DEC issues spring conditions advisory for Adirondacks

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urged outdoor recreationists to hold off on high-elevation activities because of unstable spring conditions. Hikers are encouraged to avoid trails above 2,500 feet in the Adirondacks, particularly high-elevation trails in the High Peaks.

Due to the warm winter, conditions are typically encountered in late March to mid-April.

The DEC says steep trails can pose a serious danger to hikers as snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations. Steep trails still covered in melting ice and snow have thin soils that turn into a mix of ice and mud as frost leaves the ground.

The DEC says the remaining compacted ice and snow on trails is rotten, slippery, and will not reliably support weight. These conditions, known as “monorails,” are difficult to hike and the adjacent rotten snow is particularly prone to post-holing.

Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to postpone hikes until conditions improve to protect themselves and the Adirondack trail system and reduce the likelihood of dangerous rescue efforts.

“With the lack of a true North Country winter and a marginal snowpack, trails in the High Peaks Region are proving difficult to navigate,” said Forest Ranger Director John Solan. “Over the last couple of weeks, Forest Rangers were busy responding to numerous backcountry rescues due to icy conditions. Trail conditions will continue to decline as spring weather prevails and April approaches.”

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