Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gore Mountain: 12/01/2012, and how I buy my skis

Not such a great day at the mountain for pictures, but an excellent day for skiing. A week-long stretch of good snowmaking conditions enabled Gore to open quite a bit more terrain since last weekend, and the guns continued blowing snow all day today.

My new K2 Sideshow telemark skis.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
I'll get this out of the way right up front: I love my new skis. Today was my first day on my K2 Sideshows, purchased at the end of last season. With a wood core and 90mm waist they are very similar to my now retired but much loved K2 Work Stinx. The narrow (by today's standard) waist excels on firm snow, the wood core construction adds liveliness, and mild tip rocker plus 40mm of sidecut means they want to turn. For me, that's a winning combination. While it may sound like I researched this purchase, the reality is I bought these skis on the basis of feedback from a few of the guys I ski with, guys I've been skiing with for 20 year who know and share my ski preferences.

Snowmaking operations underway on the lower mountain, upper mountain in the clouds

Gore didn't get any of the snow that fell farther north (see here and here), but conditions were quite good for early season. A coating of new snow whitened the ground and the trees, and low clouds kept views pretty much non-existent all day.

Daniel's jacket really stands out in the limited visibility of snowmaking and low clouds

Beth skiing beneath the gondola

Since last weekend Showcase (top to bottom), Sleighride to Stokes/Arena, Lower Sunway and a few others have come online, adding some nice early season trail options. Snow conditions were best under the guns and on trails like Sunway that have received the most grooming. A few locations, like lower Showcase, were a bit chattery, especially late in the day, but certainly nothing to complain about. We split our time pretty evenly among the open trails.


Daniel skiing below the gondi

Gore's off to a great start for the season, far better than this point last year. Unfortunately we are in for a round of warm weather Sunday through around Wednesday. As of a few days ago (Thursday afternoon), plans were for the snowmaking crews to finish up on the lower mountain and then head up to the summit area, with Pine Knot, Uncas, Tannery and Hawkeye among the trails mentioned. We'll have to wait and see how much this warmp-up impacts those plans.


  1. I am also in the "no demo" ski buying crowd. Although, since I don't have a lot of friends who ski like I do, I rely mostly on the Internet research/tortured decision model for my gear.

    Really, I have some ideas as to what I want (current search is for 95-100mm waisted, early rise, lightweight, playful, tele charger), and gear these days is so good, it's hard to go completely wrong with a ski purchase.

    My strategy does have limitations. Gear that is new on the market this year - the LaSportiva Lo5, for instance - has very little information available, so I wrack my brain trying to decide between skis with few concrete reviews and skis with mixed reviews. Like I said, though, even if I make the "wrong" decision, I'm still left with a highly competent ski... And, having never skied the other options, I am none the wiser as to what I'm missing.

  2. I think that's a good point - it's hard to go completely wrong with a purchase if you've already defined the style of ski and perhaps even brand(s). That's generally where I'm at when it's time to buy new skis (roughly every 3 years. I have a difficult time sorting through online reviews and comparisons, so I've simply short-cut that process. Plus, since I'm not an early adopter, I see the gear in action and hear real-time feedback, so by the time I actually pull the trigger the choice has already become obvious.