Sunday, January 13, 2013
Gore Mountain: 01/12/2013
The January thaw brought a taste of spring skiing to Gore Mountain on Saturday. Fog and clouds on the lower mountain hid all signs of the great conditions above, until breaking into sunshine and blue sky on at top of the gondola. With temperatures in the 40s, surfaces softened into hero snow top to bottom.
To be sure, nobody's happy about this January thaw, but nobody was complaining about the skiing on Saturday either. Skiers had plenty of terrain to chose from, with nearly 100% of the mountain open, including glades and natural snow trails. Coverage seemed to hold up well all day, with the only exception being Topridge.
By about 1pm, weather conditions reversed: clouds overtook the summit while the lower elevations cleared. Until then, we made multiple laps on Lies, Rumor, Hawkeye, Chatiemac and Open Pit under blue skies. For the first time since Christmas, we skied more trails than woods, but the glades that we sampled skied well too, including the Straight Brook and Pine Brook glades. Daniel picked Rumor as his trail-of-the-day, but I took a nasty shoulder roll on the bottom pitch, so I'll pick Lies for my favorite.
Even Fairveiw, often a tilted hockey rink, skied great in Saturday's hero snow. We skied it twice - once to hit the Saddle Lodge for lunch and then again to head down to pick up Sylvie from daycare at 2pm. We finished our day on the lower mountain with Sylvie, skiing Foxlair, Wild Air, Sunway and Showcase.
I've seen enough January thaws over the years that I know it's a regular part of skiing in the East, but I'll still rest easier when cold weather returns in the coming days. At least this thaw delivered great skiing rather than just a gully washer.