It's finally really starting to look like winter up at Gore. Even if the snow in the woods isn't deep yet, the ground is covered and the trees are white. We're beginning to have enough terrain open that there is some variety and options for skiers. And light pre-holiday traffic has helped to keep the surfaces in nice condition.
Cold, crisp and clear conditions gave us our first day of skiing under blue skies this winter. With no wind, the temperature felt much more comfortable on the upper mountain than the thermometer indicated (low teens I'd guess).
Having missed out on skiing the summit area last Saturday due to problems with the Straightbrook Quad, we were all smiles riding up that chair today, surrounded by whitened trees. It felt good knowing that Hawkeye and Lies had come on-line, even if we mostly stayed on the blue-square summit terrain where we found excellent packed powder snow conditions.
Hawkeye was in typical mid-winter condition: groomed flat, firm and fast but edgeable. I passed on skiing Lies as reliable reports from other skiers were that it had become pretty scraped by mid- to late morning; it'll be there next time. Cloud and Headwaters had excellent snow, and we lapped that combination several times. With a little creative exploration, we even found a nice side shot through the trees that provided some pretty nice powder, pictured in the two photos below.
After a lunch break at the Saddle Lodge, we returned for another run or two at the summit before ending the day with several runs on the lower mountain. Those runs, Sunway, Showcase and Sleighride, all remained in excellent condition until the end of our ski day around 3pm.
Although there are no large storms forecast, weather conditions look favorable for continued excellent snowmaking conditions next week and beyond, so we're looking forward to expanding terrain options and more good skiing over the holidays. Of course, maybe Santa will bring me a nice snow storm to really get the season jump-started and put the woods in play. I know what I want for Christmas!