We try to make it to Gore for opening weekend every ski season, partly in order to pick up our season passes, shakedown our gear and get into our winter ski routine, partly because by late November we’re just plain excited to ski again.
Often our “strategy” is to head up on Day 2 or Day 3 rather than Opening Day itself, when the mountain is typically less crowded and conditions are better. “Strategy” may be a bit of an overstatement – the fact is we simply head up on whichever day fit in best with other Thanksgiving holiday plans, visiting relatives, etc. In any case, that “strategy” seemed to work well this weekend, with conditions that were quite good on Sunday for opening weekend.
Essentially there are 2 routes down from the to of the gondola: Either Ruby Run or Foxlair to Sunway/Quicksilver/Jamboree. Coverage was excellent, with minimal ice or bare spots, although by early afternoon Foxlair was scraped down to a pretty firm base and Quicksilver had a bit of dirt and gravel mixing with the snow. We felt conditions were far better than opening weekend last year, and enjoyed skiing with friends for a half dozen laps.
Temperatures remained cool enough that snowmaking operations continued all day on Showcase, Sleighride, Lower Sunway, Otter Slide, Wild Air and maybe a few other spots. I would expect Lower Sunway to be open within a day or two (a nice alternative to the Quicksilver choke-point) and quite a few of the others by next weekend, assuming favorable snowmaking weather continues for this week.
Gore’s website indicates they are now open daily (they were closed mid-week for the first week or two last year). Skiers who are not season passholders should know about Gore’s food drive promotion: get $10 off your lift ticket each day through Friday, December 21 by donating a non-perishable food item. Of course passholders are welcome to make donations to the food drive too!