A guy could get used to conditions like these. The snow that has fallen at Gore since Christmas, combined with seasonably cold temperatures, has put the mountain in prime mid-winter shape with every trail open and every lift spinning.
Oddly, or maybe not so oddly, I’ve spent very little time this season on trails that I count among my go-to favorites. I haven’t even been on Hawkeye or Chatiemac this season, though I’m sure they’re in nice condition. Instead, we’ve focused our skiing attention on Gore’s glades.
We did ski both Lies and Rumor on Saturday. Lies had beautiful soft snow with medium-sized bumps top to bottom. I could ski that trail all day in snow like that, weaving in and out of the trees that line the left side of the trail. But we didn’t. There was too much other terrain (mostly in the trees) that we wanted to check out.
Snowmakers had a man-made blizzard going on Rumor. Despite signs warning of thin cover, conditions were excellent. Rumor’s headwall was indeed thin, but any obstacles were easily avoided, leading to soft snow and big bumps the rest of the way down. Just like Lies, I could ski that all day and not complain.
Beth shot this video of Daniel and me skiing Rumor's final pitch. Be sure to crank up the volume so you can hear the snow guns.
Most of the rest of our day was spent in various summit glades, including favorites like Mineshaft, where the snow stayed soft all day. Even Killkare, which has a fun upper stretch that often deteriorates into a scrape-fest before it empties out onto Pine Knot, was in great shape. With the mountain 100% open, there seems to be so much terrain to absorb skiers that snow conditions stayed good all day.
As usual, we got in our share of cruisers off the gondola at the end of the day, when we picked Sylvie up from the daycare to do several runs with her. You can call me a bad parent, but we’ve been unwilling to sacrifice skiing the advanced terrain. At just 5 years old, she’s not ready for black diamonds yet. So far daycare until 2-ish and skiing until closing time seems to be a win-win, and before long she’ll be logging full days on skis.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Sylvie and I headed back up for a partial day on Sunday, arriving around 11am. Cars were already parked well down the access road, but at least at that hour – between the arrival rush and lunchtime - the lodge is relatively empty. It’s not often that I get several hours to ski by myself, so setting my own agenda and skiing at my own pace is a relative luxury.
The snow in the summit glades and tree stashes was just as good as it was Saturday. In retrospect, I probably should have spent the entire day at the summit, but hey, chalk one up for exploration's sake.
For our final run we were going to ski Wild Air, but Sylvie asked for "more woods," and I figured she was ready to try the top half of the Chatterbox Glade. She did great and had fun, so we'll undoubtedly have more family glade skiing in our future. A great finish to a great weekend of skiing.