Thursday, January 30, 2014

West Mountain: 01/29/2014

Skiing at West Mountain, Wednesday night, 01/29/2014.

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

Staying home because it’s too cold to ski would have been the wrong call to make last night. Yes, it was cold (upper single digits), but conditions at West Mountain were excellent. Snowmaking and grooming operations have produced nice packed powder surfaces on all open trails. With the exception of a few times that I skied West during or right after a storm, the conditions were about the nicest they’ve been in several years. The good skiing is not just the result of the cold weather we’ve been enjoying, it’s obvious that a lot more care and attention is being given to creating and maintaining quality skiing surfaces. Granted, I’ve only logged two evenings of skiing at West so far this winter, but last night’s conditions weren’t the result of getting lucky and hitting a good night. Snowmaking, grooming and contouring all seem to be head-and-shoulders above what we’ve seen the past few seasons.

We skied mostly off the summit double, but also made a few runs off the triple chair. Mach and Frolic had fresh corduroy down the sides from a couple recent passes by the groomer. Go-go (currently closed) looks like it will be nice when they drop the ropes – the fan guns were piling up the manmade powder on top of a groomed base. Snowmaking was underway in several areas on the mountain. About the only trail that wasn’t open – and apparently hasn't seen snowmaking yet – is Midway, under the triple chair.

West Mountain seems to be off to a good start this winter. No one can control the weather. But focusing on snowmaking and grooming to produce the best possible skiing conditions gives skiers what they want. That’s something that seemed to be missing at West the last few years, I’m glad to see it back.

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