Last Friday after 2 days of rain I went over to Okemo to ski. I did not go with much enthusiasm of great conditions but then again has anyone had that forethought when you prepared to go ski in the east this year? Of all the ski areas to choose from Okemo is one of the few areas that know how to systematically make snow and keep their trail as consistent as possible .
Taking that and all the factors against ski areas this season I was pleasantly surprised at the conditions that I found there. First after the 2 days of rain, we had a sunny day, there was a breeze that lowered the wind chill down a bit but at Okemo you can ride the Sunburst six or the Quantum four Lift. Both are yellow bubble chairs and pretty much keeps you out of the wind. Or, take some of the lower chairs that don’t quite make it to the top like the Solitude Quad and thus do not get the wind whipping over the top.
The trail surfaces were nicely groomed corduroy with very little ice, which was certainly unexpected after all the rain. Okemo’s staff knows what to do when it comes to where to put the snow when needed. Of course it was a Friday so the slopes were not crowded as shown below on Sidewinder.
In addition there were some guns going on Sapphire which in my opinion made it the trail of choice for the day. I must have skied it 5 times. Coleman Brook and Sidewinder were also in great shape along with Upper and Lower Arrow which brings you to the Clock Tower lodge and the bubbled six pack. The six pack had quite a few people waiting, It took about 5 minutes in that lift line. No problem at all!
The only issue was as the day progressed the trails seem to degrade and on the trip back to the Jackson Gore area you have to take lower Limelight. This trail is always an issue later in the day and gets very scratchy because of all the traffic. The only choice you have is to ski the edges where all the snow accumulates.
While skiing the Solitude lift the choice of lunch was simple. At the base of the lift there is the Epic restaurant where you can sit, relax and enjoy a different meal away from the standard fair of the typical ski lodge offerings. Epic has become a very popular place to have lunch and basically just a few dollars more than the cost of soup , burger and fries you can have a different interesting meal. Plus you get waited on in a comfortable atmosphere. More to come on the restaurant in a future blog.
So taking into consideration all the pluses and a few minuses, when the northeast ski season certainly has not been stellar, it turned out to be a great day of skiing. Of course the season is not over yet and there certainly could be some storms in March, so let’s hope so.