Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gore Mountain: 01/28/2012

More Gore, January 29, 2012.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
Sunny skies and grooming helped to make Saturday a surprisingly good ski day, despite two rain / thaw events last week. The snowmaking and grooming crews must have been working overtime following Thursday night's rain, because there was plenty of good skiing just about everywhere on the mountain except for the summit black diamond trails.

Grooming made all the difference on Wild Air

Conditions also got a boost from temperatures that warmed to just above freezing on the lower mountain, softening the snow enough that surfaces were nicely edgeable all afternoon.



Conditions were consistent enough across the lower mountain terrain that no particular trail stands out as a pick-of-the-day, but Twister and Sleeping Bear were favorites that we enjoyed: Sleeping Bear for its narrow twists and drops and views of the High Peaks, Twister for its consistent pitch that invites letting the skis run.

Sleeping Bear

Race finish area at the bottom of Showcase

In fact today was our first time skiing Twister this winter. Even though the trail has been open for a few weeks, it had been tied up with racing on our earlier visits. Today, racing was set up on lower Showcase, allowing Twister to be open for the general public. The race course finish area was also configured differently, allowing skiers returning to the base area from Echo to pass in front of the triple chair rather than detouring around the back. It's a minor change in the configuration, but one that goes a long way towards mitigating the disruption from NYSEF racing. I know I'm not the only skier today who appreciated having Twister available and also the improved Burnt Ridge access.

Saddle Lodge and High Peaks, late afternoon

Around lunchtime, we made a run up to the summit to check out conditions on those trails. Hawkeye had been groomed but was very firm and fast. Skiing the edges - always the key for finding better snow - yielded better turns, but nothing worth a second lap. If anything, Open Pit was even firmer. Anyone who wondered why Lies was closed only needed to make a run down Open Pit to understand.

Cloud skied fine, but the summit black diamonds were very firm

High Peaks view from Foxlair

About the only part of the mountain that we didn't ski was Burnt Ridge. Even though he likes skiing Sagamore, I just couldn't convince Daniel to make the traverse across Cedars to access the BR quad. Other skiers reported Sag and Echo to both be skiing well, probably benefiting from the same softening that improved conditions elsewhere on the lower mountain.

Warm enough to hang on the patio

I know there are folks who have been waiting all winter for conditions to get "better." In a winter such as this, without significant natural snowfall or sustained cold temperatures, this weekend is proof that there's good skiing to be had anyway.

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