Monday, March 24, 2014
Gore Mountain: 03/22 & 03/23/2014
The calendar said spring, but conditions at Gore over the weekend were more like mid-winter. Winter storm Vulcan finally established the base we needed for good tree skiing a week and a half ago; continuous cold and additional snow since then have brought conditions to the best we've seen all winter.
With Gore's glades finally in play, we spent the majority of both days skiing the trees, making up for lost time earlier this winter. Trails became the necessary connectors between favorite woods stashes.
The two days of the weekend kind are kind of blurred together in my mind. On Saturday, Beth had to stay home for a community event, and my brother Dave joined the kids and me. For Sunday, Beth joined in and Dave headed home. On both days we met up with my friend Jim and his three kids - all rippers - so for most of the weekend we skied as a group of 8. We must have been quite the sight: 3 adults with 5 kids whizzing through the woods. You'll notice the kids aren't in many of my photos - that's because they were way out in front of the adults, even the two 6-year-olds.
While Saturday featured some light snow in the morning and temps in the 20s, skies cleared off and temperatures dropped for Sunday. Even though Sunday was cold by March standards, the entire weekend felt practically tropical compared to the single digit temperatures we had for much of the winter.
We generally stuck to the upper mountain both days, where the snow was the deepest and softest. Although the glades were the highlight of the weekend, we had some nice trail runs too, including Rumor, Lies and Upper Darby. As you would expect, surfaces were packed powder with very little if any ice or hardpack.
Surprisingly, crowds were very light both Saturday and Sunday. I guess people start to lose interest in skiing as we get into March, even though this weekend featured some of the best conditions of the winter. I'd ski year-round if I could.
Get it while you can. This weekend felt almost like a gift, making up for a relative lack of snow for much of January and February. Conditions are fantastic right now, but we will inevitably transition to more seasonable spring-like temperatures, perhaps as early as this coming weekend. With a little luck, we'll finish out the season with some nice spring skiing under sunny skies. But if winter sticks around a little while longer, I won't complain.