Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Gore Mountain: Christmas Eve, 12/24/2016
It may have been raining down in the lowlands, but Santa showed up a day early at Gore, bringing a couple inches of new snow with him. It didn't matter if you were naughty or nice (we had skiers from both lists in our group), everyone was treated to one of the best early season days so far this winter.
Crowds were extremely light, which meant more snow for those of us who chose skiing over last minute shopping. After a lower mountain warm-up on Wild Air, we headed up top for a few laps on the open summit trails. Wind blowing straight up Uncas scoured the new snow from that trail, but Hawkeye and Headwaters were sheltered and held onto the new snow well. A firm base made itself known in some of the usual spots (Hawkeye's headwall), but surfaces were generally packed powder. Legitimate boot-deep powder could even be found in a few out of the way low-angle stashes like Mica Park.
Lower mountain trails were also generally in excellent shape. We found the best snow on Sunway and Quicksilver, but Wild Air and Showcase also skied well. The snow let up by early afternoon, improving visibility. Temperatures were likely too marginal for snowmaking, and we didn’t see any guns in action around the mountain. Although Topridge came online recently (we didn’t ski it, looked a bit thin), terrain expansion seems to have slowed over the last week or two. We’re looking forward to crews getting the rest of the summit terrain open as soon as temperatures allow, not to mention Burnt Ridge, the High Peaks chair and the North side. Rain on 12/18 and again on 12/26 means we’re going to need quite a bit more natural snow to get the glades open.
There’s no doubt we’re off to a much better start than last year. Terrain availability may be a bit limited for the holiday week, but with a possible storm on tap for Thursday we could see some nice conditions for the tail end of the holiday.