Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gore Mountain: 12/29/2012

The ski racks were crowded at Gore today.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
One thing is for certain: this is not last winter. Snow all day today (six inches?) after well over a foot on Thursday and more snow before that has put Gore into the best conditions we've seen in probably two years. We weren't the only ones excited about all the snow: apparently Gore logged back-to-back record or near-record days both yesterday and today.

Pine Brook glade.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

Somewhere in the Pine Brook glade...

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
But even with the crowds, Gore's terrain naturally spreads people out, and we never waited more than a minute or so in line for a lift all day, including the Gondola. Yes, the base lodge was crowded and the access road was slow, but there was plenty enough terrain to keep the trails and glades uncrowded, save a few normally busy trails like Cloud and Pine Knot.

A brief view of the summit trails during a lull in the snow

Mineshaft

The steady snow kept my picture taking to a minimum, and skiing took priority over photography. We spent a good deal of the day hitting terrain that we had been starved of last winter: Gore's glades and woods. Come to think of it, we hardly took any runs that didn't involve at least some glade skiing. Our sampler included favorites like Cave, Mineshaft, Pine Brook, Darby Woods, Chatterbox and a handful of other select woods.

Darby Woods

High Pines

For as many years as I've skied Gore, it's surprising that there are a handful of trails that I've just never gotten around to skiing. Daniel and I ticked off one of those today: the High Pines lift line under the Top Ridge triple chair. High Pines always looks a bit scratchy to me from the vantage point of the chairlift, but I have to say it was a ton of fun in today's snow.

Yup, it snowed

Top of the Cave Glade

Cave glade, my skis.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
At the risk of revealing one of Gore's overlooked powder stashes, I'll recommend the three trails accessed from the mid-station of the Sunway double chair: Twin Fawns, Little Dipper and Ward Hill. Of the three, Little Dipper has the nicest line. Before anyone pooh-poohs these bottom of the mountain intermediate trails, let me say that we ended our day with multiple laps through knee-deep powder along the trail edges, within sight of the base lodge.

Cloud: the most photographed trail sign at Gore?

This was the biggest lift line of the day: 2-3 minutes

Today was just the kind of skiing East coast skiers have been longing for after last year's non-winter. It's great to also see Gore and North Creek having a great holiday week too. With any luck, the great conditons will stick around for awhile. Anyone skiing through the New Year's weekend is in for a great couple of days. We'll be back on New Year's day to ring in 2013 with another (hopefully) great ski day.


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