I’ve recently spent a lot of time to the south of Gore Mountain; downstate, the Catskills and Hickory. I hadn’t skied in North Creek in over a month, and wanted to return to base in the Adirondacks.
It’s been a different kind of month for me. The last several weeks I had limited experience with groomed trails, manmade snow or liftlines for that matter. I’ve been approaching things from a different angle.
We drove to North River Saturday morning and skied in the woods in the afternoon. Sunday was forecast to be a cold one, but as planned we headed off to Gore.
With only a half day to ski, I had decisions to make. Wake up early, drive an hour to Gore and spend the morning exploring a fraction of the mountain, or drive 45 minutes to Big Tupper for untracked lines and ski-on lifts all morning?
For me, Tupper was the right call. Sunday was my first time on the hill since President’s Day 2012. Arriving at 8:45, I found a parking lot with maybe a dozen cars. After grabbing my $25 lift ticket, I headed for Chair 2.
Chair 3 wasn’t running and looking up towards that forbidden peak, I wondered if Tupper would see the kind of snowfall it would take to open it up this season.
Once I got my skis in today’s fresh snow I didn’t want to stop, or even slow down. Lots of other people at Hunter must have felt the same way, because it’s been years since I saw such a powder-crazed group in the Catskills.
Rope drops were well attended, especially on Hunter West as people clamored to get on the big terrain of Westway.
After two runs on old 44, I considered, for a moment, giving my legs a break, until I saw the rope coming down on Annapurna. The headwall was exceptional.