Monday, March 14, 2016
Gore Mountain: 03/12/2016
One thing you can count on, even in a lousy winter like we've had this year, is spring skiing. The trick is to catch a sunny day with warm temperatures that turn the slopes into the next best thing to powder: spring corn. This weekend delivered the blue skies and warm temps in spades.
Everything a skier needed to know about Gore this weekend is in the picture below: Hawkeye, Rumor and Lies.
In a way, spring skiing is bittersweet: you know the end is near. On Saturday, we did our best - along with hundreds of other Gore regulars - to make sure that every hard-won bit of snow that was squeezed from the sky and blown by the snowmaking crew this winter was put to good use before it returns to the Hudson.
When spring nights dip into the 20s, the "early bird gets the worm" addage no longer applies. We arrived at a casual 10am - late enough for the sun to work its magic on the snow - and headed straight for the summit. We stashed a lunch pack at the summit warming hut so there'd be no need to return to the base to refuel.
Spring skiing strategy is pretty simple: the steepest terrain usually skis the best. We rotated among the summit black diamonds - Hawkeye, Chati, Rumor, Lies - until afternoon shadows overtook the trails sometime after 2pm.
Rare photos of me (I usually do the picture-taking) skiing Hawkeye:
Even after we left the summit we weren't quite ready to call it quits, so we did an extra couple laps on Uncas and Sunway. By the time we leaned our skis on the racks at the base, the patio was packed with skiers celebrating the coming end of the season.
As you can see in the photos, coverage was great on the trails we skied on Saturday. But... the base is nowhere near as deep as it usually is at this point in the season, and there are plenty of bare spots on the run-outs and connectors. Coverage in the lower elevations is going especially fast. No closing date has been announced yet for Gore or Whiteface, but there can't be too much time left. It's been a tough winter for skiers, but if this turns out to be my last day for the season, I'll be happy I went out on a high note.