Most skiers would like to forget last week's rain and mild temperatures, and several days of cold temperatures and snowmaking have gone a long way towards erasing that memory. However, that spell of unfavorable weather hampered progress in getting additional ski terrain on-line for this weekend. The only terrain that has been added at Gore is Pine Knot and Tannery, which at least provided some good snow and variety for today's skiing. Foxlair and Lower Sunway both looked ready to ski, but the rope never dropped to open those trails, at least not as of 2:30 or so when we ended our ski day.
Temperatures remained in the low- to mid-20s on the mountain today, with bits of blue sky mixing with periods of light snow. Skier traffic was light, although there were a few more cars in the lot than last weekend. Weather conditions today seemed excellent for snowmaking operations, and Pine Knot, Tannery, Fox Lair, Lower Sunway and Lower Sleighride all had guns blowing throughout the day.
We skied the Ruby Run / Sunway / Quicksilver route down the front side of the mountain a couple times. Snow surfaces on Sunway were very nice, but Quicksilver was a bit scraped as is often the case early in the season. Pine Knot and Tannery had very nice skiing today if you don't mind skiing under the guns, and we made several runs down that route. Compared to last weekend, the guns were laying down much drier, chalkier snow.
Top Ridge had been groomed since last weekend, and I found conditions there to be very enjoyable. With light skier traffic, no guns blowing and nice, edgeable, machine groomed surfaces it felt good to open up the throttle a bit and let gravity do its work on the steeper pitches. Like last weekend, my best runs of the day were on Top Ridge, which in my opinion has provided some excellent early season skiing so far this year.