But today it turned out that the snow was excellent, some great additional terrain came on-line, and crowds were light. And yeah, we had some family visiting for Thanksgiving, but we just brought 'em along!
Gore opened on for the season on Saturday with a single long intermediate run open from the top of the gondola. I knew that crews were working hard on the black diamond trail Topridge, hoping to get that open before the end of the weekend. Sure enough, by the time we boarded the gondola mid-morning on Sunday, we were greeted by a chalkboard sign reading "Topridge Open."
Our first couple runs were down the open route on the front side of the mountain, combining Ruby Run, Sunway, Quicksilver and Jamboree. As soon as we began skiing it was clear that snow conditions were excellent: edge-to-edge coverage with mostly packed powder surfaces, very little ice and no thin or bare spots. A few inches of natural snow on Saturday had mixed in with the man-made snow to make very enjoyable ski surfaces. As a bonus, crowds were light so the skier density on the open trails was very comfortable.
Soon enough we turned our attention to Topridge. Several dozen guns had been piling up the snow since late afternoon Friday, and the trail had been left ungroomed with lots of fun, carvy whales. Advanced skiers were clearly having a blast, enjoying the great snow surfaces (as long as you don't mind skiing under the guns) and grateful to have some early season black diamond terrain available.
We had a great start to the season, and we're looking forward to being back next weekend.