Sunday, November 30, 2014
Gore Mountain: 11/28/2014
Thanksgiving is the traditional start of the ski season, and like many other skiers we chose to observe Black Friday by sliding on snow rather than jockeying through crowds at the mall fighting for deals on stuff we don't need.
It's already the third weekend of operation for both Gore and Whiteface, and the early start means that conditions and trail counts are better than what is typically available at this point in the season. Although Gore's trail count is the same as last weekend (basically three routes down from the top of the gondi), Wednesday's snowfall (about a foot at Gore) followed by cold temperatures translated to excellent coverage and generally soft packed powder surfaces.
Friday also marked the debut of the Adirondack Express II high-speed quad. Of course we made a point of riding the new chairlift, which is not only faster and higher capacity, but more comfortable as well. Fans of the original Adirondack Express triple chair (and the fixed-grip double that preceded it) will be pleased to know that the AEII offers the same opportunity for frostbite as its predecessor. Of course if skiers have any real problem with cold or wind, they can always take the gondi, or just take up golf. The AEII really is a great addition to Gore's lift infrastructure.
With Friday's cold temperatures, snowmaking was in operation on many of the open trails, building a base on Gore's early season bread-and-butter runs. Conditions early in the day were excellent, but the combination of limited terrain and skier traffic caused some hardpack and ice to develop in the usual spots by afternoon. Hopefully, continued cold weather will allow snowmaking crews to shift their focus from building base on the open trails to expanding available terrain. The usual sequence is to open Pine Knot / Uncas / Tannery to the Topridge triple chair, and then make a push for the summit. As always, progress will be dictated by favorable snowmaking temperatures.
With a little luck, we're looking forward to a cold & snowy winter ahead. We're certainly off to a strong start.