Thursday At Okemo

I managed to get up to Okemo Thursday the 25th. I thought I would share with you what I found, which may be handy if you have been “fence-sitting” about the Avie’s bus trip to Stratton this coming Sunday, the 28th.

I have to admit I didn’t have real high expectations after being up there last week after the major rainfall they got whomped with, and then a lesser rainfall event on Tuesday of this week.

I have to admit I was more than pleasantly surprised. If I had the money to buy the entire Okemo Mountain Ops Team a beer for excellent work, I would because they deserve it. Okemo wasn’t 100% open, but they did have 87 trails open, which is closing on 90%, maybe more. And what was open was good to great.

The snow was firm and fast on most all trails. I was skiing a pair of Blizzard Quattro race skis, so conditions were about the best you could ask for that pair of Greyhounds. Grooming was impeccable all over the resort, with fresh man-made snow gracing many of the blues and greens.

While steeper pitches were firm and fast top-to-bottom, many of the milder trails had a dusting of fresh snow, generally piled up on the side where the wind was blowing towards. This provided some really nice, soft, and in some places “floaty” snow. A young lady I road the lift with described it as “wearing a silk evening gown.” I’ll have to take her word for that! But I think she agreed that it was pretty sweet stuff to ski through.

I didn’t go over to Jackson Gore since they were blowing snow on several trails, and I didn’t feel like  messing around in the snow guns. I presume it would be much like the rest of the mountain—good to great.

It was cold and it was windy. But it was sunny and beautiful. Because the conditions on most of the steeper trails were such an awesome match for the Blizzard Quattro skis, it turned out to be one of the best days I have had on the slopes in a number of years.

So, if you have been “fence-sitting” regarding the trip to Stratton this Sunday, hop off onto the side that says “go skiing.” It will be cold again Friday, so snow-making will continue at “full tilt boogie” rates. Then the temperature goes up a bit, with Sunday being in the high 30’s. So instead of firm-and-fast you get “Hero Snow” to play in. Hmmm, that stuff can be kinda fun!!

No, I won’t be bringing the Blizzard Quattro skis to Stratton on Sunday. But I do hope to see you on the bus. Then you can find out what skis I brought, because I’m not going to tell.

As a warning however, the bus this Sunday is a “mini-coach” so while there are seats still available, it’s not a lot of them. So maybe you better launch off that fence quick-like and get over to Avie’s and reserve your spots.

Hope to see you Sunday morning.

 

 

AlanD

Update from the Trails at Okemo

I had the pleasure of stopping at Okemo for a day of skiing yesterday. I thought I would pass along an update on how things are looking and what snow conditions are like.

As you might expect, the massive rainfall late last week resulted in the loss of a lot of snow. Yes, there are patches of glacier ice here and there on the downslope edges of some trails. And yes, some trails were closed because the cover was too thin.

That said, the trails that were open (85 of them) all had pretty good coverage, especially along the edge where the snow guns were located. A few trails were like crushed ice cubes, but they offer their own kind of fun as long as every trail isn’t that way. And they weren’t.

Bottom line? While a step backwards was taken due to the rain, Okemo retaliated quickly and surely to make things skiable.The 6 or so inches they are expecting today will of course make things that much better. And things look to be staying cold, with the potential for another snowfall early next week.

Of course, one of the nicest things about being at Okemo on a weekday was that there were no crowds competing for the snow. I made run after run after run, until about 10:30 AM, when I finally shared a chair of the heated 6-pack bubble lift to the top. While I didn’t lay down first tracks on any trail, I was second or third on many of them.

My point here is, to be clear, Avie’s has a bus trip scheduled for Okemo on Wednesday the 24th of January. I very strongly suggest you be on that bus. Okemo is a great mountain with a good diversity of trails. If you want the opportunity to ski and ride that diversity without waiting in long lift lines, then constantly dodging an endless procession of people while sliding back down the hill, a Wednesday is a prime day for such a feat.

Join me on the 24th as we head to Okemo for a day of skiing and riding on the less crowded side. Conditions are good, and will be one heck of a lot better after this storm rolls through, and even better still if another happens before our visit. And if not, you know Okemo—known for it’s snowmaking and grooming—will be blasting snow all over the mountain between now and then.

So stop by Avie’s and get your name on the trip list. And do it soon. You don’t want to miss out on a great weekday on the mountain. Weekend trips are fun, but weekday trips are, well, a lot more fun!

See you next Wednesday.

 

AlanD

Reindeer Skis?

