Carousel. Yo-yo. Call it what you want, the up-and-down weather cycles we've had so far this winter have been playing havoc with ski conditions in the Northeast. We've had some good ski conditions, but right now... not so much.
The good news is that bases have held up well on snowmaking trails following Saturday's Big Thaw (aka Thaw #3). The bad news is that the natural snow trails are shot, the woods are shot, and surfaces are coarse frozen granular with some icy patches. If that sounds pretty grim, it is. But with a gradual return to more seasonable weather over the coming week, snowmaking and grooming crews should at least be able to restore the surfaces of many of the currently open trails in time for the MLK weekend.
One of my ski buddies says that you have to ski at least three runs to call it a ski day. We made it a legit ski day, but barely. We limited ourselves to the front-side trails off the gondola: Showcase, Sleighride, Sunway and Wild Air. Of those, Sunway had the best snow. Temperatures were borderline freezing, so the lower half of most runs softened up while the upper half remained firm and fast.
We didn't ski Saturday, but heavy rain and the threat of lightning apparently closed the mountain closed the mountain by noon. By contrast, Sunday was quiet: clouds, some flurries, just a peak or two of sun.
One other thing bears mention: the Adirondack Express high-speed triple chair has been down since 12/29 with a mechanical issue. No word yet on a return-to-service date, I've heard unofficial estimates as soon as next weekend and as late as never. On a light crowd day like today, the gondi easily handled all of the uphill traffic without a line, but lines may develop for the gondi on weekends or holidays without the triple back in service.
The bottom line is that we still managed to have fun skiing today. Hopefully a return to colder and snowier weather will set this ski season back on track soon.