Monday, April 4, 2011

Gore Mountain: 04/03/2011

Spring conditions have been elusive this year, but this weekend finally delivered the goods in spades at Gore Mountain. After a great ski day with the family Saturday, I got clearance for a solo return visit on Sunday.

Sagamore: soft from the start

Since we hadn’t made it over to Burnt Ridge on Saturday, I made a point of starting my day there today. The skate over from the base lodge was reasonably easy, with groomed surfaces in the shade still firm and fast from the overnight freeze. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought Burnt Ridge would be a good place to start, because just about every chair was loaded and skiers were out in force on Sagamore, enjoying the already soft snow.

Lone skier on Echo

Sagamore and Echo were great warm-up runs, but what I was really after was bumps, steeps and trees, so I headed up to the summit area. The strong April sun had already transitioned most surfaces to spring conditions despite the brisk breeze that blew most of the day. North facing slopes like the Darkside Glades held drier, colder snow all day, but just about everything else was classic spring corn.

Gary on Lies

It took all of one run before meeting up with a few of my regular West Mountain and Gore telemark ski pals, and by lunchtime (at least for some, no-lunch rules were in effect for me) our group had grown to 10 or 12, with the occasional fixed-heel skier thrown in for good measure.

Jeff in the trees

We skied bumps, we skied steeps, we skied trees. If pushed to pick a run(s) of the day, I’d go with Rumor and Lies, if for no other reason than the fact that they are Gore’s signature trails and were in top condition. But we also skied some excellent tree lines, both on- and off-the-map, including at least one steep line through the woods that I hadn’t skied at all this season. It’s remarkable that the woods are skiing so well this late in the season, and there isn’t a bare spot to be found on the mountain.

Hickory Martha on Rumor

I’ve heard varying predictions of Gore’s closing dates: as early as next weekend and as late as Easter. Obviously weather conditions and skier counts will drive the final decision, but for now the mountain is in great shape. Gore will be closed this week Monday through Thursday, and re-opens on Friday for the first of (hopefully) a couple more weekends.

Surveying Rumor

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