Saturday, January 30, 2010
Gore Mountain: 01/30/2010
I was worried this morning leaving home for the mountain. First there was Monday’s r**n. Then, high winds Thursday and Friday. And this morning, bitter cold, with the temps between below zero on the drive up.
Reports from the mountain over the past couple of days were encouraging, but I was concerned that we’d find wind-scoured boilerplate. This morning's ski report showed Burnt Ridge, all glades, Rumor, most of the Dark Side and North Side, closed ... casualties of Monday’s warm NCP.
The lots were pretty empty for a Saturday. The photo of the gondola was taken at about 9am, a time when the line should have filled the corrals. After checking Daniel into Mountain Adventure, Beth and I did several laps on the gondola. On Wild Air, Showcase, Sunway and Sleighride, which had all been blown since Monday, the snow was mostly dry and chalky manmade, mixed in with the 4 inches the mountain received on Thursday.
The snow on Wild Air was particularly good. Lower Sleighride had been left ungroomed, with whales of firm but carvy mandmade. Looking up and down Showcase, you could see almost no one riding the triple chair in this morning’s zero degree temperatures.
We took a tour of the summit area. Pine Knot was surprisingly good with tons of nice manmade snow.
Cloud, Headwaters and Open Pit were all good, but riding up the Straightbrook Quad it was easy to see that the thaw had really taken a toll on the glades. Although the base remains, it looks like the woods are out until we get another 6 to 8 inch snowfall. Took the Topridge triple up. Guns were blowing on Topridge, but it looks like it’ll take another day or two of snowmaking to re-open it.
We picked Daniel up at noon, took a quick lunch break, and went back out for about two more hours, repeating a lot of the terrain Beth and I had covered in the morning. After a couple laps on the Straightbrook Quad with Daniel, he started to get pretty cold, so we headed back down. On our final run down Wild Air, I thought that the snow was still holding up really well, with that trail probably providing the best skiing of the day.
Overall, conditions were consistent over most of the mountain: decent, firm packed powder everywhere the snowmakers had been during the week, with the best skiing under the guns or where snowmakers had most recently been. Although the mountain took a big hit on Monday, there's still good skiing to be had. I'll be back up tomorrow, and will check in with an update.