Saturday, February 4, 2012
Gore Mountain: 02/04/2012
It's an interesting sensation to ski through a blizzard with sunny blue skies overhead, but that's exactly what we had today on Gore Mountain's summit trails. Snowmaking guns piled up soft snow on the summit black diamonds, making Hawkeye and Lies the place to be.
Knowing that the snowmaking crews were going to blitz the summit Friday and Saturday, we skipped our usual lower mountain warm-up run and headed for the top straight away. Skiing under the guns has never bothered me, and in this snow-starved winter any skier who complains about snowmaking guns needs to have their head examined and consider taking up golf.
Lies and Hawkeye were in exactly my favorite condition: soft powder bumps that were simply a blast to ski. Having skied those same trails just 48 hours ago in entirely different - but still good -conditions, it was amazing to see and ski the transformation that had occurred.
As a bonus, Gore's ski conditions report for Saturday indicated that the Straightbrook and Double Barrel glades would be open - the first time this season we have had officially open tree skiing. I knew snow cover in the woods would be thin, but of course we had to check it out. Apparently everyone stayed on Hawkeye and Lies because we had no problem finding untracked lines of 1 to 2 inches of powder over a firm base. We didn't venture beyond the marked open glades, but I suspect that adventuresome skiers could have found good skiing on some other low-angle glades.
We didn't ski much of the lower mountain, just a a run down for lunch and another at the end of the day. Those trails were OK - groomed loose granular snow over a firm base - but were getting skied off by the time we hit them. Didn't make it over to Burnt Ridge at all. Why mess with success? We did make a couple runs down Topridge which was skiing very well: the entire trail was nicely edgeable, but the lower half softened up in the sun just enough to provide just a taste of early spring conditions.
Today was proof that in this year of unreliable winter weather, there can still be great skiing. Kudos to Gore for opening some glades and for providing great conditions for black diamond skiers.