
  2. You and your parties’ personal skills and experience.
  3. The landscape you intend to visit.

These three factors should guide your readiness to venture out into avalanche-prone terrain.

The three factors should contain three phases of planning and consideration:

  1. Planning (days and weeks before you go)
  2. Your journey (throughout your trip)
  3. Key places (at keys spots and times)

Click the links above for planning tips!

The Eastern United States and the Dacks

Even though the eastern United States sees less avalanche activity than the western states, it is not unheard of in the Adirondacks, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine peaks. People are injured in the Adirondacks in avalanche-related accidents. See here, and here. It is extremely rare, but it shows an avalanche’s unpredictability as one struck the Belleayre Ski Center in the Catskills.

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