Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Whiteface, closing weekend: Friday 04/14/2017

Whiteface, Friday 04/14/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

It's amazing how quickly a strong April sun can bring the ski season to an end. After starting out the month with mid-winter conditions and full trail counts, Gore and Whiteface were working hard to piece together skiable routes just two weeks later. With some creative route finding and a willingness to slide across some occasional snirt, we closed out our season at Whiteface on a high note.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Gore Mountain: 04/09/2017

Gore Mountain, Sunday 04/09/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

If you like spring skiing - and who doesn't? - Sunday was a day not to be missed. Not a cloud in the sky, temperatures warming into the upper 50s (my car said 65 pulling out of Gore's lot around 3:30) and deep snow above mid-mountain thanks to a string of late season storms.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pico Mountain, VT: 04/02/2017

Pico Mountain, Sunday 4/02/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

Stella may have saved the tail end of the 2016-17 ski season, but the April Fools Day storm really put the icing on the cake - literally - with ski areas across the Adirondacks and Vermont reporting between 8 and 16 inches of spring powder. After a great day at Pico just two weeks earlier, the Saratoga Skier team got to work scheming out a way to get a taste of the 14 inches Pico received. Thanks to Pico and our good friends the Albas, plans were made for an early Sunday morning departure for the quick drive over to Vermont.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Whiteface: 03/26/2017

Whiteface Mountain, Sunday 03/26/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

Our gamble with a dicey weather forecast paid off Sunday morning as we were greeted with sun and blue skies. By the time we booted up and boarded the gondi, warm air aloft (the summit was a good 10 degrees warmer than the base) and the strong March sun had already worked their magic.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mad River Glen and Pico Mt., VT: 3/17 & 3/18/2017

Riding the single chair at Mad River Glen, St. Patrick's Day 03/17/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

A Friday school holiday (Superintendent's Day) plus discounted lift tickets (half price at MRG and pre-season, pre-buy tickets for Pico) provided the perfect opportunity for the kids to add a couple new stickers to their helmets. And a storm named Stella didn't hurt either.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Gore Mountain: 03/11/2017

Gore Mountain, Saturday 3/11/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

Cold, empty, firm & fast. Saturday at Gore was almost a carbon copy of the previous weekend. If anything, conditions were just a bit better than last weekend thanks to an inch or two of snow Friday night and a solid effort from the grooming crews.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Gore Mountain: 03/04/2017

Gore Mountain, Saturday 3/04/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

After a great stretch of conditions from late January through Presidents' Day Weekend, mother nature seems bent on punishing east coast skiers. We arrived home from Montana last week at the tail end of the multi-day stretch of blowtorch temperatures that vaporized the Adirondacks' snowpack. To add insult to injury, the meltdown was followed by some of the coldest temperatures of the winter, with highs barely cracking the 10-degree mark on Saturday.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Big Sky,MT: 02/20 - 02/24/2017

Big Sky, MT Feb 20-24 2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

When I skied Big Sky, Montana four years ago, I knew it was a place I'd eventually want to return to with the family. After a great week-long trip to Steamboat, CO two years ago, I know we were ready to make the jump up to Big Sky.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Gore Mountain: 02/11/2017

Daniel and Sylvie skiing Chatiemac, Gore Mountain, Saturday 2/11/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

Quick update from Gore on Saturday. Rain earlier in the week put an end to the nice 2+ week stretch of great ski conditions. 4 inches of snow on Thursday followed by 2 more Friday night helped bring conditions back, although the icy crust lurked below the surface at all times to remind skiers that this is the east.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Whiteface: 02/04/2017

Whiteface Mountain, Saturday 02/04/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

I wasn’t exactly wishing I was back east, but the reports I heard while I was at Whistler sounded like conditions at Gore and Whiteface were about the best they’ve been in two years. Luckily, those conditions only got better during the week that followed.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Whistler-Blackcomb: 01/26 - 01/28/2017

View of Whistler Peak from Blackcomb, January 2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

Whistler seems to be on every avid skier’s must-ski list, and I was lucky enough to enjoy my first visit there last week on my annual "guys' trip." It’s hard to describe Whistler-Blackcomb if you’ve never been, but “big” is a good start. With 8 thousand skiable acres, 5 thousand vertical feet and two huge mountains, 3 days of skiing was barely enough to just scratch the surface.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Whiteface: 1/21/2017

Whiteface, Satuday 1/21/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

No skier would actually wish for April temperatures in January, but nobody was complaining at Whiteface on Saturday when temperatures climbed into the upper 30s by opening bell. The mild weather softened surfaces from base to summit, delivering spring conditions that were a vast improvement over the frozen ice cube that would have greeted skiers had temperatures been 10 degrees colder. In the middle of what has been a vicious January thaw, we got the next best thing to a powder day.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mont Tremblant: 01/14 - 01/16/2017

Mont Tremblant, January 14-16, 2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

“Head for Canada!” has been frequently heard around the Saratoga Skier household since November, but it has nothing to do with the presidential election. It’s all about the snow – north of the St. Lawrence was the jackpot for eastern snowfall last winter (about 130% of normal), and that trend has continued into this winter as well.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Gore, Mt. VanHo, Whiteface: New Year's weekend 12/30/2016 - 1/01/2017

Whiteface, New Year's Day 01/01/2017.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

We had a nice stretch of skiing over the New Year holiday, leveraging our ORDA passes for maximum variety over the three days.

Like most working Americans, I was scheduled to work on Friday and be off on Monday, but with the incoming storm Thursday night I quickly swapped out Monday for Friday. Apparently I wasn't the only one to come up with that idea as we arrived Friday morning to a rapidly filling parking lot, probably the busiest day we've seen at Gore in two years.