Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gore Mountain: 12/07 & 12/08/2013

Snow guns on the Uncas trail at Gore Mountain, Nov 7, 2013.

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

Grooming crews did a nice job getting the mountain back in shape after last week's warm temperatures, but the hoped-for summit terrain remains on hold. With the return of cold temperatures over the weekend, snowmaking was in progress on Cloud, Open Pit and Uncas, so it seems very likely that the Straightbrook chairlift and summit terrain will open before next weekend. Even with the set-back of last week's weather Uncas, Pine Knot and Tannery are now open.

Late afternoon view of Gore's summit and the snow guns on Uncas

We skied somewhat shortened days both Saturday and Sunday as we had other family activities going on. Saturday was just Sylvie and me, Sunday was all four of us. The photos here are all from Saturday, which featured a few rounds of light snow squalls - never enough to amount to anything - with blue skies in between.

Uncas under the guns

C'mon dad...

Hands down the best skiing on the mountain was under the guns on Uncas. I don't know how long the guns had been blowing on Uncas, but coverage was deep with quite a few large whales. Other than a handful of obstacles poking through and a few sticky spots here and there it was soft snow that begged to be skied hard. Conditions were near white-out at times with the snow guns going full tilt. Sylvie hasn't really skied in conditions like that before, but she did great. Since I broke a rib two weeks ago I skied a bit more conservatively than I would otherwise, but it was still fun.

White-out on Uncas

I probably would have been happy to ski Uncas all day, but of course we skied the rest of the mountain as well. Conditions were generally machine-groomed granular over a firm base. Think sugar or sand, not packed powder, but not bad given Thursday's warm-up and rain. Fortunately there's enough open terrain and light enough crowds that the trails weren't badly skied off other than in the usual high traffic locations like the Foxlair headwall. Conditions overall seemed better on Saturday than Sunday.

Sleighride

Wild Air

Showcase

Pine Knot was the one trail that was in terrible shape, at least on Saturday. No sugar or sand, just concrete. Sylvie toughed it out just fine, but obviously we didn't bother to return, even though I was told the trail was in much better shape on Sunday. The coming week looks to deliver both cold temperatures and a few opportunities for snow, so next weekend looks promising, at least at this point.

Next weekend's terrain: snowmaking on Cloud and Open Pit

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