Gore Mountain, NY: 12/27/11

I’m starting to realize that it almost always makes sense to ski. In the last five seasons, I can’t remember a ski day I regret. And I work for my days. I’m 52, married, a dad, with a child in school, from the distant flatlands. Five powder days in a season is good for me.


Planning a ski trip over Christmas holiday is always a crap shoot. But, like a lot of guys, I do it for all the reasons listed above, plus there really is nothing we’d rather be doing that week. It’s winter vacation and we want to ski.

Conditions and terrain offerings were decent at Gore today, in light of the headwinds faced by the entire ski industry. Trails had tough slick spots, but there was loose snow to be found on every run. The day started with a low cloud ceiling and the sun peeking in on the horizon. Skies went from cloudy to sunny to stormy over the course of the day.

One of the most satisfying parts of the day was watching the women in the family dispense with the hardpacked conditions with ease. Zelda and I skied the morning together while Neve did holiday camp. We skied all three open areas: the summit, Topridge, and the front side. Every trail had challenging sections. Zelda went top-to-bottom on Topridge, stopping only to wait for me.

At noon, we skied down to pick up Neve from her lesson. She was absolutely raring to go. We grabbed lunch and then lapped the triple. We cruised down Sunway, Quicksilver, Showcase and Sleighride. Not an ounce of fear in the girl and she really used her edges.

“Daddy I like the ice because it’s faster.”

The women called it a day at 2:30. I had 90 minutes to roam. The lower mountain was skiing really well, but a storm was moving in, and I wanted to go back to the summit to fully experience the snowfall. I rode the Gondola, and did two laps on Hawkeye.

Pine Knot

After 3 pm, the mountain was deserted. Snow was piling up on Cloud and there were some nice turns down skiers right. I pulled up at Open Pit to take a look. It was snowing hard, it was cold, and I was alone at the end of the day. It was almost like being on the dark side.

9 comments on “Gore Mountain, NY: 12/27/11

  1. Harvey, I agree that a Christmas ski trip is a great family activity. I have some friends who were looking at coming up this week and among other things wanted to ski a few days with their teenage son. I was shocked when i called Whiteface and asked what the daily ticket prices were considering only 25% of the hill was open. They informed me they were charging full Holiday rates, $84/day adult and $69/teens. Same policy at Gore. Upon informing my friends they promptly changed plans saying they couldn’t justify spending that much $$ for so little terrain. Are all/most areas charging the full shot this week just because its a Holiday period? Doesn’t seem fair.

  2. You have that right. Holiday rates are holiday rates. Especially at state owned ski areas. Keep a saved search at ebay for Gore lift tickets. I’ve gotten cheaper vouchers there.

  3. “I like the ice because it’s faster.” Yeah!!

    Insofar as rates at state-owned ski areas, I skied xc at Mt van Ho this week. The two days they were open, they charged a reduced rate due to limited terrain.

  4. From a skier’s perspective I understand the pricing beef. But the issue is ton of financial pressure this season. The state-run mountains have the addition political pressures that come with tight budgets. Christmas, MLK and President’s holiday revenue determine the outcome of the season. This puts the mountains in a tough spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gore spends 20% of their season’s snowmaking budget this week. That makes it hard to offer a discounted price on lift tix. The ORDA hills may feel that they have to show success to get funded next season.

  5. Most ski areas are charging full price on the holidays. Snowmaking costs money! In Tahoe people are paying over $90 to ski the WROD. They have not had any natural snow either.

  6. Mt Bachelor was charging $72. We paid 148 for 2 adults and 2 teenagers for 4 days of skiing. The best value in the US..

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