Worst conditions I have ever skied on.
Now that that's out of the way. As many of you probably know, the Northeast got blasted by several days of warm air (not just above freezing, but WARM), coupled with the dreaded R-word. Gore Mountain got nailed by three days of rain, only stopping on Thursday, just in time for my group's arrival on Friday.
What did this mean? Well, no open glades for one. Because the rain ate away a good portion of their early season base. Loose Granular for second, combined with slush the consistency of mashed potatoes at the base. Lots of exposed patches, very thin cover, lots of rocks, and generally difficult conditions.
You would think that all this would mean I have a bad weekend. Well, it was still a blast.
First day, I took to exploring as much of the mountain as I could, as Gore has an awkward layout, spread over a very expansive terrain (Summit to Base Lodge is almost 3 miles on the "easy" trail that connects them, and it's a very straight shot). Day two, I spent in the upper elevations, to avoid the messy slush at the base. Day three, I tried damn hard to demo a Blizzard Brahma 173mm, and, managed to, after some jerk took the ski for 2 hours (was supposed to be only 2 runs).
Impressions. Gore has some interesting trails up high, and on the north side. Beautiful trees, and nice and windy, like Sleeping Bear (Saddle Lodge to North Chair), or steep and twisty like Hawkeye and Open Pit (black diamond from the Saddlebrook Chair). I tried Lies (the only open Double Black this weekend) as my second last run on the third day, and it was very steep, and very very icy till the midpoint (where all the snow fell too from everyone skidding is my guess).
I was forced to really be on my game, both in making tight maneuvers around exposed rocks and through sticky slushy bumps, as well as in balancing on slush that was sticking to my skis, and begging to pull me down.
I kept the brakes on for most of the weekend (probably scared myself a little after having a ski pop clean off at high speed on Twister (makes me think I may be ready for a new ski, one that isn't so squirrelly, or that I might be an aggressive enough skier now to up my DIN settings again).
Food at Gore is only so-so, and I prefered bringing sandwiches from off mountain than paying for the stuff on. It's run by New York State, so everything still sort of feels like it's from the 70s, and the chairs, aside from the new Adirondack Express II are painfully slow. Despite that, depending on how you plan your routes, you can get some very long runs before needing to go back onto a chair.
I feel like I can't give Gore a rating at this time, as judging based on the worst conditions just isn't fair. I think that no matter how great the snow could be, that they really need to invest in some more high speed chairs (the High Peaks Double is painfully slow), especially when you have limited open terrain, forcing people to take slow chairs back to the major junctions on the mountain.