Sunday, December 26, 2010
Gore Mountain: 12/26/2010
On the day after Christmas, while the kids played with new toys, I had a window of opportunity to head up to Gore solo for several hours of skiing.
Since I was skiing without the family today, I spent almost the entire day skiing black diamond trails off the summit, especially the recently opened Darkside trails off the High Peaks chair.
After a warm-up run down Hawkeye, I headed over to Lies. While both trails were firm and fast, Lies was icy on the headwall section that forms the upper third of the trail. But below the headwall, I found a line of loose and edgeable snow down the skier's right side of the trail.
Heading across the summit, I hit the Darkside trails in order left to right: Lower Stielhang, Hullabaloo, and Lower Darby. These are some of my favorite trails at Gore, so I was pleased to find good snow conditions.
With light skier traffic, these trails stayed in good condition all day. In general, surfaces were an edgy, carveable styrofoam. Other skiers had told me that the best snow was on Lower Darby and I'd have to agree: I returned to Lower Darby three times to ski the fun line of loose snow and easy moguls down the left-hand side.
At the end of the day I made a couple runs on the lower mountain: Twister and Wild Air, both opened within the last few days. While both had good snow, I felt Wild Air was the better of the two. Hats off to Gore management and the snowmaking crews for getting just about the entire lower mountain open along with a nice selection of expert terrain at the summit, with virtually no natural snow to help. As I write this report, Albany and points to the south and east have a major snowstorm well underway. In North Creek, on the northern fringe of the storm track, just 1 to 3 inches are expected. When we finally get a decent natural snowfall, things will really kick in.