Okemo mountain Ski Resort has been up and running since December 8 and expects to have very close to full mountain operations this weekend. A pre Christmas getaway might be a good way to help brighten the holiday season, especially for skiers.
Thanks to elevation and a superb snow making system and staff Okemo was open last week from the top to the bottom and we had a chance to experience it. It did look strange in the beginning with white lines down the brown and green mountain but by Sunday morning the sight was a glorious white everywhere.
When we first arrived the only open trails (31 of them!) were all covered with a good, deep, layer of man-made snow, good coverage. For the first time, this year Okemo was able to open with trails on all of their mountain faces. With trails on Jackson Gore Mountain, and Solitude, areas skiers staying at the Gore Mountain resort can access the rest of the Okemo Mountain experience on skies, rather than by the convenient, but less exciting, shuttle service. Snow this week has led to a great expansion of the number of trails open, helping to spread out the traffic and making the experience even better.
Conditions on the mountain were generally good on the trails last Sunday. While purely man-made snow is a bit different from the natural stuff, the snow on the ground made for good skiing, especially for early season. The best skiing was, as might be expected, early, in the two hours or so that followed opening of the lifts. Later in the day, traffic on the only connecting trail, Mountain Road, was heavy and surface conditions a bit difficult. The near doubling of trails for this weekend should greatly cut that problem. On Friday, December 15, 58 trails were open. Tomorrow, December 16, Okemo hosts the Vertical Challenge race as well as a Demo Day when six participating brands let you try out the newest skis and gear.
Since those runs last Sunday a lot has happened at Okemo. Twenty inches of new natural snow has fallen and temperatures have been good for the operation of their super-guns, capable of producing lots of perfect snow where needed. Okemo has more than 650 of those guns and they know how to use them. Between the natural and man-made snow, Okemo expects to have 60 trails and 10 lifts operational by this weekend.
Okemo Mountain Resort also has a number of special lodging deals on the table for anyone wanting to get a few days on the trails both before and after Christmas. Unlike last year at this time when the season seemed of again – on again, this year is sizing up as one that is now on, now good, and likely to remain that way.