Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gore Mountain: bonus weekend, 11/23/2013

Skiing the Sunway trail at Gore Mountain, Nov 23, 2013.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
After last weekend's record early openings at Gore and Whiteface, I'm calling this Bonus Weekend #2. It's really great seeing the ski areas getting a strong start to this season after having struggled to get open for Thanksgiving the past few years.

We arrived at the mountain mid-morning and endured a half hour of pain picking up our season passes (arrgh!!), but the delay may have worked in our favor as the skiing only improved during the day. Warm temperatures on Friday followed by an overnight freeze locked up the snow surfaces, but skier traffic, a few snowmaking guns and some natural snow mixing in seemed to make each run a little bit nicer than the one before.

Foxlair as snow began to fall

Mild conditions at the base in the morning belie full-on winter higher up

Snowmaking on Wild Air / Stokes from the gondi

By early afternoon some light snow began to fall, and skiers who stuck around past 2pm or so were treated to some very heavy squalls that dropped 1 to 2 inches in short order. The last run or two of the day were legitimate mini-powder runs (yes, at this point in the season we can get pretty excited about two inches of fluff).

Sunway in the afternoon

Daniel skiing Foxlair

Terrain options were decent for this early - Foxlair or Ruby Run down to Sunway, with a Jamboree / Arena split at the bottom. Coverage was edge-to-edge, even in the usual early season thin spots, thanks to excellent snowmaking conditions over the past two weeks. There were a few guns refreshing surfaces on the open trails, but snowmaking operations were focused on expanding terrain, with guns going on Showcase, Lower Sunway, Sleighride and Wild Air. A favorable weather forecast for the upcoming week (and beyond) means that skiers should see more trail options and excellent snow conditions next weekend.

Snowmaking underway on Showcase

Heavy snow squalls in the afternoon on Sunway

It was fun starting out our season last weekend up at Whiteface, but this weekend at Gore was more like a homecoming, with quite a few of our ski friends also out making early season turns. The only downside of the day came when I slipped on some ice on the concrete unloading pad at the top of the gondi. I fell down across a metal bench. It definitely hurt, but it felt OK skiing and I finished out the day. A visit to the urgent care revealed a fractured rib. The doc made me promise no more mountain biking, and to be conservative and careful running and skiing for the next 6 weeks. Actually she would have preferred me to not ski at all, but that ain't gonna happen. So no cliff hucks. Until January.


  1. Great blog. I'm hoping to make it to Gore and Whiteface this year. In fact, if they were open on Thxgiving day, we'd be there this weekend! If you're interested in what's happening a little further south (most of the time anyway), my blog is at - we moved from WA earlier this year.

    1. Thanks, I hope you do have a chance to check out Gore and WF later this winter. I see you've already logged your first ski days for this season. Bring on the snow!