Ah, early spring, with a hint of a summer breeze in the air, promising the eventual return of warmth and heat. It is time to enjoy that beautiful short lived season of Spring Skiing—a precious time where sunshine reigns, the snow has yet to turn to mashed potatoes, and bombing the slopes in your t-shirt is not only allowed, it’s encouraged.
Until the showers of April, and the warmth of May, now is the sweet spot for late season skiing—the polar vortex has ended, but we’ve had such beautiful precipitation that there is still an abundance of snow (even on the East Coast!) and the resorts are staying open even longer than usual.
Instead of heading to the crowded honey traps of Vermont this weekend, head to Gore Mountain—-a gem of a mountain tucked away in the Adirondacks of New York that has everything you need for the ultimate family skication.
Gore is the kind of place that evokes fond memories of skiing as a child—big roaring fires, a little bit of chaos as Mom and Dad make their way to the lodge with armfuls of skis and boots, and an entire slope side of fun.
It’s a mountain where generation after generation of skiers come back, in bigger groups each year, as the families grow and grow and share this sacred sport with their loved ones.
WHO TO BRING
One of the biggest gifts you can give your kids is early ski lessons—every great skier I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing a chairlift with has emphasized that within their own family. The great John Egan tipped me off to a little secret—duct taping your little ones ski shoes to play skis as soon as they can walk, so they learn to love the sensation of a ski beneath their toes.
Teaching your children to ski at an early age encourages independence, nutures their adventurous ambitious, and gives them a way to experience a really fun sport as early as three years old. We took on the gargantuan task of heading to the slopes to refresh, renew, and teach the next generation of Alister & Paine journalists how to shred.
WHERE TO STAY
One of the things we love most about Gore is the accessibility—pretty much a straight shot from the Lincoln Tunnel and in just a few hours later we arrived at Ski Bowl Village, a new housing development solution that is taking the mountain from being a typical NY resort (i.e. no lodging on-site) to one of the first and only luxury ski-in and ski-out villages that doesn’t require an eight hour drive to Vermont. Right now they’ve built a few beautiful Adirondack style homes that are rentable and also for sale, but there’s also a gorgeous boutique hotel in the works—all with access to the new lift line that was added this year, eliminating the need for the parking lot shuttle; drop-the-gear-at-the-lodge-first-shuffle-around-in-ski-boots-on-ice fiasco that gets real old real quick.
We sped up to Ski Bowl Village, and were soon relaxing in front of the fire, surrounded by the warmth of the home and taking in all its of rustic aspects, like the local wood built into the ceiling and the stone from the local mine sanded into the countertops. The next morning we all arrived at ski school a little sleepy, full of high hopes and only a tiny bit of fear (mostly from the Moms; the kids were ready to be released into the wild). The staff there was super attentive and took over from the first moment, letting the kids get comfortable in their zone and getting them outfitted to head out. They whisked them away as soon as they were ready, and when we snuck around the corner to watch their progress we could tell they were having a blast.
WHERE TO SKI
With the kids all sorted, the adults headed to the slopes to explore a mountain that has the most skiable glades in the Northeast. It’s a surprisingly big mountain, with lots of connecting slopes and different levels for the scared newbie, chill cruiser or adventure seeker black diamond-er. Booking a private lesson is the best way to get to know the mountain quickly, so you can navigate to the sections that correlate with your ability best. After a few days on mountain we were officially skied out, but the kids weren’t—the teachers are so in sync with how to teach them that they were making proper turns and getting down the bunny hill pretty successfully after just one weekend. The investment was made, but we’ll be back—it takes a few seasons for a lifetime of knowledge and fun.
The sun is shining, the skies are blue and the snow is still falling. Book a home at Ski Bowl Village, buy some lift tickets, book a weekend of ski school and head North to Gore Mountain for a last ski hurrah of the season.