Thursday, February 7, 2013

West Mountain: 02/06/2013

Snowmaking at the top of Midway, West Mountian, Weds night Feb 6, 2013.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
Having not skied at West Mountain since three weeks ago (rain last Wednesday, sick the week before), I wasn't sure what to expect tonight in the way of conditions. Specifically, last week's thaw and generally lackluster conditions on my previous visits to West kept my expectations low. However, West's groomers and snowmakers, with some cooperation from mother nature in the form of consistently cold temperatures over the past week, have the mountain in good shape.

Snowmaking on the face

The best conditions - I'll call it firm packed powder - were on the trails leading back to the triple chair. Mach and the Alley / Bannister route back to the triple had really nice snow. Frolic and the Face, the main route leading back to the double chair and lodge, had a few icy and variable spots due to the snowmaking in progress on that route. I'd expect that route to groom out into good conditions comparable to the rest of the mountain. There were around 10 big fan guns in operation while I skied, and snowmakers had built up some impressively big mounds - hills really - of snow. With the anticipated storm on Friday, West will be in really nice shape.

Midway was just a white ribbon

License plate seen in the parking lot at West.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
The one section of the mountain that looks like it needs work is Midway, the trail under the triple chair. Though open, there's just a narrow ribbon of snow down the center third of the trail. The base there looks to be no more than about a foot. I'd expect that Midway will see more snowmaking to build base and expand coverage, and in fact there were about 10 fan guns lined up at the bottom. I did one run down Midway and it actually skied well despite the narrow width.

I've got two more West Mountain 6-pack tickets left for this season, and it looks like we're in for a decent stretch of conditions. If temperatures remain at seasonable levels, next Wednesday night should be really good.

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