I was planning another solo weekend when Mig let me know he was going to be in the neighborhood.  Turned out to be the best surprise of the season.

I got there as I usually do and headed up the triple to saddle lodge to leave the lunch for later.  Went up HP double and picked a glade route to get me to Straightbrook to meet Mig.  There's a fun little shot to the immediate left of the top of the lift to get started and miss a little of Cloud and then I went in a tiny notch off the side of Headwaters left that works down to the summit quad base.  The snow keeps accumulating more and more each time I get to Gore.  Some of the best I ever remember and it isn't even late Feb to March yet.

I took a jaunt up the summit and did double barrel main into Straightbrook Glade to kill a little time till Mig got there.  Of course everything wasn't virgin powder but the cover is phenomenal in all respects even out on the normally slid off rock exposed double  barrel.  

I waited about 10 minutes at the line and sure enough, there appeared the only skier on the mountain in gray rear entry Salomons.  I confess I didn't want to "overwhelm" Mig right off the bat with the usual hairball stuff I can sniff out and wondered if eventually he might consider the Grim Reaper at some point.  I asked what preference he might have and he said he wanted to "warm up" with the high entrance to Chattimac Glade but go all the way out to the right.  (AKA The Grim Reaper)  Okee doekey, this is going to be an interesting day.  

Warm up is quite the understatement from my view point.  I had every clothing vent open and steam building up between the two lens layers of my goggles. It was my first time out that far this season and what I heard from someone else turned out a fair assessment in that a lot of scraggly blow down was prevalent but sufficiently covered to not make it unmanageable.

 Up the Topridge Triple we head to find more adventure.  At some point Mig mentioned that a neat mental exercise is to try and remember all your runs at the end of the day or later evening.  I will try to summarize to the best of my ability.  Bushwhack the drainage/draw off Ruby Run into the top of Pine Know glade, up to summit, aforementioned off cloud shot to Headwaters to not so secret beyond cave glade #2 (my own label, nobody has put a sign on it yet :-)), back up to summit and into woods between Lies and Darby into some awesome well covered ledge drops and technical turn shots.  I really can't believe how well he managed those long skinny antique Salomons in that area.  Then it was back over Topridge and down Fairview to the Saddle for lunch.  They had seriously covered Fairview with man made that created soft bumps and made it really enjoyable as opposed to the usually terrifying try to survive to the bottom experience.

After lunch we did Tahawas glade for a re-warmup.  This is my favorite for terrain and snow cover and especially since Gore has been keeping the North area closed all weekdays to conserve  operational expenses. High quality powder results from leaving it dormant all week.  

Next we worked the High Peaks lift three times for Lower Steilhang, Dark Side Glades and Upper Darby into Darby woods.  Then we couldn't ride up the lift and watch people scooting down under the top of the lift on the right side of Open Pit any more so we decided to follow suit.  I remember it as being usually quite rock exposed with a lot of ice but not this time.  The lower section below the exit of Upper Darby was just as good.  Then it was back up to the summit with hopes of doing Double Barrel but the patrol had started roping off stuff in anticipation of sweep.  We picked a complete Lies shot and found it entertaining with good fresh man made moguls on top and wider spaced mogul-islands toward the bottom with it getting a little scraped between.

I wanted to try and get High Pines in so we headed to Topridge that was still open and had an awesome run down under the lift.  Coming back up Topridge we noticed the patrollers lining up to rope off more trails and I told Mig I didn't have enough in me to do one more Tahawas shot and ride up another lift.  So we headed down Twister and found a pair of race officials pulling up race course stakes but leaving the closed rope and signs up.  Mig got to sweet talking with them and before I knew it they were encouraging us to hurry under the rope while they never saw us.  Twister Glade turned out to be as good or better than I have ever seen it.  This may have had to do with it being closed quite a lot due to races but I have found deep off trail snow all the way to the base on the lower mountain.  

So that wasn't too bad for a whirlwind day and I figure we skied about twice as much as I anticipated.  It's a good thing Mig only had three days under his belt.  I couldn't have taken much more.  


--- On Sun, 2/1/09, Miguel Naughton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> From: Miguel Naughton <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: [SKIVT-L] Gore 2/1/09
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Sunday, February 1, 2009, 10:56 PM
> Hooked up with Jimski for a day of skiing at Gore.
> More people at the mountain than I expected, colder too. 
> But there is a
> ton of snow and it was great to have a guide to show me
> some new tree shots.
> Truly a pleasure to ski with someone who shares my skiing
> taste and likes
> to ski at almost exactly the same pace as I.
> The day ended with a nice surprise.  All weekend, the
> Twister run had been
> closed for a race.  So no access to the Twister glade.  As
> we skied down
> at the end of the day, there were two patrollers fiddling
> around with the
> rope at the top of Twister.  I asked if they were going to
> give us
> access to Twister glade.  The patroller said: "Nope,
> the run is closed, but
> if I were you, I would go for it anyway."  A minute or
> two later he waved us
> down for a reserved run.  Go figger...


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