Gore Mountain, NY: 12/21/07

Ski Day 6

Busier than yesterday, but still basically deserted. Trying to relive my glory on Double Barrel from yesterday I went to the top. The rope was across Pine Knot (access to the top) and Skipat told me it was going to be 20 mins. I figured I’d learn my lesson from yesterday, and get a warm up in on the lower mountain. I did the Rubyrun tuck, and took Showcase. Again intense fog in the saddle and if I had been able to see, I’d taken Sunway which had been groomed.

Showcase was crunchy. Rode the Gondi again – by myself at 8:45 – and got to the top. It seemed colder than predicted. I had dressed lighter today and was feeling chilly on the windwhipped summit of Bear Mtn. Pine Knot was open, and I resisted the lure of the Cave or Pine Brook Glades. Pine Knot was actually great – they must have blown some snow on it. Teley all the way.

I rode the Quad and hit the Straightbrook Glades off Chatiemac. Is it only me, or does it seems like a glade that seemed somewhat hammered the day before, somehow has new life the next day, even when no significant snow has fallen? Next run I went into lower Double Barrel (below Hawkeye) and it was just as good as it was yesterday. Carvable, manageable, fun. At the top of my next trip up the quad I was hailed by Jimmer and his crew. J told me he had seen me on DB from the chair, but it looked like I was really “concentrating” so he didn’t call out. Hmm…okay. I think that’s code for resting a lot. I was still beat from yesterday. But…this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

These guys….and there are like 10 of them..are local rippers who know all of Gore secrets. Hippy seemed like the treemaster. Todd, Tom and Megatron were fearless rippers. Charlie certainly knew his way around. Time would tell whether they had the patience to show it all to a Teleyboy from NJ. I was determined to do everything I could to keep up. I kept asking the names of everything. For years I’ve heard this name and that, and by gosh if I was hittin it I wanted to know. What is this, what is that?

One run on the dark side hadn’t been named yet. Charlie said that the work was done over the summer and because today was the first day the dark side was open…we were christening it. By name we hit the Newtons, Birch, Thumper, Top Secret, Nugget, The Unknown Zone, KHS and some other things that I just didn’t get the names of. It will really be interesting to see how much of this stuff I can find on my own, Some of these shots have entrances that are hidden like the Bat Cave.

The thing that amazed me was the lines we were finding. 5 Days since the storm and some of the lines we were hitting hadn’t been skied yet this year. How can that be? One thing is for sure…. nothing teaches good teley technique like skiing in the fresh. While there were no real distinct layers in the snow, you could tell that somewhere down in there, there was some sleet.

Not wanting to invite myself into a lunch that had been clearly planned in advance in the summit warming hut….I headed for the saddle at around 1pm…to get a burger and to call Zelda. (The Saddle is a good place to get a cell signal and our camp has no phone.) Had a burger and a cookie, called Zelda, and then headed back out. Down to the bottom, up the Gondi, Pine Knot to Pinebrook Glade and then up the Quad again. Truthfully, I thought ok I’m on my own now…I survived the morning.

An hour or two on my own to “concentrate” and take it easy. As I slide off the Quad at the summit…there was an expanded version of the gang, now including some expert women. The pull of the pow was too much. I had to go with them, as tired as I was. We hit some favorites again including, I think, the Unknown Zone, and Nugget.

By the end of the day, some of the guys wanted to hit “Sagamore.” I’d seen old maps of Gore and Sagamore was a trail that never happened. I was sure there would be a serious cliff in there somewhere…so I begged off and went down Foxlair with the whole group except Todd, Tom, Megatron and Hippy. We skied down to the access road and they never appeared.

On the radio we connected…they were in some deep yogurt. We knew they’d be a while, so we bolted for the Gondi and caught it about 10 mins before they shut it down. Back down Foxlair…which was like a snowmaking whale terrain park…and to the access road again to wait for the intrepid crew coming off the Sagamore ridge. When they finally popped out..they were totally beat and maybe just a little bit relieved to be back on the groomers.

We did some high speed arcs down Sunway, sneaking through all of those blue trails down there that nobody uses…and called it a day. One of the great skiing experiences of my life. THANKS to Jimmer and the crew for their patience and generosity. I’ll be back on the hill in the am, and I’ll head for the highway about 1pm to get home for Christmas…back next week if conditions are ok. I’d get out there and get it tomorrow, may be the best day for a while.

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