Thursday, March 21, 2013

West Mountain: 03/20/2013

West Mountain, Wednesday night 03/20/2013.

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

Quick update from skiing at West last night. Since it's probably my last Wednesday night at West for this year I brought Daniel along with me. Homework? What homework?

It always seems odd at this time of year to go "night skiing" before it actually gets dark. Since we started skiing around 6:30, we got in a bunch of runs before the daylight completely faded. As you can see from the photos, it felt like we had the place to ourselves. You would think it would be easy to meet up with people, but it took us until our fifth run to hook up with the rest of our Wednesday night telemark gang, and we skied with them until last chair just before 9pm.

Daniel skiing Midway. Yes, that's a cape.

Mach - the ungroomed snow on skier's right was challenging and even occasionally fun

Like other ski areas in the region, West benefited tremendously from Tuesday's storm with a good 10 inches of new snow. Conditions were the best I've skied at West this winter, with nice packed powder where the trails had been groomed. Ungroomed snow was generally a bit too stiff to ski well, though we certainly gave it a shot. Mach, Alley and Frolic all offered very nice skiing. The only trail that didn't ski well was Midway, the trail under the triple chair. Midway could benefit from some grooming, and apparently snowmaking operations there were minimal this winter as the skiing is limited to a narrow strip with thin base down the center of the trail. Too bad since this one of West's nicer trails.

Top of the triple, lights just coming on

Nice sunset from the top of the double chair

Skiers this weekend should see some really nice conditions at West. No closing date has been announced but I've heard that the current plan is to remain open at least through Saturday of Easter weekend (March 30). I hope West has had a successful season, but based on the snowmaking, grooming and general maintenance that I've observed this winter I get the sense that it's been another difficult winter.

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