Sunday, February 20, 2011
Gore Mountain: 02/20/2011
The words "firm and fast" have not been part of my skiing vocabulary for most of the winter, but they are back in for this weekend. In all fairness, conditions today were much better than I had expected following Friday's thaw and flash freeze.
High wind warnings for Saturday convinced us to wait until Sunday to ski this weekend. That strategy paid off with a beautiful, crisp day and additional grooming and snowmaking progress by the mountain operations crew.
Lower mountain trails that we skied (most of them) had all been groomed into reasonable condition. Wild Air and Lower Sleighride had received snowmaking treatment that made them our picks of the day. Twister and Showcase skied just fine too. Kudos to the mountain operations crews for getting these trails and others into reasonable condition for the substantial holiday crowds.
The steeper terrain that we skied at the summit was not in as good condition as the lower mountain trails. Skier traffic had scraped trails like Hawkeye and Chatiemac down to hardpack by late morning. Of course skiing the edges of these trails yielded much better turns. Glades that we peered into (all closed) seemed to have plenty of base left after the thaw; what is needed is a 6 to 8 inch snowfall to soften and resurface the terrain.
Today was Gore's telemark demo day, and I tried out a pair of K2 Backlash for a few runs. These skis are wider and heavier (due to a metal layer) than my Work Stinx. These skis are also rockered, and I immediately noticed the way the rocker improved my turn initiation. They skied great: smooth, fast, turned great and solid on edge. Thanks to Rich and Doug at the Inside Edge and the K2 rep for the chance to test drive these skis.
Though conditions this weekend weren't as nice as what we've had for much of the winter, temperatures are favorable all week for snowmaking operations and we stand to pick up several inches of snow ovenight tonight and again later in the week. Here's to a quick return to powder and packed powder skiing.