You can bet that post-Christmas, Santa’s team of reindeer will be chilling out in the woods after an exhausting night of deliveries. And who wouldn’t like to see Santa’s reindeer?

Well, if you want to go look, here are three pair of skis that will take you for that adventure between the trees. One is a tried and true pair of sticks, and the other two are new to the market this season.

The tried and true reindeer hunter is Volkl Kendo. The two newbies are Volkl Kanjo and Blizzard Brahma CA. Each of these is light in weight and have lots of “pop.” These qualities make them excellent skis to take off trail for some adventure.

Year after year I ski Volkl Kendo and just don’t get sick of them. They carve. They are fun in the bumps. They float powder. They nimbly make their way between the trees. Kendo is just an amazing ski.

Then along comes Volkl Kanjo new for 2018. At first blush I thought Kanjo was just Kendo with less width. But I was wrong. Kanjo is a bit lighter, and with a lot more “pop” underfoot. They carve the groomers just fine. But they love the bumps and lumps. And because they are so light and so nimble they are just a blast among the trees. Kanjo was a standout among all the new skis for 2018 that I got to try out at the On Snow Demo. I give Kanjo a double thumbs up.

Blizzard Brahma has been a “go to” ski for someone who plays all around the mountain. But Brahma has a bit of an attitude because of all the metal stiffeners it carries. Blizzard took all that made Brahma a great ski, but left out the metal and replaced it with carbon fiber. The result? One super light, fast responding, awesomely fun pair of sticks. You might forget you have skis underfoot they are so light. And because of that, they literally dance you through the trees.

So, if you want to go on a hunt for Santa’s reindeer team the day after Christmas, you may want to consider picking up one the skis I mention above. If you love the adventure found between the trees, and if you really want a chance to find those sneaky reindeer, these are your best bet.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. And happy reindeer hunting.

 

AlanD

What A Dump!

Yes! Another major dump of that beautiful white stuff has dropped atop the mountains of New England. Ski areas are responding with their own dump—dropping ropes on trail-after-trail-after-trail.

The 2018 ski and ride season is blossoming. This isn’t the year to be indecisive and wonder if you should get that pair of new skis or that new deck to ride on. Or those new boots. Or jacket. Hats, mittens, and socks.

To help you get ready to take advantage of all that great snow up north during the holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s,

Avie’s Ski/Sport will open at 10:00 AM Sunday December 24th

That gives an extra couple of hours to stop by the shop and pick up something special for that special someone—even if that’s you.

The ski boot inventory has been restocked—especially for you women, who have been ski boot crazy this year! Gordini goggles are now available, and Marker helmets galore. A pair of SmartWool socks makes—ironically—a great stocking stuffer. 

We hope to see you in the shop, but if we don’t, Ted and all the staff at Avie’s wish you the very merriest of holiday seasons. Safe travels, and have fun on the slopes.

Santa’s Picks

This past February I got to have a second Christmas. I got to go to the On Snow Demo in Vermont and try out all the skis that are now out and about for sale this ski season.

Now that the snow is falling up north and the bull wheels are hauling lifts to the tops of ski mountains, I got to thinking about all the skis I tried out. A few things boiled up to the surface that I thought I would pass along. …more

Tuning Clinic This Saturday

Just a reminder that this Saturday, the 9th of December, Avie’s Ski/Sport is offering a

FREE

Ski and Snowboard Tuning Clinic

Now, right at the start of the season, is a great time to learn how to tune your skis or snowboard. You save money. You have some fun. You keep your gear in shape. You rip the slopes faster, better, faster.

Any questions or to let me know you plan on attending, email me at tuningshop@aviesskisport.com

Looking forward to seeing you Saturday.

 

AlanD

Santa’s Helper

The Season of Giving is here. Thanksgiving leftovers stuff the refrigerator and the newspaper is thick with flyers and ads. If you have skiers or riders on your gift list—and that list should most definitely include YOU—then check out Avie’s Ski / Sport for some ideas. …more

Ticket to RIDE

RIDE snowboards continues it’s legacy of great gear for riding the mountain, with a few tweaks and revamps to make 2018 season RIDE snowboards, boots, and bindings even better.

Like many, if not most ski and snowboard manufacturers for 2018, RIDE has messed around with carbon fiber technology. Most of the snowboards produced by RIDE for this season are not brand new, but instead are upgrades to existing gear with carbon. Using carbon fiber technology allows for the removal of weight while maintaining stiffness. This of course makes for a more lively deck while not giving up ability to tip into and hold turns. …more