Monday, December 2, 2013

Gore Mountain: 12/01/2013

Skiing the Wild Air trail at Gore Mountain, December 1, 2013.

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

Prolonged cold in the wake of last week’s pre-Thanksgiving rain has allowed Gore’s snowmaking crews to expand trail counts and produce excellent early-season conditions. Just about everyone on the hill Sunday was commenting about how good the skiing was for Thanksgiving weekend. Instead of the more typical Thanksgiving offerings of sketchy coverage on a single route, just about all of the East side terrain is now open (Twister being the only notable exception).


Of course everyone is looking forward to mid-winter conditions and the entire mountain being open, but these early season days have been great for building a base as a skiing family. Not only are we getting our ski legs back, we’re also fine-tuning the dynamics of skiing as a family of four. In the past, Sylvie typically spent half the day in day care. Now that she’s almost 6, she’ll ski the full day with us. My biggest fear was that she wouldn’t have the stamina to ski all day, or that Daniel would get annoyed that she couldn’t keep up, but Sylvie is a tough cookie and has really proven herself. If anything, her skiing is ahead of Daniel’s at that age. Second child syndrome, I suppose.

You can't quite make out the greyish ice on Foxlair's headwall in this shot

Another view down Wild Air

One thing that’s fun about skiing at this time of year is that it’s easier to connect with friends on the mountain, and we spent a good part of the day skiing with various friends. At one point we had a group of about a dozen of us, half of which were kids all bombing down the slopes (in control) well ahead of the parents. What they say about kids quickly surpassing their parents is at least partly true.

Beth skiing Showcase

Showcase and Sleighride were the trails-of-the-day with nice manmade packed powder. Wild Air and Sunway skied well too, just not quite as nice as Showcase and Sleighride. Nice having all those trail choices this early in the season. About the only trail that you’d call bad was Foxlair, which was pretty much edge-to-edge icy hardpack on its headwall, even in the morning. But no complaints, we just mostly took Ruby Run down from the gondi or rode the triple chair.

Gondola cabins above Foxlair

Summit view, with snowmaking on Pine Knot

Snowmaking is underway on Uncas, Pine Knot, Tannery, Cloud and Headwaters, and word from my inside sources (the parking lot attendants) is that we’ll be skiing off the summit by next weekend. Temps this week won’t be as favorable as they’ve been, but the snowmaking crews should be able to continue making progress. It’s been a great November, hopefully the month of December will follow suit.

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