We rolled in to the parking lot around 10.30am at Gore on a sunny, New England warm (18F) Thursday morning. With the lot about half full, there didn’t seem any panic to hit the lifts, So we geared up, snacked in the base lodge, and were on the gondola at 11am.
With all but one lift running, there was plenty of terrain to explore – in fact more than we could hit in 5 hours. I suspect, due to being just before the MLK long weekend, all the runs were groomed and in good condition. Even scary trails like Lies on Burnt Ridge were flat. A few bumps around the hill would have been good. And a few glades – unfortunately there wasn’t quite enough snow for the trees. So we shredded groomers all day long. Steep ones like Chatiemac, Hawkeye and Topridge, and cruisey winding trails like Twister, Uncas and Sagamore. Like giggles on bad sitcoms, there were occasional icy surprises, but basically the mountain was skiing well. Another foot and it’ll be skiing beautifully. Maybe one day we’ll be there for that. Gore is pretty darn good ski hill.
We woke up in Lake Placid the next morning with 2 inches of cold smoke on the truck, and temps lingering around 0F. Only the wind threatened a great ski day, and as we got our tickets at Whiteface, our worst fears were realized – no, not Mitt Romney standing for President again – worse, the gondola was on wind hold. So we rode the Face and the terrifying Little Whiteface double, and ripped the trail edges where the wind had loaded at least 3 inches of light fluffy good stuff. Serious cold drove us in for a very welcome coffee after 4 runs. And then, as if by magic, it stopped dumping, the winds dropped, the skies cleared, and the gondola started moving.
An excellent afternoon ensued. We basically did top to bottom laps, up the gondola, to the Summit chair, and from the top Skyward was the pick. Loaded with constantly refreshing wind blown, it just begged for high speed wide radius turns. Victoria and Niagara offered soft, carvable alternatives lower down thanks to blazing snowguns, and then it was wash, rinse, repeat. Until 4pm when the gondola, rather inconsiderately I thought, closed down 😉
Gore 7400m, Whiteface 11,500m vert
Season totals: 15 days, 110,700m vert, 3 powder days