Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Gore Mountain: 01/16 & 01/17/2016
News flash: It’s been a lousy winter for skiers. No significant natural snow and record warmth in December. Thin cover and limited terrain have been the name of the game Day 1. Temperatures have gotten closer to seasonal norms since the first of the year, but we’ve still had thaws and rain on what seems like a weekly basis. But finally we’ve officially crossed over from “early season” to “mid-winter” with the opening of much of Gore’s summit terrain, opening the door to the best skiing so far this year.
We couldn’t wait to get to our favorite terrain Saturday morning and made a beeline for the summit. With Hawkeye, Open Pit and Headwaters open there was a decent variety of trail options, all with good coverage. It wasn’t exactly packed powder conditions, but conditions were at least edgeable manmade with softer pockets along the edges, especially down the fun bump line to skier’s left on Hawkeye. And the woods are looking oh so close…
But the real surprise came when we noticed Lies had opened sometime mid-morning on Saturday. Ski patrol was stationed at the entrance, warning of thin cover, variable conditions, ice ledges and boulder drops. If you looked up Lies from the bottom, you wouldn’t believe it could be open. Looking down from the top, Lies looked steep, gnarly and technical, but definitely skiable. And it was. Though not for the faint-of-heart, it was a challenging and exciting ride, just what we needed after weeks of skiing Showcase and Sunway. Kudos to Gore’s management, snowmaking crew and ski patrol for getting Lies open and making it available to skiers, raw and untamed!
If you’ve followed my blog for longer than just this season, you know that we love Gore’s tree skiing. We’re still one decent snowfall away from the glades being open, but we were able to sniff out a few select low-angle shots to at least get a taste of the trees.
With a great weekend of skiing behind us and a favorable forecast ahead, it seems like maybe we’ve finally turned the corner on this ski season. Snowmaking crews are working on Rumor, so it seems likely that trail will open for the coming weekend. With a little help from Mother Nature we can put the first half of the season behind us and look forward to a cold and snowy February.