Gore Mountain, NY: 12/20/07

Ski Day 5: Last day of fall was a great day to ski. And once again the place was empty. Everything was packed pow at least, and in some spots better. I didn’t see anything gray all day. We got maybe 2″ on top last night and in a lot of places that was on top of the corduroy. I checked the website in the base lodge at 7:30 and they were only listing the Cave and Pinebrook as open glades. That turned out to be BS as most of everything was open, without a rope.

In the Gondi, I connected with another tele guy I’d never met – Zach. We skied together almost the whole day. Hard to find a tele skier whose not a total ripper, that I can keep up with. This guy was perfect – maybe 20% better than me. My first run in two weeks, and for some reason, I went to the Cave. It’s reasonably easy with well space trees and options, until you get to the runout where line choice is really limited.

If you ski at Gore, you know that the Cave isn’t really on the way anywhere. If you get there and it’s closed, you’re then committed to a trip back to the lower mountain. Web site had it open, Ski Pat told me it was open – so I went under the rope. I’m not much of a rope ducker as I still haven’t figured what ropes to ignore and which ones to respect. Coverage was good in there. Really good. I did get spanked and ended upside down at one point – probably should have done some warm up. I’ve got too much of a weekend warrior mentality – better get it while it’s good.

In reality, no one was there and the Cave was good most of the day. We got lucky on Lies. The sun came out for about 30 mins all day, right when we hit Lies. It was soft and carvable for 2 runs with the fresh on it on the sun softening it. It was really too warm for my taste today – high temp was about 28. But it made Lies sweet. We hit the Straightbrook glades, Mineshaft and Double Barrel, the lower half of DB was the pick of the day.

After Zach took off around two, I dragged my exhausted self up there and did 3 more laps on it. I could barely get my skis around by the time I finished. My last run down I hit Twister, which had been roped off for a racing event all day. Love that…the racers take one line all day. They opened the run at the end of the day…. and you hit the sides. I took skiers right all the way down, in the fresh from last night – at 3:30 pm. It was freaky because the lower mountain was in an intense fog, like you might see in Switzerland, you couldn’t see anything. It’s a great drill to feel and respond to the terrain with your feet, without looking. It was so foggy I ended up on 1A by mistake and finished out the run on Showcase.

I heard some local talk that folks were hitting the darkside today. I don’t know the topography well enough to do that without a running lift. The talk is that the darkside will open officially tomorrow, with all the possibilities over there. If you’re a Gore lover, get out there tomorrow. You won’t be disappointed.

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