Gore 3-23 & 24-19: a tale of 2 seasons

So we left Belle while it was still snowing (wow, they ended up with 18"! I added some pics to my TR) & headed up to North Creek. Saturday morning we got to Gore early & the parking lot already was jammed- unknown to us they were hosting a large NYSEF event so there were racers everywhere. Temp read 18F and the gondi was on wind hold so we got on the Adirondack Express up to mid-mountain. The wind was extremely strong- the final 300 yards was brutal. Seemed like a bad day in the middle of February. Sought refuge in the Saddle Lodge to warm up & decided to take some runs in the North Side which is in a valley protected from the winds. Gore picked up 6"-8" up top, while the lower mtn got a mix of snow/rain:
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^North Side trail. After a bunch of runs there, we took Pipeline Traverse to Paradox to get to the Burnt Ridge Quad which also was protected from the winds- that is, until the very top. Sagamore skied great- flat & groomed- inviting us to open the throttle. But best of all were the glades, like Barkeater where the snow was sweet:
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^That pic doesn’t do it justice- this middle section is steep, tight & bumped up. Abenaki & Boreas glades had the same great conditions. We then heard that the gondi was running so took our time to give the inevitable crowds boarding it some time to thin out, so we headed down Echo & its sheer cliffs to the base lodge for lunch. Took the gondi up & headed down into Top Ridge which was skiing really well, protected from the winds:
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Made our way towards Straight Brook Area, looming in the distance:
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Took the quad to the top of Hawkeye & took a couple of runs- we were saving Rumor til the end. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that they start shutting down Straight Brook early, even on the weekend, e.g. they roped off Chatiemac at 3:15 & the chair closes at 3:30. Seriously?? Started heading down Cloud, got a last run down Tahawus then back up the North Quad for a final run down Twister. The winds were still as strong as ever, and Twister was an absolute sheet of ice, with ppl falling everywhere. I doubt I’ve ever seen one trail with so much ice. Still, we didn’t let it ruin an otherwise very fine mid-winter type day.
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