At NYSkiBlog, there’s no question that at times, the tail wags the dog. Yes, we’re looking for great conditions and interesting terrain. But we’re also looking for stories from New York and Vermont, at hills we haven’t covered recently, with bonus points for anything old school. It does complicate the search for snow.
When I’m looking at ski options for the days ahead, I start my research on our NY Weather page. From there, I drill down into any one of our specific National Weather Service Office pages. Information from each of seven NWS eastern offices is the basis for these pages in our weather center.
Most often I use our NWS ALY page which covers Gore, McCauley, Hunter, Belle and Southern VT. It’s our most visited “office” page and to increase the value of the page as a planning tool, we’ve added Plattekill, Snow Ridge and Whiteface, even though they technically fall outside of the NWS ALY coverage area. Those hills are often in the mix for me, when I’m focused on our NWS ALY page. I do also use our NWS BTV, BGM and BUF pages.
After analysis of potential snowfall, the editorial side comes in to play. What mountain is the story this week? How long has it been since we wrote about the mountain? And, of course, how many times can Harv legitimately write about Gore in a single season? It does simplify life when the new snow is the story.
Last week things didn’t exactly go to plan. The northeast snowfall map certainly seemed to be directing me to Gore, with a forecast snowfall that was only 20% less than Killington. This time, the forecast and logistics won out; I skied Gore. The ease of staying at our cabin, for two relatively cheap ski days, with new snow in the forecast… this time, the dog wagged his tail.
When I arrived Friday evening, the ground was bare and my car scampered right up our steep driveway. Saturday morning it was snowing as I headed over to the hill. It was forecast to start snowing after 11am.
I met up with Duck just before getting first chair. Up top, there was most of an inch down, and first tracks were quite fun; farther down things got firmer. It snowed most of the morning, and by 11am it was really coming down. By mid-morning there was a pretty good crowd, but it didn’t last past about 1:30. It snowed all afternoon and the skiing was very good. It was fun throwing down tele-turns in soft snow on gentle pitches.
At noon, Duck had to jet, but I was picked up pretty quickly by JD, Eric and Kleetus. They found me, and I really appreciated the company. We made one trip up to Top Ridge, to ski it twice, but the skiing just wasn’t as good. The pitch of Top Ridge wasn’t holding snow as well as the rest of the lower mountain, so we headed back down. Sleeping Bear was my pick for trail of the day, but all of it was good, mostly.
I skied the whole day, with just two short breaks. I don’t really do that anymore, unless the snow is excellent. When I got back to the cabin, I ate, downloaded my pics and crashed. Sunday morning started with a 5am alarm, to drain the pipes and pack for drive home from Gore at the end of the ski day.
As long as I’ve know freeheeln, he’s skied every Wednesday and Sunday. He and fixheeln found me before first chair and we rode together. As expected the new snow really improved the quality of everything. It was actually best after it got a little cutup. There was a lot of nice loose snow to turn in.
I feel compelled to reflect back the groundswell of positive vibes I felt coming from Gore skiers, about the product on the hill. Through two major rain events Gore maintained a base that was thick enough to absorb it and remain skiable. All open terrain was ready to rock when mother natured delivered eight inches of perfect and dense natural snow.
In the morning I booted in the lodge, when it was deserted. It sure is nice to boot up inside. I tried to follow the rules as laid out in the signage. I wore my mask indoors, I rode the quad normally, and I took one trip to the top of Bear with two guys I knew who were fully vaxxed. At the end of the day when I left the lodge was again, empty.
I saw some shade online about the crowds and lines at Gore. I guess technically it was crowded, primarily on Sunday morning. I’m sure it wasn’t close to a record number, but it was a lot of skiers for the amount of terrain that was open. Tip of the cap to the crew, from me. I think you balanced crowds and terrain pretty well.