Ski Coach Z: Dave Zientko

Dave ZientkoSki instructor Dave Zientko will be joining NYSkiBlog as the author of a multi-part series on how to get more out of skiing. Dave is a PSIA Level 3 certified instructor who has been teaching at Whiteface since 2000. He has been teaching skiing for 24 years. Before coming to Whiteface, Dave worked at Killington after starting out at Vernon Valley. He’s also had staff training roles in both the Whiteface and Killington Snowsport Schools.

Early on Dave taught adults, but after his son Zach was born, he widened his focus to include working with children. He has extensive experience with advanced level kids in all-mountain skiing and has coached in Whiteface’s acclaimed Cloudsplitter Club program for the last eight years.

Dave has experience skiing across Europe and the West including France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy as well was most of Colorado, Utah and British Columbia. Dave has logged several cat skiing days out West and has attended two PSIA National Academy’s including one in Chamonix in 2006.

Continue reading

Anticipating the Start of Ski Season

This November has been quite warm, but that’s not all that unusual. Eastern skiers often fret about the possible postponement of opening day, scheduled for Black Friday at many mountains. I looked back through early season posts to see what I was thinking in years past.

Colder temps forecasted.
A forecast from a different year

In November of 2009, while skiers in the western US were enjoying cold temps and fresh snow, eastern skiers were sweating it out. On November 22, I posted a 6-10 day temperature outlook from the National Weather Service that promised colder air for the east.

That year opening day at Gore featured only 250 feet of vertical. As usual, I had a good time, even though pickins were slim. The next day at Whiteface also opened a single run, but in true Whiteface style, that run featured 1500 feet of vertical.

Continue reading

A Ski Mountain’s Ad Jingle: “Getaway to Gore”

In 1974, Gore Mountain was a major Eastern ski area with just about everything that skiers wanted — 2,000 feet of vertical, trails spread out over several mountains, and the only gondola in New York State.

As a member of the elite Gondola Club, Gore joined Stowe, Killington, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, and a handful of New Hampshire resorts in offering true big mountain skiing to the masses.

There was only one problem: the masses weren’t coming. Why not? Because Gore Mountain had no snowmaking. In the 60s, chairs, gondolas and vertical were all you needed. But that wasn’t enough to compete in the 1970s.

Continue reading