Record high temperatures settled in for the first half of the autumn season, but they have dropped and snowmaking crews made use of recent New York State investments in snowmaking to open state facilities ahead of schedule. Gore and Whiteface Mountains began the 2017-2018 season last Saturday, a week earlier than originally planned. The Mt. Van Hoevenberg Cross Country Ski Center opens Friday, November 24.
Trail volunteers have been working to clear ski the region’s trails and a few early cross-country tracks were made on the smoother terrain in the Tri-lakes this week. There was about 5 inches of snow at the Paul Smith’s College VIC on Tuesday, and there has been some early skiing at the golf courses around the Tri-Lakes, but conditions will be weather dependent over the next few days. A chance of snow showers are in the forecast for the weekend.
The Whiteface Memorial Highway has been skied since early November. Phil Brown skied the Highway on Tuesday and reported it was still skiable, but “conditions have deteriorated due to wind and thaw.”
Whiteface’s downhill facilities opened Saturday with summit to base skiing and snowboarding off Little Whiteface to include Excelsior, Summit Express, Upper Valley, Lower Valley, Fox, Broadway and the Mixing Bowl.
Gore Mountain saw over 800 guests on their opening weekend. Approximately three miles of terrain and a selection of freestyle features opened for intermediate and expert levels on Saturday and Sunday; Gore anticipates beginner trails to be available starting Friday, November 24. That day will also mark the start of daily operations for both downhill and Nordic skiing at Gore.
Snowmakers work around the clock as weather permits, with priorities at Gore on beginner terrain, Foxlair, Wild Air, and Nordic loops at the North Creek Ski Bowl. More trails are expected to open there for Thanksgiving Weekend, along with the high-speed Northwoods Gondola.
The “Gore Mountain Gives” drive provides lift ticket discounts daily through Friday, December 15 in exchange for non-perishable food donations. The drive generates thousands of pounds of food each year for the regional food pantry.
The Paul Smith’s College VIC passes can be purchased online, and day passes can be purchased in person at the VIC beginning December 2nd. Cross-country skis and snowshoes are available for rent.
Finally, a reminder that the Mr. Van Lean-to on the Mr. Van Ski Trail lean-to was hit by a tree and is unusable.
Each Thursday the Adirondack Almanack reports the latest outdoor recreation conditions, including a general ski report, here.
Photo of Whiteface opening day, courtesy ORDA/ Whiteface Lake Placid.