Mountain-goers of all kinds should have a nice weekend. Warmer temperatures are predicted and some additional snow is expected Saturday night into Sunday. Stay prepared for variable trail and weather conditions with spare layers, microspikes, snowshoes, and rain protection.
Trail Conditions and Information: Trails are icy and very snowy this weekend. Ice can be found on some of the steepest sections of trail, and on trails that see less traffic it will be especially useful to have snowshoes and trekking poles. Locally in the Catskills, snowshoes are available to rent at Kenco in Kingston, Jimmy’s Belleayre Ski Shop in Highmount, and the Pine Hill Community Center. Call in advance to reserve a pair!
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Hunter, NY): Friday, partly sunny with a high near 30°, wind chill values as low as -3°. Friday evening, mostly cloudy with a low of 15°. Saturday, mostly sunny with a high near 36°. Saturday night, snow predicted (80% chance), low of about 25°. Sunday, high near 38° , snow and sleet before 10am, changing to rain after 1pm (80% chance of precipitation). Sunday night, a low around 30°, mostly cloudy with a change (40%) of snow showers.
Road Status: Platte Clove Road is closed now through April. All roads in the Catskills see snow and ice—when driving, prepare for seasonal mountain weather throughout the Park.
Carry It In, Carry It Out: The Catskill Park is a carry it in, carry it out park—please be sure to hike out all of your trash and dispose of it properly!
The Catskill Guide to Leave No Trace: Essential skills and outdoor ethics are crucial for enjoying the Catskill Park in a safe and responsible manner. Read on to discover the top three Leave No Trace considerations this week.
· Know Before You Go – Planning ahead for any adventure is necessary but planning ahead for a winter adventure can mean the difference between a great day out and a backcountry emergency. Warm liquids, such as tea or hot water are great for warming from the inside out. Extra layers are critical for staying dry and warm and will keep your group warm and happy. For more information visit the Catskill Interpretive Center on Route 28 in Mt. Tremper.
· Keep Wildlife Wild – Bears, and other mammals like squirrels are for the most part hibernating through the winter months. Even though many types of fauna are sleeping through the cold weather, you will still see many signs of life in the backcountry. With this in mind, keep plenty of distance between yourself and wildlife in the winter. These cold temperatures keep animals working hard to survive. Our presence can cause unnecessary stress, or worse, cause them to flee into dangerous environments such as water bodies. When in doubt, use the Thumb Trick to keep a proper distance.
· Share Our Trails and Manage Your Pet – Skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and more. Plenty of options for wintertime adventures. Using the trails for your favorite activity can lead to unintended impacts to the snowy trails. With snow on the ground, skis and snowshoes are much safer to navigate the trails while also preventing post-holing. Post-holing makes the trail incredibly difficult to use for all users and should be prevented.
In An Emergency: Report backcountry emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers and forest fires to the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-408-5850 or call 911.
Weather: Be aware of and prepared for changing weather conditions in the Catskills. Stay current with the National Weather Service Weather Forecast. The NY Mesonet has stations in and just outside of Catskills that provide real time weather data and forecasts. Hudson Valley Weather provides detailed forecasts for the Hudson Valley and the Catskills.
Ski Slope Information: I Ski NY is a great resource for up-to-date snow depth on the four Catskill Mountain slopes. Check their reports here!
Winter Hiking Opportunities: The Catskill Mountain Club has a hike coming up of Balsam Mountain on Thursday, March 14th . The Catskills 3500’ Club will be leading a hike up Kaaterskill High Peak this Sunday, March 10th. You can register for either by e-mailing trip leaders. Both are classified as moderate to difficult hikes and will require good foot traction.
The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) hosts a weather station in the MesoWest Network. Check the current weather conditions. The Center is located at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY. Through the winter, we’re open 7 days a week from 8 am to 3 pm. Come at the start of the day for discounted ski and snowboard lift tickets! The Center’s gift shop also carries trail maps, trail guides and more for purchase.
Call us at the Center: 845-688-3369 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.