Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gore Mountain: 01/01/2013

Empty trails on the Dark Side, viewed from the High Peaks chair.  Gore Mountain, January 1, 2013.

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

You couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to start 2013: cold, crisp, clear and plenty of snow on the mountain. We took the last two days off from skiing in order to visit family, and when we returned today the mountain had a much different feel. All the crowds from the holiday weekend were gone, and we felt like we had the mountain to ourselves. Today the mountain skied like a mid-week day. The only difference was that the mountain was 100% open with every lift spinning.

Daniel in Twister Glade

Sagamore

It's not often that Gore is 100% open this early in the season, or that snow conditions are as nice as they've been over the past week. Since we hadn't been over to Burnt Ridge yet this year, we headed there early on in the day. We also considered skiing some runs at the Ski Bowl, but Gore is just so big and spread out that we couldn't quite squeeze in a visit to the Bowl and still have time to hit the terrain we wanted to ski at the summit. The Bowl will have to wait, maybe this weekend.

A few other skiers in Twister Glade

Plenty of elbow room on Sagamore

Our other priority besides Burnt Ridge was hitting some of the glades that we hadn't skied since last year, and in some cases not since two years ago. As was the case a couple days ago, just about every run of the day included at least some tree skiing, with today's favorites being Twister, Tahawus, Barkeater and a few others. Though some of the glades had obviously been skied hard over the past couple days, there was still plenty of soft powder and even a few select untracked shots. Some trails, like Sagamore and Echo, were left ungromed with skier-packed powder and small rounded moguls. Bread-and-butter trails like Wild Air and Sunway groomed.

Daniel dropping into Barkeater Glade

More Darkside trees

View from the High Peaks chair

By the time we headed up to the summit, right after our short lunch break at the Saddle, you could feel the temperature dropping. It had been 19 or 20 when we arrived in the morning, and 12 when we pulled out of the parking lot at the end of the day. On the summit, it felt like single digits. We skied a run or two on Lies and a couple select glades before heading back down to pick up Sylvie at the daycare and finish out the day with a couple runs with her.

Lies

Undisclosed summit glade

2013 sure is off to a nice start. If the rest of this ski season is even close to as nice as this past week has been, we can feel at least some redemption for last winter.

Quiet Darkside

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