Monthly Archives: October 2012
Once again, the question has been raised in the NY Ski Forums: which mountain is “better” Gore or Whiteface? The question will never be settled: each mountain has a distinct personality that attracts skiers who thrive there. The two mountains, and the skiers they attract, are different.
Whiteface skiers thrive on the uninterrupted vertical, awesome High Peaks views, Lake Placid nightlife and of course, the Slides. Gore regulars like the mountain’s width and variety, the trees, and the sheer volume of terrain. If Gore passholders mind the exercise required by flat spots, and if Whiteface diehards are concerned about windholds after big dumps, it’s apparently not enough to get them to switch to another mountain.
As reported at the beginning of the off season, Gore Mountain continues their incremental infrastructure upgrades. One important improvement that will help get the East Side going in the early season is the extension of the Foxlair snowmaking line down skier’s right on Sunway.
Last season, short, marginal snowmaking temperatures hindered the process of opening early season terrain. The addition of this additional pipeline and five new hydrants with tower guns will allow Gore to blow snow from both sides of the trail and reduce the time needed to cover the crucial intersection of Sunway and Wildair.
Eight additional tower guns have been added to the Saddle, 2B and Showcase and a fixed fan gun has been added at the top of Pine Knot to service the Gondola unloading area.
Two new Pisten Bully PB 600 grooming tractors have been added to the fleet and the base area has been regraded to facilitate the flow of traffic around the gondola loading area.
In addition, access to the gondola loading area has been improved adding cutovers from Echo to Twister, Twister to Showcase and Showcase to the Arena. Each cutover is a cat path wide to allow grooming.
Amenity improvements include the painting of the base lodge, the installation of log siding of the Open Pit Grille, the addition of tables to the new main patio area, and a new kitchen and bar in the Tannery Pub. The Saddle Lodge is has new carpeting, a beverage station and new kitchen equipment.
According to representatives from G.W. Tatro, the company installing the Hoyt’s snowmaking pipe, it’s the most difficult job they have undertaken in several years, due to the length of the pipe and the steepness of the pitch.
At 4200 feet in length, Hoyt’s will be the longest stretch of expert terrain at Whiteface without a bail out option. The length presents a grooming challenge as the PB 600w winch cable is only 3000 feet long. The trail will be groomed, but it will require some finesse.
There is a proposed access road to the trail that would come over from the slides roughly around Slide Out. This route will not be a ski trail, but could provide a second spot to anchor the winch cat. This improvement is still in the permitting process, and would not happen in time for the upcoming season.
Whiteface hopes to cut the final expert trail in the Lookout pod next summer. The new trail will will be on the opposite side of the Lookout chair from Hoyt’s. Plans to add snowmaking on the trail are not firm, but it will be a goal going forward.
While some resorts tout summer improvements like a new Waffle Hut, RFID tickets, or shuffled deck chairs, Plattekill did something a little different this past weekend. In a joint venture launched by the mountain and the NY Ski Blog, 25 volunteers came forward to do a little pruning in the woods.
The result was truly beneficial to the skiers of the Catskills; a new intermediate-to-advanced glade was cut in a snowy and consistently pitched area of the mountain that many should be able to enjoy.