|DEC Advises Outdoor Adventurers of
Avalanche Risk in Adirondack High Peaks Region
February 17, 2021 08:30 a.m.
DEC Advises Backcountry Downhill Skiers, Snowboarders, and Other
Outdoor Adventurers of Avalanche Risk in Adirondack High Peaks
Backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and others who may traverse
slides or steep, open terrain in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks
should be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions, New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil
Seggos advised today.
"Recent storms have resulted in a significant amount of new snow and we
are expecting an increase in the number of recreational enthusiasts visiting
the High Peaks to snowshoe, cross country ski, or simply enjoy the pristine
surroundings," Commissioner Seggos said. "DEC is cautioning anyone
headed to the Adirondack High Peaks region and planning to ski,
snowboard, or traverse backcountry slides and other avalanche-prone
terrain to be extremely careful and prepare for avalanche conditions."
Avalanche danger increases during and immediately after major snowfalls
and during thaws. The High Peaks have received approximately five to six
feet of snow, with the majority accumulating over the last two weeks. Due to
high winds, snow depths are deeper on leeward slopes or areas of snow
deposits, such as gullies. As snow accumulates over time it develops
distinct layers formed by rain and melt/freeze cycles. When new snow falls
onto previous snowpack, it adds weight and downward pressure. Lower
snow layers may be reactive to the added stresses of recent snows,
creating conditions conducive to avalanches.
Avalanches can occur in any situation where snow, slope, and weather
conditions combine to create the proper conditions. While the majority of
steep, open terrain is found in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks,
avalanche-prone terrain is found on mountains throughout the Adirondacks,
including Snowy Mountain in Hamilton County.
DEC reminds backcountry winter recreationists to take the following
precautions when traveling in avalanche-prone terrain:
Additional information on avalanche danger, preparedness, and safety
precautions is available on the DEC website.
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