Feast or Famine.
Conditions are a little bit of everything. Anything that got hammered by the wind has waved up and turned into wind slab. Anything that was in a wind shadow however is absolutely butter. Given most of our winds are North and North West you'll want to look for winds with a lot of south if you want to get the creamy stuff. On bigger lakes like Winnipesaukee you'll have to get beat up a bit in some places to get to those spots. For example if you get a south and fly out of Center Harbor or Leavitt you'll have to fly through the chop to get to the shadows of the islands to get the smooth stuff. Worth the fight though.
Smaller lakes offer less slab and more soft pow. Mostly because they rarely have a steady wind direction so the snow doesn't get hammered consistently and slabbed up. The upside is good surface, downside punchy winds which those unfamiliar with heavy gust factor may not like much.
Up north there is a ton of snow. Thigh deep in some places. If you ride on lakes like Moore or Umby be prepared in the event that you get stranded. Snowshoes, split boards or skis with skins. If something goes wrong post holing your way out is going to be a tough option.
Most of the lakes have some level of slushing going on. All this snow is really weighting the ice sheets and especially on smaller lakes like Chocorua or any areas with ice fishing activity there is about 6-9" of slush. Mostly near the ice fishing holes and within about 300' of shoreline. Once riding the snow is deep enough you pretty much plane over it but if you do get into it and it's cold out it can be a real problem.
Have fun out there and be safe.
Leave a Reply.
WARNING. No ice is ever 100% safe. We offer condition reports as a service to our students and clients who are familiar with the area and as a source of general condition information to others. These reports are not intended to replace common sense or up to the minute first hand knowledge of a given area. Nor is it a substitute for common sense. When in doubt don't go out.