Gore Mountain Intermediate Skiing

Gore Mountain’s intermediate skiing is amongst the best in the Northeast. The Northwoods Area, Gore’s main frontside area, offers a tremendous variety of blue runs from winding trails to open slopes.

Northwoods Area Intermediate Skiing

The bulk of Gore Mountain’s intermediate skiing is found on the frontside of the mountain in the Northwoods Area. Intermediate skiers can explore all of Gore’s seven faces, but many blue skiers will stick to the Northwoods. Were this part of the mountain a separate resort, it would be impressive in its own right. Two main lifts come up from the base – the Northwoods 8-passenger gondola and the new Adirondack II Express Quad. The gondola goes to the very summit of Bear Mountain while the quad goes to the Saddle Lodge.

The runs from the summit to the Saddle are amongst the weakest on the mountain. They receive a tremendous amount of traffic and are invariably scraped down to ice. Foxlair is classified as a blue, but its final pitch down to just below the saddle is on the more difficult end of the intermediate spectrum.

There are a dozen or so blue trails below the saddle which can be skied in various sections. Crossing from one run to another provides a seemingly limitless number of possible runs, all of which are long enough to be legburners.

Twister is the class of the group, zigging and zagging its way uninterrupted from just below the Saddle Lodge. Under the quad chair, Showcase follows the liftline with a series of dips and rolls. The lift towers are numbered and whipping down the trail at high speed can feel like a countdown to liftoff. Another favorite run is the oft-overlooked Quicksilver trail.

Straightbrook Area Intermediate Skiing

The Staightbook Area has only two intermediate options – Cloud and Upper Steilhang. One of the earliest trails on Gore Mountain, Cloud is accessed by poling around the old gondola summit building and past the entrance to Rumor. Cloud runs from the summit until splitting into Lower Cloud and Headwaters. Upper Steilhang runs parallel to Cloud, but most skiers inexplicably pole over to Cloud instead of the far more interesting (and less crowded) Upper Steilhang. Both trails ski to the North and offer spectacular views of the Adirondack High Peaks in the distance. The trails merge into Lower Cloud near the entrance to the super steep Lower Steilhang.

Turning right from Cloud on Headwaters brings skiers back to the Straightbrook Quad. Continuing straight on Lower Cloud returns skiers to the Saddle Lodge. Be foreward – the last several hundred yards of Lower Cloud are extremely flat. It is advisable to carry as much speed as possible from the Straightbrook Area to reach the Saddle without skating or poling.

From the bottom of the Straightbrook Quad, intermediates can follow the Tannery trail to reach the Topridge Triple.

Topridge Area Intermediate Skiing

Topridge has only one intermediate option – Pine Knot. This trail is the main route from the top of gondola (Bear Mountain) to the advanced steeps of the Straightbrook Area. As a result, it is often icy. Moreover, Pine Knot’s series of double-fall line turns makes it amongst the harder blue runs on the hill.

After reaching the Straightbrook Quad, blue skiers can turn left to head down the much flatter and wider Tannery trail to reach the Topridge Triple. From there, the Topridge Triple carries them back to the summit of Bear Mountain and the gondola summit station.

High Peaks/Darkside Area Intermediate Skiing

The High Peaks Area is home to some of Gore’s most interesting blue terrain. The trails in the High Peaks are amongst the oldest on the mountain. They were cut by hand and follow the natural topography of the hill while offering long views of tallest peaks of the Adirondacks in the distance.

Dropping off to the skier’s left from Lower Cloud are two short blue runs which are accessed via the Cloud trail – Santanoni and Little Cloud. These short headwalls empty into a runout that leads to the High Peaks Double. Continuing past the chairlift is the flat Wood Out connector trail which leads to the North Side.

North Side Intermediate Skiing

The North Side is home to Gore’s gentlest intermediate terrain. Many blue skiers head straight for the gondola and run head-on into some of the mountain’s more challenging intermediate terrain. Instead, low level intermediates would be advised to take the Adirondack Express from the base to the Saddle Lodge. There, the entrance to the more gentle slopes of the North Side are just a few hundred feet away.

In addition to being overlooked by intermediate skiers anxious to ride the gondola, the North Side is bypassed by veteran Gore skiers who prefer the more challenging terrain elsewhere on the hill. As a result the North Side’s blue runs are generally uncrowded. Additionally because all the runs are north-facing, they tend to hold the snow better. Low traffic and cold snow combine for outstanding surface conditions. Low level skiers will enjoy the diminished crowds, lessened crowds and better snow. The only downside to the North Side is relatively limited vertical drop (750′) and a slow lift.

Of the three blue trails on the North Side, Tahawus is the least straight and most interesting. The beginner Pete Gay trail on the skier’s left of the pod is the second best trail out of the set.

Burnt Ridge Area Intermediate Skiing

The Echo trail on Burnt Ridge is one of the best blue runs on the mountain. It is a long intermediate cruiser with no trail junctions. This allows for high speed turns the whole length of the trail.

From the top of the Burnt Ridge Express Quad, skiers can head over the back and down to the base of the North Quad on the newly-cut Hedges trail. This fun short trail meanders through a grove of trees that overhang the trail, giving it a tunnel-like feel.

North Creek Ski Bowl Intermediate Skiing

Many intermediate skiers bypass the North Creek Ski Bowl altogether. After a long, slow flat pole over on the Pipeline Traverse, many a blue skier who had intended to head for the Ski Bowl simply decided to head to the base of Burnt Ridge instead. In skipping the left turn over the bridge to the Ski Bowl, however, they missed out on some of Gore’s least crowded and most relaxing intermediate skiing. The Oak Ridge trail from the top of the Ski Bowl links with Moxham for a fun blue run through the hardwoods.


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