Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gore Mountain: 01/15/2011

The big news of the weekend was the opening of Rumor on Friday.  But whether you're an advanced skier lapping runs down Rumor or an intermediate skier cruising packed powder and corduroy, there was plenty to smile about at Gore today.  Back-to-back storms and consistent cold temperatures over the past week or so have left the mountain in excellent shape.

Overall conditions today were probably the best of the season so far. It was also the coldest day we've had so far, with the thermometer on our car bottoming out at minus 10 along the River Road in Warrensburg. Fortunately, it had warmed up to a balmy degree or two above zero by the time we pulled into the Gore parking lot. No problem though, with no wind and a brisk ski pace, the temperature was essentially a non-issue for the day.

Early morning corduroy on Wild Air

We started out with a couple lower mountain laps on Showcase and Wild Air, enjoying the packed powder and corduroy.  With Daniel checked into his morning Mountain Adventure program, Beth and I headed up top.

Good to see Rumor in the distance with skiers on it!

While Beth made consecutive runs down Hawkeye, I checked out Rumor.  I had been surprised to hear that Rumor would be open from the top down, rather than from the Hawkeye cut-over as is usually the case when it first opens.  The trail was in excellent condition top to bottom, with super-carvy, chalky manmade snow that made my edges (just tuned yesterday) feel almost too sharp.  That's not a bad feeling to have on one of the East's steepest trails, and the combination of good snow and well-formed moguls gave me some of the best runs I've had so far this year.

These guys were loving the great snow on Rumor

More good snow on Rumor

By late morning, light snow began to fall which increased in intensity in the afternoon.  Eventually a couple inches of new snow had accumulated in the less-trafficed areas, making conditions that much better.  Although we skied much of the open terrain, we never made it over to Burnt Ridge, which opened today with the Echo.  Sagamore is expected to open later in the weekend. 

A peek into the woods

Instead of checking out Burnt Ridge, we found a glade run or three that seemed to be open, though none were listed as such on the Snow Report for the day. Lower-angled tree runs skied quite well, with only the occassional log or other obstacle, easily avoided, to be aware of. 

Near the very end of the day, around 3pm on Lower Darby, the cable on my telemark binding snapped.  Bummer.  Lower Darby is pretty far up the mountain, but by rigging the safety strap to hold the ski as tight to my boot as possible I was able to parallel my way back down to the base.  Daniel learned the lesson of "no friends on powder days" as he and Beth stayed up top for another run or two while I limped my way back down Sunway.  That's OK:  the ski's already fixed and I'll do my best to make up for lost time tomorrow.

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