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Okemo
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Updated 9 months ago
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9 months ago

I am getting ready to finish up my skiing season with 2 days at Okemo, March 1 and 2.  This year I’ve managed 2 days at Snowshoe, 2 days at Timberline, and now 2 days at Okemo.

Best of all, my wife is going with me, and we’ll be skiing together one day and then I’ll be skiing solo one day.  We’ll be staying off-mountain.  This will be her first time back in skis for a couple years and that’s pretty exciting.  I thought she’d hung them up for good.

I skied Okemo 1 day last year, so I’m fairly familair with the mountain.

But what about the town?  Any of you have favorite breakfast/coffee spots or dinner spots?

 

9 months ago

The town of Ludlow is good. Small, walkable, with a few eateries/pubs/diners and a good burrito place and a fancy place. Free shuttles to the lifts from all over town.

9 months ago

MDSkiGuy wrote:

I am getting ready to finish up my skiing season with 2 days at Okemo, March 1 and 2. 

Hoping winter has returned by these dates. We’ll be behind you by a few days and further south at Mt. Snow.

9 months ago

Yeah, the forecast is looking a bit iffy.  Some coldish nights, but some warmer days.  I was in southern VT last year about this time and on March 4 first thing in the morning my car said -1 degrees.  On Okemo it was 5 degrees at the summit and 15 at the base all day.  We’ll see how it goes this year.  I had originally had some hope of checking out Mt. Snow, but not enough time.

9 months ago

The weather was variable at Okemo on March 1st and 2nd.  Thursday (the 1st) was the day DW and I were skiing together.  The weather had been warm for a few days and the place was looking a bit bedraggled.  The snow was quite thick and clumpy.  Mashed potatoes comes to mind.  DW was feeling quite unsteady having been off skis for a couple of years, and the snow wasn’t helping, so we started with some beginner greens near the lodge (Fairway, Open Slope, and Kettlebrook) for a bit.  Okemo can’t control the weather but they can control their response.  One mistake they made was building a temp terrain park for a weekend event in such a way that several easy greens had their access to the lift blocked.  There was a throughway but it was so steep and the snow was in such bad shape that the skiers needing the green took off their skis and walked down.  I skied down it easily enough but I could see why a beginner would be uneasy.

After lunch we headed up the Sunburst Six to the summit.  I had intended to take her up Sachem for a progressively easy green, but it was closed.  I think it must be closed during the week.  Mistake #2, in my book.  Sachem gives access to the Sachem trail and without it, green choices to progress off the base area are limited.

Anyway, from the lift we took Solitude, the only green available.  That broke DW.  Between the size of the green and the condition of the snow she had a tough time getting down the mountain, and by the time we got to the base area, she was done.  She insisted that I stay and ski and she took the car back to our hotel.  I spent the remaining couple of hours alternately cursing and loving the snow.  They groomed a section of Lower Mountain Road right in front of me and the freshly corduroyed soft snow was actually buttery, like they all like to say.  Other places the clumps were so difficult to deal with that I fell over once going about 2 miles an hour because I fought the snow and the snow won.

Friday was my day to ski alone and I was concerned because the forecast was for snow then rain.  We woke up to snow on the ground on Friday and more coming down.  After a visit a local cafe for some coffee and baked goods DW headed off to the spa and I headed back to the slopes.  I started off pondering to what extent I wanted to ski in the rain, and what that would even be like.

But not to worry, there was about 5 minutes of snowy rain and then the rest of the day was snow and more snow.  I was feeling a bit timid because of lingering clumpiness and existing injury and so I skied all the accessible greens and then some of the blues, then I discovered Tuckered Out, a blue on the far right side of Jackson Gore.

The trail starts at the Jackson Gore summit and that day the summit wind was fierce.  Once you’re off the lift you have to pole into the wind even to get to the trail.  The beginning is a nice series of up and down rollers good for cruising, although with the wind it was slow motion cruising. Then you drop off the ridge and out of the wind and through a couple of gentle turns and there’s a sharpish turn and I’m thinking, okay here we go it’s going to turn blue, but then it’s a nice straight-away with a couple of rollers and a few more gentle turns and you’re just cruising along with the snow and the trees. Then there’s another turn and then another one and you think okay, here we go, but it’s another nice easy section, and then there’s another turn and another and some fairly steep sections and another turn and it’s blue for sure and then I’m thinking whew this is wearing me out and then there’s a another turn and I’m thinking okay enough is enough and then you see the top of the lower mountain lift through the trees and suddenly you’re on easy street, well, not really easy street, that’s another trail, this one is called Expresso, but it should be easy street because it’s a quick easy run down from the end of Tuckered Out to the entrance to the upper mountain lift and before you know it you’re in the bubble lift back to the top.  I skied it like a dozen times.

I have to give Okemo props on Tuckered Out.  It is a well-designed run.  It isn’t just a steeper green, it has easy sections and harder sections and the terrain is varied enough that no two runs feel the same.

On the way up we stopped by Louie and Ernie’s in the Bronx for some New York slices to eat in the car.  Highly recommended.  We also stopped at the Dr. Suess National Sculpture Garden in Springfield, MA, interesting if you like that kind of thing, and a few stores of various types.

Overall a good trip.  I would like to return next year, but may not because of DW’s experience.  Maybe something else in the general area.

I’ve got a couple of pictures and when I have an opportunity to figure out the DCSki picture-posting method I’ll add them.

 

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