Fall is here, the Adirondacks will soon be ablaze. Cool daytime temperatures will keep you comfortable when hiking. Cold air flow from Canada will ensure photographers crisp depth of field. But by Thanksgiving, withered leaves will coat the trails, ice will begin to smother lake surfaces, and a general suspense will shroud the skier’s mind.
Rest assured, there will be snow at the Mt. Van Hoevenburg ski trails and on the men’s Downhill course at Whiteface. But for those who may take to the Ausable Club’s golf course to learn telemarking, and thence into the Outback on three pin skis, the question of snow accumulation becomes a crucial one.
There are certain natural indicators of how much snow will fall in a given Adirondack winter. This.year a French Canadian backpacker reported that the Great Range bore a coat of snow two inches deep, Weather lore points out that if a French Canadian does a snow dance on the Great Range in September, it will snow heavily in January … we sent him back up; a three year cycle of good snow seasons, created last winter on a rainy day, is up; chipmunks in Keene Valley are carrying off Beer Nuts from the Valley Grocery.
But perhaps the most important harbinger of deep snows on Mt. Marcy took place in The Mountaineer on the first day of Fall. Co-owner George McClellan’s neck hair stood on end whenever he walked outside. Our predictions hope for the best, expect waist deep powder, but spend Christmas in Snowbird, Utah just in case.
(written in September 1984)