Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Gore Mountain: 03/04/2017
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.
Surprisingly, conditions at Gore were better than I had expected. Most terrain was open (glades and natural snow trails are toast), and the groomers did a decent job of making surfaces at least semi-edgeable. Light crowds, an inch of new snow and bright blue skies didn't hurt either.
Like most ski areas in the northeast, Gore fired up the snow guns once temperatures dropped on Thursday night. Unfortunately, snowmaking was limited to about a dozen, maybe 15 guns on Uncas. The skiing was great there - probably the best snow of the day - but it would have really made a difference if the effort was expanded to more trails. Undoubtedly Gore's snowmaking plant had more capacity than was utilized on Saturday, I suspect manpower and budgetary constraints were the limiting factors.
We found the summit trails to be overall in better shape than the lower mountain, so we circulated through the black diamonds up there twice - once in the morning and once after lunch. Lower mountain trails had ice flows in a few spots (the top of Foxlair was particularly bad) and some exposed rocks and bare areas. By contrast, even the steeper summit black diamonds like Rumor and Lies had great coverage and surfaces that were firm and fast for sure, but not much different from what you'd encounter on a mid-winter weekend when it hadn't snowed in a while. We would have skied the Darkside trails but the High Peaks double was down for "major repairs" and hasn't opened since.
A 6-to-12 inch storm would be a game changer, but regrettably no such storm is on the horizon at this time. I wouldn't count March out entirely, but at this point it looks like we're a warm-up or two away from a rapid wind-down of the season.