Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Gore Mountain: 02/11/2014
Family obligations kept us away from Gore this past weekend, but an opportunity for an on-mountain “professional networking” day Tuesday helped to at least ease the withdrawal symptoms.
Following last week’s 14” powder installment, our timing couldn’t have been better to take advantage of the deluxe conditions that await the midweek skier: no crowds on the trails or in the lots, lodge or lifts, and corduroy and packed powder conditions that hold up all day. As a weekend warrior, it’s easy to forget – or never even be aware of – how nice midweek can be. Today was my reminder.
First of all, kudos to Gore for making just about every terrain pod available on a Tuesday. In past years, mid-week lift closures limited the terrain choices for mid-week skiers. Today, the Burnt Ridge Quad, Darkside chair and North Quad all ran, in addition to the usual gondi, Topridge Triple and Straightbrook Quad. The Sunway double chair seems to be the lift that has been sacrificed for mid-week operations this winter - that's a sacrifice worth making if it means other lifts can spin.
Conditions were groomed packed powder mountain-wide. Any untracked powder from last week's storm is long gone, even in the glades. The weekend crowd must have hit the glades hard as just about all of the woods are skied down to scritch-scratch conditions. Another foot of snow should put all of the woods back into play, and as luck would have it, the next installment of powder is about to arrive. This weekend should be the best of the winter so far.
We made a point of hitting every terrain pod, starting out with the summit black diamonds in the morning. Rumor was in excellent condition, enough to warrant three consecutive laps. With zero skier traffic and an inch or two of fresh snow over an edgeable base, each lap seemed better than the last. I'll call it trail-of-the-day. In the afternoon we started out on Burnt Ridge, making three consecutive laps on Echo and one on Sagamore. We ended the day on the beautiful packed powder bumps of Powder Pass. In between, we did speed laps down the front side cruisers, nearly freezing my cheeks in the single-digit temperatures.
I won't hide my disappointment that the tree skiing has been practically nonexistent this winter. Hopefully the incoming storm will help to turn around the ski conditions in the glades. But with deluxe conditions and a great crew of skiers like we had today, how can a guy complain?