Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Skiing on Easter?

In my last few reports from Gore Mountain, I've mentioned the striking contrast in the snowpack between last year and this year. Following are a few sets of comparative photos to illustrate that difference.

This year, April 9, 2011, Darby Woods

Last year, April 2, 2010, same location

The photos from the glades show that this year's snowpack is not only deeper, it's also cleaner and whiter. Adding to the contrast is the fact that this year's photos were taken a week later in the spring than last year's.

This year, April 9, 2011

Last year, April 2, 2010

The outstanding spring skiing we've been enjoying over the past several weekends is attributable to several factors. Snowfall at Gore is approximately 150 inches, right on their long-term average, whereas last year was a sub-par 120 inches. Snowfall at Whiteface has been above average, 250 inches this year versus their long-term average of 200. But more importantly, we've had a winter of consistently cold temperatures with relatively few thaws. The thaws that did occur were not accompanied by significant base-destroying rain and were followed by more snow. Heating degree days for Glens Falls, the best objective indicator of the winter's cold, substantiate the cold weather: 6945 year-to-date this year, versus just 6138 last year and a 30-year average of 6763 (source: NYSERDA).

This year, April 9, 2011

Last year, April 2, 2010. A striking difference.

Both Gore and Whiteface will re-open for this weekend, operating Friday, Saturday and Sunday 4/15 - 4/17. Whiteface is calling it "one last weekend." Gore however, has hinted at the possibility of operating for one additional weekend beyond that, Easter weekend 4/22 - 4/24. As good as this year's snowpack is, keep in mind that temperatures have already exceeded 70 degrees earlier this week and there have been several nights of above-freezing temperatures. Although we're back down to more seasonable levels, in my opinion skiing at Gore over Easter weekend is probably less than a 50-50 possibility. Either way, it's been a great season so far and it's not over yet. And if the lifts don't run, you can earn your turns for as long as the snow lasts.


  1. Sugarbush is staying open daily through Easter and then weekends after that. We got over 300" this year for the first time in years, and the upper mountain still has an amazing amount of snow. Castlerock did finally close this week after the rain earlier in the week. I'm hoping the weather cooperates this weekend for some skiing.

    If you want to ski Easter weekend, I can still get you discount tickets at SB if Gore and Whiteface are closed.

  2. This afternoon Gore announced that this weekend, 4/15-4/17, will be their final weekend for skiing.