Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gore Mountain Glade Guide

After 20 inches of snow from yesterday's storm, Gore's glades will be in the best shape we've seen all season. If you haven't explored the glades yet, now's the perfect time. Here are some tips to help you enjoy skiing Gore’s trees:

Skiing the Cave Glade at Gore Mountain.

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

Glade skiing has seen a tremendous growth in popularity over the past decade, and for good reason. Skiing the trees offers challenge, adventure, diverse terrain and the opportunity to find untracked natural snow in quiet woods away from crowded slopes and trails. Gore Mountain was among the first Eastern ski areas to develop gladed terrain for its skiers, and now boasts two dozen diverse named glades on its trail map.

Gore Mountain's Pine Brook Glade.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
Every one of Gore’s seven terrain pods has opportunities for glade skiing. In general, glades on the lower mountain feature gentler terrain with open hardwoods. For beginners, the Otter Slide Glade is Gore’s easiest – it’s short and low-angled. Otter Slide Glade can be accessed from Sunway, near the top of the Sunway double chair. If you’re comfortable with Otter Slide, try Chatterbox next. Located next to the Wild Air trail, Chatterbox is considerably longer than Otter Slide, but offers opportunities to bail out to Wild Air mid-glade. Chatterbox is mostly low-angled, although there are a handful of short, slightly steeper drops. Twister Glade is another favorite, comparable in length and difficulty to Chatterbox. Near the end of Twister Glade, where it exits onto Echo, there is a short steep pitch and choke point that may prove difficult for some beginners and low intermediates.


For experienced glade skiers, the Cave Glade is a must-do. Accessed from Ruby Run, the Cave Glade drops all the way down into the Straight Brook valley and features nicely spaced evergreens with alternating steeper (but never really steep) and moderate pitches. Halfway down, on skier’s right, is the cave for which the glade is named. Explore the cave, but be careful of the smooth-as-glass ice that flows from seeps within the cave. It’s a great spot to stop with a thermos of hot chocolate and some snacks, especially for families.

All of the upper mountain glades in the Straight Brook and High Peaks terrain pods come highly recommended. Many of these glades feature multiple lines and interesting terrain features. In general, these woods are steeper and tighter. If you only have time to sample a handful of these glades, try the Straight Brook, Mineshaft and Dark Side Glades. Then again, someone else might recommend the Chatiemac Glades and Darby Woods. Of those, Mineshaft and Darby Woods are shorter and slightly easier.


One more glade deserves special mention: Cirque Glades, the longest glade in the East. Located on Burnt Ridge, the Cirque can be accessed from either Sagamore or Echo. The Sagamore entrance is recommended for its dramatic drop-in through a notch in the cliffs that run parallel to Echo. Be prepared for a long but beautiful tour as these glades extend all the way to the base of the mountain. Skiers on telemark or AT gear will feel right at home kicking and gliding between the challenging steep pitches, snowboarders not so much.


As you explore Gore’s woods, ski safe and keep the following precautions in mind:
  • Always wear goggles and a helmet.
  • Remove pole staps from around your hands.
  • Be alert for sudden terrain changes and unmarked obstacles.
  • Respect ski area boundaries and closures.
  • Ski with a partner. A group of three is better.
  • Look carefully before exiting the woods.
  • Be confident in your own ability before taking children or less experienced skiers into a glade.

4 comments:

  1. High Pines Glade doesn't get a mention?? It's not open often but should be after this last storm.

    Ken

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  2. High Pines definitely deserves a mention. Hope you get a chance to ski it this weekend, it'll be great!

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    Replies
    1. Fig Newtons? Like 'em. Like the raspberry ones too. (wink).

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