A ski mountain’s reputation for management is tied, in part, to temperature and precipitation. There are exceptions but it’s certainly easier to be a ski ops genius when it’s cold and snowy.
When it comes to spring, base depth is the key, and it’s also affected by some factors beyond a GMs control. Ideally you’ll get and/or make enough snow to survive some inevitable spring rain to spin lifts on some warm and sunny weekends, satisfying passholders and selling more passes for the next season.
This season had a quick start, a tough middle and a stellar finish. At Gore season totals for snowfall will come in around average, but much of that total fell after February 1st.
The photo above is remarkable: Lower Steilhang’s headwall without a bare spot on April 10. Maybe even more incredible was the wall-to-wall coverage almost 2000 feet below at the gondola base.
There are some good signs at Gore beyond snow cover. I heard some positive comments this year on mid-week lift ops, notably that the North Chair spun more often to take advantage of the new connection from Burnt Ridge. And Gore pumped 15% more water than they did in 2012-13. With recent technology upgrades that translated into even more snow.
Last week the lift schedule and grooming were solid. With no lines anywhere on the mountain, Gore ran four lifts mid-week: The Gondola, Topridge, Straightbrook and High Peaks. The North was added for the weekend.
This lift combo allows motivated skiers to access a majority of the mountain. Conditions were exceptional for April or any date.
Personally I was hoping this mid-week romp at Gore would help me forget some of the s
now I missed (think Vulcan). It’s a fact, I can’t ski as much as I’d like and sometimes it makes me cranky.
My response: I went all out. Up before dawn in the flatlands last Thursday, I drove straight to the mountain to ski. I skied all day in the blissful sunshine for three days. The snow and weather were beautiful.
Almost by definition, spring skiers are hardcore. The rippers I skied with were no exception, a demanding bunch for sure. Everyone I skied with was excited about the snow and the mountain’s push to serve it up. It’s great to see Gore go deep into the spring.
I came away from my trip thinking the mountain is poised to take off. Gore is in a cool emerging ski town that is relatively close to the Albany and New York metros. It’s got a huge amount and variety of terrain served by vastly improved snowmaking. Each season more are discovering Gore Mountain.
One thing I believe could help push it over the top. Over the last decade Gore has developed an asset that makes the mountain unique in the NY marketplace. Tree skiing has become part of the Gore brand. There isn’t better tree skiing closer to midtown Manhattan that’s for sure.
The mountain’s network of glades — a magnet with annual drawing power on par with the Slides at Whiteface — was built with a commitment from management and the dedicated, passionate hard work of a small number of locals. I’m grateful for the effort and proud to ski in Johnsburg NY.
9 comments on “Gore Mountain Goes Deep”
Love that first pic.
shhh. What we have here is an undiscovered diamond. My wife and I have had season passes 3 out of the last 4 years. This season we decided to do a few ski safaris instead to break things up. We hit several places in New Hampshire on one trip, Vermont on another and Maine the first week of March.
We had a great time but as soon as Gore put the season passes on sale, we were on them and finished the season at Gore. Both of us couldn’t wait to get back there.
Happily looking forward to next winter…
Thanks from the lifty at the bottom of the north quad. I treat my customers with respect try to bump the chair for all ages,and love chatting it up. The North Quad is “my lift” and I love it when the folks say how great tahawas or the bear is skiing. I also love it when the people come out of the woods and say how great they are holding up. the only downside to this lifty is only doing two runs a day when going to and leaving the lift …. stop down and say hello.
It was a great weekend on top of an incredible second half of the season!!
Gores season finished very strong, March and April rocked. It was great to see the mt. show their commitment to midweek skiing through the end of the season.
I thank this blog, because without it, I wouldn’t have discovered Gore. I had a great time this year and last year. Going to bring family and friends back next year.
Nice article Harv. Spring skiing… it’s always bittersweet. I had a great last day, and I’m already missing it.
Thanks for the good tales, short and tall, this year.
my last turns were into the pinkham notch parking lot, from a very large snow banking, at the bottom of the trail to Tux. I had to duck a very small branch and I fell. …that was my last turn and I skun my hand.