Building Backwoods

The New Intermediate Trail on Burnt Ridge Mountain.

We interviewed Kurt Wisell, former Gore Mountain Operations Manager, and current NYSEF Trail Crew and Gore fanatic. Kurt was in the room when the first ski trails were conceptualized on Burnt Ridge Mountain in 2002.


Two Skiers on a trail

Kurt has been planning and working on new trails for Gore Mountain for a while, 13 years to be exact. He helped plan and make your favorite trails here like Topridge, Ruby Run, and Echo. With 50 years of trail work experience, including a resume filled with blasting and grooming credentials. Kurt walked the woods, looking at the nature of Burnt Ridge Mountain, and began planning. The goal for this trail was for it to be rated for novice to intermediate abilities, that it wouldn’t interfere with the glades or wetlands, and it would end above the Roaring Brook Bridge, making more direct access to the North Creek Ski Bowl. When we asked Kurt how he planned the route, he said, “because of all of these factors and to keep it less than 25% grade pitch, we had to follow the land.” You’ll find tons of great turns as you travel the Backwoods trail.

The trail starts with a straight and mellow pitch and a beautiful northeast view, and then a few almost banked turns and one big hairpin turn. This “switchback” type turn keeps the pitch low so that it could remain a Blue Square. With Kurt’s background in grooming, he also thought about ease of maintenance and how this trail would get groomed, keeping it easy to groom with fewer passes for the cats. Not only will this trail be easy to groom, but for our snowmakers, this trail is equipped with all-new HKD tower guns that are mounted right to the snowmaking pipes, allowing for a faster and more efficient start-up for the snowmaking crew.

We asked Kurt what his favorite thing about the trail was. He boasted that he got to hike it while it was under construction with his wife, Diane. These two can’t wait to ski the new trail, Backwoods, this winter. Can you?

Backwoods opened on January 26, 2023.
Come shred this tremendous new trail!

Backwoods Open