Gore Mountain: Closing at Home

I’ve been away from Gore; my last trip to Johnsburg was over a month ago. For much of April, the fickle sun and elusive warm temps had kept me off to the south. I have to admit returning for Gore’s closing this past weekend, I felt a little disconnected at the start. Lucky for me, the feeling didn’t last too long.

During the week, the forecast for Saturday looked sunny and cool-ish, while Sunday was just a bit warmer. I had some doubt that snow would soften, especially on Saturday. Eventually my faith in the strong April sun and a bit of fomo carried the day. I took to the highway, headed north to the mountains on Friday afternoon.

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Warming Up to Whiteface

Whiteface elicits a lot of passion from skiers from both sides; some thrive on the unique and challenging terrain, while others make up the group responsible for the notorious nickname “Iceface.”

Rational or not, until recently I fell into the second group. After my collision with a tree at Stratton in December, I’ve developed a newfound skittishness on firm surfaces.

I’m relatively new to skiing, I started in 2015. I love skiing fast, but slick surfaces force me to make skidded turns on skis that never seem sharp enough. When I encounter sporty conditions, I tend to end my day early, once the corduroy is gone and the loose granular gets pushed down the slopes.

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Catching Winter at the Right Moment

The 2017-18 season has been a tale of at least two winters. We got off to a promising start with big storms in December that opened up trails, and the snow was preserved by a persistent and brutal polar vortex that lasted into the second week of January.

Then MLK weekend featured a devastating thaw with significant rain that devoured the eastern snowpack, and since then conditions have largely mirrored last year—extended dry periods with mild temperatures, punctuated by brief periods of heavy snowfall. Getting it while it’s good has required patience, luck, and a willingness to go the distance—sometimes even as far as Quebec.

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