The Re-Opening Belle

Something is in the water this year, up in Lake Placid, at ORDA.  Maybe it’s Snowmax. At all three mountains, the snow was deeper than any time in recent memory, and maybe deeper than ever.

Route 28

This season, the three state-run hills were the last to operate in NY, and it wasn’t even close. Belleayre closed for the last time on April 23, while Gore and Whiteface are still shooting for Sunday May 1.  This year a new closing date record is being set at Gore.

Most years there’s at least a chance that a private area will rival Whiteface for latest closing.

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Gore Mountain: Good Friday

When Gore is one of NY’s last men standing — and you have a season pass, and a beautiful day off, and you’re a wannabe ski writer — you’re going to ski it and write about it. That’s how it goes. More Gore.


This spring there have been rumors at Gore about pushing the season to the first weekend in May. I haven’t seen this done at Gore, since 2008, when I started keeping track. Then evidence of a conspiracy circulated on the internet. There it was, a digital reality, closing day, Sunday May 1.

Gore has blown a lot of snow this winter and it has extended the season.  Most obvious is “Mount Gondi” — the snowmaking remains of the trial run for next year’s University Games.

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What makes a great season?

The season’s not over, but the approaching end has me looking back. For the second year in a row it looks like I’ll hit 25 days, significantly below my long term average of 35. It was also the second consecutive season where snowfall was below average, especially in areas closest to home.

CRV in a snowstorm

Still, I find myself thinking I had a great season. How can that be, it makes no sense?

It is so, in part, because greatness is relative. It’s in the eye of skiing beholder. If you’re not local to the mountains, great seasons start with a good attitude and an eye on the medium-term forecast.

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