Tuesday, April 22, 2014

2013-14 ski season wrap-up and highlights

Whiteface Mountain, January 20, 2014.  2013-14 season wrap-up and highlights.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
The winter of 2013-14 will likely be long remembered by both skiers and non-skiers for its persistent cold weather. Monthly average temperatures for the entire November - March period registered several degrees below the long-term average, and the term “Polar Vortex” seemed to filter into everyday conversation. The emduring cold gave skiers a season spanning six calendar months, with Gore and Whiteface logging their earliest-ever openings in mid-November. Gore closed last Sunday, April 20, but Whiteface may hang in for a record late closing in May. Stay tuned.

Early season packed powder with a view of the High Peaks. Gore, January 4:

But the cold didn’t always translate to snow. December and January were interupted by several damaging thaws that erased the snow that had fallen, keeping any glade skiing off the table. But the season ultimately turned around for the second half, with consistent cold and above average snowfall. Ski conditions peaked in mid-March after winter storm Vulcan dropped 20” across just about all of northern New York and Vermont. The couple of weekends that followed Vulcan were the best of the year, with beautiful powder and packed powder conditions and (finally!) great tree skiing.

Night Patrol.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
Like the last several winters, we skied just about every weekend from mid-November to early April. I logged 3 dozen days, mostly at Gore, but we also made several trips up to Whiteface, a few forays into Vermont, and I skied 3 days at Alta and Snowbird, UT. If I add in all my short, out-the-back-door ski tours (mostly at night), my ski day count goes up to something north of 50. Overall it was an excellent ski season for my family, with the only downside being that we didn’t get enough glade skiing and that we missed out on the epic spring conditions of the second and third weekends of April (don’t cry for me – we were in Florida on vacation).

Following are some photo highlights for the year:

Daniel skiiing Chatiemac after a foot of powder. Gore, December 15:

Surprise powder day at Whiteface, January 20. This is Beth skiing Thruway:

Gore, February 11. Mid-week laps on Rumor:

Daniel skiing Hoyt's High at Whiteface, February 15:

Daniel catching some air in Boreas, one of Gore's new glades February 16:

Three great days in Utah, skiing Alta and Snowbird. This is at Alta on Feb 20:

I don't have many photos of me skiing. This one is at Alta on Feb 21:

A bluebird day at Sugarbush, VT, March 3:

Me lovin' the trees at Stowe, VT, March 15:

Surprise overnight powder dump at Stowe, March 16. Stellar conditions in the glades:

Conditions peaked the weekend of March 22-23. This is my buddy Jim snaking a line through one of our stashes at Gore:


  1. It's not "wrapped up" until it's over. I am still planning to ski this Sunday. Sugarbush is still hoping to go until 5/4, but they are closing mid-week after Sunday. I will end up with fewer days than normal this year, but I still got north of 40. Missing all of January cost me a chance at 50.

  2. Yeah, it ain't over till it's over. If the weather's good on Sat (looking dicey right now) and Whiteface opens (they are still saying it's a "maybe"), we will go up. And there's a slim chance I might head to Tux in the next month. Other than that, it's on to mtn biking, hiking and climbing. Good for you for still getting in 40+ days.