Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Adirondack Ski Conditions Roundup

New skis for Christmas? If so, your timing is about perfect. Snow conditions at Adirondack ski areas are arguably the best we’ve seen so far this season, and trail counts have been steadily expanding. If the storm that is predicted to drop a foot of snow region-wide tonight and tomorrow delivers as promised, ski conditions will be ideal.

We skied Sunday and Monday at Gore, where roughly 30% of the mountain’s trails were open. Snowmaking crews were at work getting more expert trails ready to come online. A very dense natural snow base on the unopened trails and in the glades means that trail counts could expand significantly with some natural snow. Recent reports from Whiteface show similar conditions there.

Elsewhere in the Adirondacks, Titus, Oak and McCauley are all open. Up-and-down temperatures in December gave the snowmaking crews at West Mountain and Willard a challenge, but both are opening for the season today. Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake is expected to open tomorrow, Thursday. New snow may allow Hickory Ski Center to also open. Many Adirondack cross-country ski centers are already open, but will obviously get a big boost from any natural snow that falls this week. Speaking of cross-country skiing, Gore recently announced a new 2 kilometer cross-country skiing trail at the North Creek Ski Bowl. According to General Manager Mike Pratt, “We are working on a 2K loop that will incorporate, but not interfere with, the areas we presently use for tubing and skiing. Multi-use terrain at the North Creek Ski Bowl increases the diversity of our winter activities, so more people can enjoy this region’s recreational opportunities.” Since snowmaking equipment at the Ski Bowl will keep the new trail covered, nordic skiing was expected to begin there today, with or without natural snow.

And if you don’t have plans for January 10, check out the Discover NY Skiing promotion. 10,000 lift tickets priced at $10.00 each will be available by sign up signing up in advance. You don’t have to pay until you’ve reached the mountain of your choice on January 10. Tickets are limited and vary in quantity for each participating ski area. As of today, available tickets were still available for many mountains, although some were already sold out.

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Jeff Farbaniec, of Saratoga County, is an avid telemark skier and a 46er who writes The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, a blog of his primarily Adirondack outdoor adventures.

Jeff's emphasis at the Almanack is on the ski sports - everything and anything related to Adirondack skiing. Jeff lives in Wilton, just south of the Blue Line, with his wife and their two young children.

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