Friday, December 31, 2010

Gore Mountain: 12/31/2010

On the last day of the year, and the last day of a month in which Mother Nature has simply refused to let it snow at Gore, we got the next best thing. Blue sky and temperatures that warmed into the 40s turned the entire mountain into soft snow, pseudo-spring conditions from top to bottom. I'm calling it pseudo-spring only because of the calendar; everything else about the day was full-on springlike, including the handful of skiers who insisted upon skiing in shorts and t-shirt.


We began our day with multiple laps on Wild Air and Twister on the lower mountain, both in excellent condition with great coverage and soft snow that never got mushy. In fact, in shaded areas the snow had a much drier packed powder consistency. Regardless, it was all great, fun skiing.


We headed up top for a few runs before lunch, and found similar soft snow conditions. Oddly, it seemed as if the upper mountain was even warmer than the lower mountain. There were plenty of hoots and hollers from skiers enjoying the soft snow on steeper terrain, including the fun line of soft moguls down skier's left on Hawkeye, below.


We never quite made it over to Lies, Hullbaloo and Lower Darby, but other skiers reported these trails to be in great condition, perhaps the pick of the day. I don't doubt it. Instead, we took a late lunch break at the Saddle and then returned for several more laps on lower mountain trails until the end of the day. Today was surely one of the busiest days at Gore so far this year, and around 3pm it seemed as if everyone had converged on Twister. Pausing momentarily along the side of the trail, skiers and boarders rocketed past: some carving smooth, high-speed arcs in the soft snow, others bombing straight down the mountain figure-eleven style with no apparent sign of control. We called it a day around 3:30 or so.

December shadows, spring-like snow

Those who have wondered whether Gore has been cursed by the snow gods this year (including me) were at least temporarily rewarded with great skiing today. The rest of the weekend is less certain, with overcast conditions and the chance of showers Saturday and Sunday. Beyond that there are colder temperatures and the chance of some snow. Here's to a snowy, and happy, New Year.

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