Gore Mountain, NY: 12/22/12

The first full day of winter, was a full day of winter, at Gore Mountain NY. It was cold, it was windy and it snowed much of the day.  Of the three lifts that ran, two of them are windiest chairs at Gore — the Adirondack Express and the Topridge Triple.  While it probably didn’t get below 20 degrees, many eastern skiers haven’t faced true winter cold yet this season.  I know I hadn’t.

I was so excited to experience winter, that I’d a bought a lift ticket just to be out in the weather.  There was excitement about winter all over the hill.  Everyone was talking about yesterday’s snow, today’s snow and the potential for snow next week.  I ran into a noted local who told me…  “three more inches and it’s all in play.”

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Spring Skiing at Hunter …in December

Hunter is renowned for breeding a certain type of expert skier that can slash moguls and carve ice, skills born of the fickle NY ski season and the steeps of West and K-27.

I don’t think I really fit those stereotypes. But when I noticed a forecast with highs in the 40s, I knew that Wednesday would be my first day at Hunter this year. A delicious corn harvest on admittedly limited terrain.

It’s rare for me to wait so long to get to Tannersville because Hunter has the firepower and to get to 100 percent open faster than any mountain in the east.

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Windham, NY: 12/19/12

The true test for an eastern ski resort is always the early season warm spell or r**n event. The Catskills’ major ski areas have only been able to open a few runs this season and this most recent system that dropped snow on northernmost New England primarily produced the wet stuff farther south. Nevertheless, I packed my bags and headed for Windham NY at 6:30 this morning.

The mountain was reporting that the two top-to-bottom runs were still open, along with an additional connector at mid-mountain, along some beginner terrain near the base.

Opening was delayed to allow extra time to finish grooming some previously ungroomed terrain.  I was content waiting in an Adirondack chair in the sun, thankful for the change in plans. The mountain had solid coverage across both Upper Whistler and Upper Wolverine; the groomers did an excellent job in most places, leaving most coverage as loose granular.

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