Monday, November 24, 2014

Gore Mountain: 11/22/2014

Low-energy guns pumping out the snow on Wild Air.  Gore Mountain, Saturday November 22, 2014.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and we’ve already got a second weekend of skiing in the books, thanks to early season cold weather that has allowed the snowmaking crews to get a jump on the season. Knowing that a warmup was in store for Sunday, we made sure to get out on Saturday to take advantage of the nice snow that’s been piling up under the guns.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gore Mountain: 11/16/2014

First runs of the season on Sunway, at Gore Mountain, Sunday 11/16/2014.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
First runs of the season, Sunway

In a way, ski season caught me by surprise. Sure, my gear’s been tuned and ready to go for at least a month, but last week’s 60-degree weather had me thinking more about mountain biking than skiing. I mentally pegged Thanksgiving weekend for my season opener and never really adjusted my thinking until Friday’s announcement (thanks Gov!) that Gore and Whiteface would open for the season on Sunday, two weeks ahead of schedule. And just like that, ski season is here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2014-2015 Ski Season Preview

If you’re a skier or snowboarder, the best time of year is almost here. With overnight temperatures dipping below freezing, ski areas around the region have begun firing up their snowmaking equipment to prepare for the start of the 2014-15 ski season. Crews have been busy with projects all summer and fall, here’s a look at what they’ve been up to.

Crews at work on Gore's new Adirondack Express II high-speed quad chairlift.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
At Gore, the big news for this season is the replacement of the Adirondack Express triple chairlift with a new, state-of-the-art, high-speed quad. The Adirondack Express II will feature padded seats and eight fewer towers, providing skiers with a quicker, more comfortable ride than its predecessor. Just as importantly, the new AE2 will operate more reliably than the 30-year old lift it replaces. Mike Pratt, Gore’s general manager, explains: “The original Adirondack Express was the oldest high-speed lift in North America. While it served Gore skiers and riders well for many years, the cost of maintenance finally reached a point where it made more sense to replace it.” Final steps are being completed in the AE2’s installation, and Gore expects the lift to debut shortly after the mountain opens for the season.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Support Needed for Backcountry Skiing on Forest Preserve Land

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is soliciting comments regarding their plan to amend the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP), the document which governs management of the state-owned “forever wild” lands of the Adirondack Park. It’s the first time the SLMP has been amended in more than 25 years, and represents a critical opportunity for advocates of backcountry skiing.

Among the changes that are being considered is a proposal from the Adirondack Powder Skier Association (APSA) to explicitly allow for the creation and maintenance of designated backcountry ski touring trails on Forest Preserve lands classified as Wild Forest and Wilderness.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Jay Mountain: 10/20/2014

Panorama from Jay Mountain's western summit, Monday 10/20/2014.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

I finally got the chance to tick Jay Mountain off my must-hike list on Monday. The 3,600’ peak has long been a favorite among experienced hikers for the panoramic views along its open summit ridge, but it remained relatively unknown because it lacked a marked and maintained trail. Until two years ago. That’s when the DEC opened a new 2.5 mile trail to the ridge. The new trail is certainly attracting more hikers, but Jay Mountain still remains a relatively uncrowded alternative to the more popular hikes elsewhere in the High Peaks.