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Warm temps force Gore to close early

Bill Constant, of Albany, enjoys skiing at Gore Mountain in North Creek Thursday, March 22, the last day of the season.

Bill Constant, of Albany, enjoys skiing at Gore Mountain in North Creek Thursday, March 22, the last day of the season. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— On Thursday, 22 trails were open with four lifts, including the Northwoods Gondola and three chairs closer to the summit: the Topridge Triple, High Peaks Chair and Straight Brook Quad.

Terrain was open for upper-level intermediates and experts only, and some walking was required on the open trails.

Gore Mountain opened the ski season the day after Thanksgiving, but it was rough going after that, with warm temperatures and a lack of snowfall throughout the winter.

“This is my 13th winter at Gore, and this is weather I’ve never experienced before,” Stanton said. “I’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve been around a lot longer than me and they say the same. It’s been frustrating for us, but at the same time we’ve been encouraged by all the great words our skiers and riders have told us.”

The ski industry throughout the East took a big hit this year. Talking with her competitors and partners in the business, Stanton said many ski centers saw up to a 30 percent drop in business. Luckily, Gore is only 15 percent off its average season.

“This year we were fortunate to have installed 160 new tower guns before opening the ‘11-12 winter season, and if there’s one year that could have been better timed, I can’t imagined what it is,” Stanton said. “So I know we were able to overcome a lot of challenges with that snowmaking improvement and with our ideal location next to the Hudson River.”

After a March 1 snowstorm dumped more than a foot of snow in North Creek, Gore had 100 percent of its trails open for the first and only time this season, for two days. That included the Hudson Chair connection to the North Creek Ski Bowl, a ski center owned by the town of Johnsburg.

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