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Weather service issues avalanche warning

March 14, 2018
By staff , Lake Placid News

Heavy recent snowfall has prompted the National Weather Service to issue an avalanche warning for the Adirondack and Green Mountains Wednesday.

The warning about "increased risk for avalanches" on steep, open backcountry slopes came from the NWS office in Burlington, Vermont. In New York it covers in western Essex, southern Franklin, southeastern St. Lawrence and western Clinton counties, ranging from Star Lake to Dannemora, including the Tri-Lakes area.

The NWS said "recent heavy snowfall combined with previous warm ups" has increased the risk.

Article Photos

This map from the National Weather Service in Burlington, Vermont, shows how AuSable Forks, New York, has gotten more than 2 feet of snow while Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake have gotten about a foot.

"Several small avalanches have already been reported," the weather service wrote in its alert.

"If you go into the back country of the Adirondacks Mountains or Green Mountains to snow shoe, ski, or ice climb, be aware of the avalanche danger and take the appropriate precautions.

"Avoid avalanche prone areas such as steep, unstable slopes, including vulnerable locations at the bottom of steep terrain. If skiing, hiking, or snow shoeing stay on marked trails and avoid exposed, open slopes.

"Monitor announcements from local or state officials about the possible risk of avalanches."

Avalanches in the Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness have injured several backcountry skiers and ice climbers over the last decade, but the only avalanche death in the Adirondacks in recent memory came in February 2000, when skiers were buried on a then-new slide on Wright Peak. Toma Vracarich, 27, of Lake Placid, was killed.



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