Sunday, January 22, 2012
Gore Mtn: 01/21/2012
The level of excitement at our house over the couple inches of snow that recently fell is testament not only to how much our family loves snow, but also to how meager the offerings from Ullr have been this winter.
Since we hadn't skied at Gore Mountain since two weekends ago, we were curious to see current conditions first hand. The big news for skiers this weekend was the opening of the Burnt Ridge trail pod, with Echo and Sagamore now online.
After a warm-up run or two down from the gondola, we headed over to check things out at Burnt Ridge. With a combination of tower guns and ground guns blasting sections of Sagamore, the chair ride up was about as cold as I've felt all winter. But I'll never complain about riding a chair lift or skiing through snow guns - without 'em there'd be zero skiing this year. The skiing on Sag was highly variable: sections of great snow (under the guns) alternated with sections of ice chunks. With another day of snowmaking, grooming and skier traffic I expect it will ski better on Sunday.
Echo skied a bit more consistently than Sagamore, with nice carvable snow right down the headwall, but we decided to head back to the main mountain after just one run down each of Echo and Sag.
Elsewhere on the mountain conditions were mostly firm & fast, with lower-angled terrain having the best snow conditions. Up top, Hawkeye's headwall was pretty scraped but Open Pit skied relatively well. As is often the case, some nice turns were possible by skiing the edges of the trails.
Some time around 1:30 or so, as we were heading back down to the lower mountain from the summit, the light snow ended and the sky quickly cleared, bathing the mountain in beautiful afternoon sunlight. Maybe it was the sun, maybe it was the better snow conditions on lower-angled terrain, but those last several runs for the day down trails like Showcase and Sunway seemed to be the best.
Sunway actually had the best snow conditions on the mountain (sorry, no Sunway pics), a fact that we unfortunately didn't discover until late in the day. Recent snowmaking there left the trail soft edge to edge, top to bottom.
Besides Sagamore, snowmaking was underway on Upper Sleighride and the North side (looked like Pete Gay and Sleeping Bear), and those trails were slated to open today (Sunday). It's been an up-and-down winter, but fortunately the snowmaking crews have been able to make steady progress and expanding terrain. It goes without saying that a nice, moderate sized snowfall would go a long way towards improving overall conditions and even opening some of Gore's glades.
We ended the day by picking up Sylvie from the daycare in time to ski with her for half an hour or so on the J-bar learning slope.