Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gore Mountain: 12/17/2011

Skiing Foxlair at Gore Mountain, Saturday Dec. 17, 2011.

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

I wouldn't blame you if took today off, thinking Thursday's rain and warm temperatures would mean marginal ski conditions. I wouldn't blame you (well, maybe a little) if you were just too busy on the final weekend before the holidays to ski. I wouldn't blame you, but you would have missed an excellent day on the ski hill.

Cold, windless and clear. A bluebird day.

Snowmaking was the key today, and it wasn't difficult to find good conditions as there were guns going on just about every open trail, providing a good demonstration of Gore Mountain's upgraded snowmaking capabilities.

Light pre-Christmas traffic

A combination of ground, tower and fan guns were blowing snow on portions of Foxlair, Sunway, Pine Knot, Tannery and Topridge, as well on terrain that hasn't yet opened: Showcase, Sleighride and Lower Sunway. With temperatures in the 20s on the mountain (it was 24 when we arrived, 18 when we left) and low humidity, the manmade snow was dry and consistent.

Fan guns and towers on Lower Sunway

Since last weekend the trail count has doubled, with Lower Sunway (to the top of the Sunway double chair), Topridge, Pine Knot and Tannery all coming online. We found enough terrain choices with good skiing that we didn't even bother checking out Ruby Run or Quicksilver.


The lower angled portions of Topridge skied nicely

Topridge was the only open trail that we skied with sub-par conditions: Thursday's rain left its steeper pitches quite firm and fast with areas of thin coverage. There were three or four guns blowing at the bottom of Topridge which improved conditions there, but the trail could benefit from a top-to-bottom resurfacing.

Heading into the man-made bliz on Foxlair

All in all, today was an excellent day of early season skiing. What we need now is a little help from the weather man to let these guys keep on doing their job:

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