High water in the High Peaks

Streams and drainages in the High Peaks Wilderness are flowing at high levels, according to an advisory the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued Wednesday.

The water levels rose because of the recent rain and snowmelt caused by warm temperatures. It means stream crossings have the potential to be dangerous for backcountry users.

In addition, lakes and ponds, such as Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden, have a foot of water and slush on their surfaces and are not skiable.

Some water bodies may have frozen surfaces because of the cold overnight temperatures, but that layer may be thin and easy to break through.

“Beware of thin crusts of snow or ice over top slush and water especially in low lying areas, over and around streams and drainages and on lakes and ponds,” the DEC statement reads.

The advisory also states that freezing temperatures later this week and into the weekend should allow water levels to drop and ice and slush to harden.