Snowstorm in North Creek better late than never

Playing in the snow in North Creek

Playing in the snow in North Creek Samantha Kimbrell

— On Thursday, March 1, prayers were answered for tourism industry workers and school children alike. It was a snow day.

Between 10 and 15 inches of snow fell on the Gore Mountain Region, causing many school districts — including the Johnsburg, Indian Lake, and Minerva schools — to close for the day on March 1. Many kids were playing in the snow, and many — old and young alike — were headed to the local ski centers.

“It was a real shot in the arm,” Gore Mountain General Manager Michael Pratt said. “It got everybody excited.”

The business community, which relies heavily on skier traffic, has been anticipating a good snowfall for most of the winter. While ski conditions have been great, the mild winter has scared away many would-be skiers this year.

Gore Mountain hadn’t been at full capacity until this past weekend, when 100 percent of the trails were open on Friday and Saturday, March 2-3.

“It made the business community very happy,” Gore Mountain Region Chamber of Commerce Director Pat Hamilton said about the snowstorm. “It was a really nice weekend.”

This was also the first time this year the Hudson Chair — connecting the Ski Bowl with Gore Mountain — has been used. It was open Friday through Sunday, according to Pratt. Locals have been eagerly awaiting the chairlift’s opening.

Asked why the Hudson Chair is so important to the community, Pratt said, “It’s the heritage. When we put in the lift, we replaced the T-bar that had been installed in 1946. The goal was always getting back to the Ski Bowl.”

As for spring skiing, Gore Mountain last made snow during Presidents Week and is relying on Mother Nature and a deep base to keep skiers happy through the end of the season on Easter Sunday, April 8. March is typically the snowiest month, so Pratt is optimistic about the rest of the year.

“There’s still quite a bit of time left,” Pratt said.

As of Wednesday, March 7, Gore Mountain reported six lifts and 49 trails open (68 percent of terrain). There was a base of 20-41 inches. And 14.5 inches of new snow had fallen over the past week.

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