Monday, December 7, 2015
Gore Mountain: 12/05/2015
Despite the unseasonably warm weather that has played havoc with early season ski conditions throughout the northeast, we've managed to pull out two decent weekends of skiing in a row to kick off our season, up at Whiteface last weekend and now at Gore.
We were surprised to see the guns still blowing on the upper mountain as we pulled into Gore's parking lot Saturday morning. Temps were marginal for snowmaking, but crews are taking advantage of every opportunity to lay down a base and expand available terrain.
The mild temperatures meant spring-like conditions from the start. Even though we would prefer cold and snowy, it was hard not to smile and hoot as we bombed down the trails. Coverage was solid with just a few thin spots. A few of Showcase's steeper pitches even developed some mid-sized bumps as the day wore on. Bright sun and minimal wind made riding the ride up on the AEII a pleasure. Sunway and Quicksilver provided a second route down the mountain, not bad at all for the second weekend of skiing.
In past years, early season skiing was accessed by the gondola. This year's strategy of utilizing the new AEII high-speed quad is an improvement. Snowmaking crews can cover Showcase quicker and more efficiently than the Foxlair - Sunway - Quicksilver route down from the gondi, and in my opinion Showcase simply skis better.
Skiers can expect snowmaking crews to continue to take advantage of cold nights to build base on existing routes, get Lower Sleighride open (it was looking close on Saturday), and then add Foxlair and Ruby Run. Obviously that's all weather dependent.
We called it a day around 2:30 as the shadows overtook the trails and the snow stiffened back up, a perfect amount of time for an early season shake-down day.
If you're one of those people who complained that last winter was too cold, we're blaming this year's warm temps and lack of snow on you. Burn some old skis in a bonfire sacrifice, flush some ice cubes down the toilet, or better still, get out and enjoy some early season turns while conditions are good.