A group of youthful skiers pause on their way down a slope at Gore Mountain Nov. 17 to celebrate the prime conditions they encountered on the 2018-19 opening day of the region’s premier ski resort.
Photo by Thom Randall
NORTH CREEK | Skiers enjoyed outstanding conditions over Gore Mountain’s initial two weekends of the 2018-19 season, and the ski resort hosted substantial crowds, Gore publicist Emily Stanton said Monday.
“We are excited about a very solid start to a great winter ahead,” she said, noting that Gore has trails open to accommodate skiers of all abilities.
She said attendance so far this year reflects a big increase over recent seasons.
On Black Friday, a large number of people chose to ski rather than to shop, as Gore hosted 1,700 skiers. The next day, the ski center had about 2,000 people on the slopes. The attendance was nearly double that of opening weekend, which Stanton also hailed as busy.
She said that both Gore’s summit and its High Peaks area, each rated for expert skiers, were open.
“The natural snowfall we’ve experienced has allowed us to have both of these areas open — a great deal more terrain than usual for this time of year,” she said.
The lower half of the mountain, which hosts intermediate skiing as well as terrain for first-time skiers, is also open. This last weekend, the ski center started its daily operation for the 2018-19 season.
“We’re offering top-to-bottom skiing over a mix of trails, with a combination of natural and man-made snow,” Stanton said.
Gore received a total of 19 inches of snowfall from three storms over the week preceding the ski center’s Nov. 17 opening, she said.
Also, the Nordic Center at North Creek Ski Bowl — operated by Gore management — opened Nov. 17, and its daily use by cross country skiers and snowshoers began Nov. 23.
This year, Gore’s snow cover is likely to be deeper and more trails will likely be open every week, because the ski center’s snowmaking capabilities have been increased substantially, she said.
Gore has nearly 400 new snow guns, as well as new air compressors, plus a new pump house and piping to feed the guns — which will increase water pumping capacity by 42 percent. Stanton said this equates to 2,000 more gallons per minute.
“These upgrades will assure a prime skiing experience, particularly in the early season,” she said. “We now can get trails open quicker.”
Another major upgrade to Gore Mountain is pending. Construction has nearly concluded on a large two-level addition to the ski resort’s base lodge that doubles the size of the ski center’s Tannery Pub & Restaurant. The new space will seat up to 350 people and offer a year-round venue for banquets, weddings and conferences. The lower level addition not only features more lockers, but it will host the brand-new headquarters for the season-long Mountain Adventure programs for children.