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Tale of 2 Mountains: Gore & Stratton

post #1 of 3
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Skied Gore Thursday and Stratton today. Holiday crowd avoidance was big in deciding to ski Gore and the strategy paid off. Got to the mountain about 8:40 and was able to park pretty close. No lines. About half the runs were open with some on just about every aspect of the mountain. Conditions were pretty good. Better, actually, than I thought they would be, meaning less icy and not at all chunky. It snowed about an inch an hour for most of the afternoon giving us some softish fun to play with and causing the only lift lines of the day at the gondola because everyone was seeking a break from the heavy weather. Great day. We quit at 3 and drove back to Saratoga through the waning storm. Passed the remains of a couple of fender benders and a few cars spun off the Northway.

This morning we drove the backroads from Saratoga to Stratton. I wouldn't have chosen Stratton this week, but we were meeting some folks who have a certain affection for the place, having grown up skiing there. It took longer than I thought to negotiate the backroads and by the time we passed the main lodge it was 10AM. Had to drive to Sunbrook as all main mountain lots were full. Parked about as far from the lodge as possible. Long line just to buy lift tickets. Long lift lines, but they did move pretty quickly. We mostly ran the singles lines which move really fast with those detachable 6-pac lifts that have been sprouting up over there. Conditions were very nice with just a bit of ice. Some trails were jam packed, some we had to ourselves. The kids were flying and we we're trying to keep up. I wonder where they learned to ski so fast? We skied their glades which had a hardish surface and some junk poking through but were not icy. Despite the late start, we skied to closing and got plenty of runs in. (No lines at all for the last hour.) Seemed like almost the whole mountain was open.

Easy and fast 3-hour drive back to Southern CT and here I am at the computer. Good trip.
post #2 of 3
Good call on Gore. It's really not a destination and only gets crowded on weekends. Holiday weeks are generally what you saw. I've skied there during February break and found the same things you did.

I've only been to Stratton once (during another February break) and didn't find the crowds overwhelming. We got there early (we were staying at Mt. Snow) and were able to park close.
post #3 of 3
When the conditions are good (usually mid february) and Gore is close to 100 percent open, I think it's one of the best mountains to ski in the east-the lower skier density and middle class attitude is just an added bonus.

If you know where to look there are some great tree runs at Gore, good steeps (though short) and some legitimately class-act bump runs. Some really wonderful, tight and narrow 9and somettimes steep) old-fashion ski runs too (like Upper darby and te Steilhang). I love the way the mountain is divided up with each face serving up a different feel.

And the Adirondack are rather beautiful in their craggy, ruggedness.

The Cost of stratton is a drag-but the mid-week skiing there is always pretty good-and because of the nature of the clientele-you can find huge amounts of untracked terrain in the trees days after a snowfall.
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