Category Archives: Snow Conditions

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

Fond Farewell

The 50 or so lucky folks who took part in Avie’s Ski / Sport Customer Appreciation, Final Ski & Ride Trip of the Season, had lots to appreciate.

Fast and firm snow under cloudy skies started the day. The packed-powder groomers took an edge so nicely that everyone with an urge to carve at any speed could do so with grace and ease. It was a fun and fast paced morning.

And then, the clouds not only parted, they disappeared. Completely. Under warming temperatures and aquiline blue skies, the Avie’s faithful had a spring fling in soft snow and thinning crowds. Not a whisker of a breeze topped off an afternoon that could only be described as delightful. From the top of the mountain, I was surprised you couldn’t see Watch Hill and the ocean. It was truly that clear of a sky.

The ride home was filled with blissful exhaustion and bright smiles, sore muscles and more bright smiles. Ted made the rounds, giving away everything from socks to hats, key chains to frisbees. Soupy and cheese, cookies, and other morsels made the rounds. There was nothing to disappoint.

While the bus trip season from Avie’s may be over, the skiing and riding certainly is not. Anyone who pointed skis or snowboard downhill on the mountain can attest to that. I will say it was some of the best conditions I have experienced this season. Okemo deserves a tip of the hat for keeping their slopes in such great condition. All I can say is get out there and go at it again. And again. And yet again if you can.

It was a fantastic finale and a very, very fond farewell. Ted and all of us at Avie’s want to say Thank You for letting us share the final trip of the season with you.

 

 

AlanD

Packed Powder Paradise

Mount Snow was offering $17 lift tickets today, Friday the 17th of March. So I went to Vermont to go skiing. I went to Stratton. I figured it would be less busy. I was right. And Stratton let skiers and riders start having fun on the slopes at 8AM instead of 9AM. I made a good choice.

But will YOU make a good choice? What choice you ask? The choice of whether or not to go on the Avie’s bus trip this Sunday, March 19th, to Okemo.

I tell folks “the best decision is an informed decision.” So I am going to give you some informing.

Stratton had almost all of their trails open. And the condition of all of them was fantastic, whether they were groomed or not. They even had a few trails open that hadn’t been open at all this year because they don’t make snow on those trails. The cover was a bit sparse in places, but they were totally skiable. Because of that, I got to ski 2 trails I have never been on before, and one I forgot existed because it hasn’t been open in 2 years. My favorite was Standard, the one running down the gondola lift line. Steep enough to get up enough speed to kick up massive sprays of snow from top to bottom. So fun.

Everything was wall-to-wall packed powder. Because of that the snow was a little slower than usual, but it was nice seeing everyone going down slope with big banners and swooshes of powder being kicked up all over the place. First thing in the morning, when the sun was just peaking up over the tops of some of the slopes, the sky all pink and orange hued, the view of skiers and riders kicking backlit snow plumes into the air was just beautiful to behold. That in itself was worth the drive.

Okemo is just next door to Stratton. They got the same approximate 2 feet of snow. And almost all their trails are open. And they too are wall-to-wall packed powder. Temperatures are staying cool so the snow is going nowhere except back on the slopes each night when the groomers are out doing their grooming thing.

I hear there are precious few seats left on the Okemo trip, so don’t hem and haw over your decision. You got the goods. Make that decision. It should be an easy one. If I see you Sunday morning on the trip to Okemo, you made the right decision. And you won’t regret it.

 

 

AlanD

After the Storm — Part 2

Wow! What a storm that was! Ok, wasn’t really, but that’s Ok. We had less to shovel, and less ice to slip on this morning. It’s all good. Except all that promised snow didn’t happen. Such a bummer.

Until you look north, where it’s still snowing this morning. Take a look at the leading image to this post, looking up Mountain Road at Okemo, and see below for a peek up Lower Chief, taken from one of their mountain cams about 7:30AM today. Almost 2 feet of snow in total. Looks mighty tasty from my seat at the keyboard. Wish I was there. 

Wait a minute, I can be there! This Sunday! All I have to do is get to Avie’s and sign up for the bus trip going to Okemo this Sunday. And it’s the Customer Appreciation Trip when Ted gives away all sorts of interesting, fun, and useful ski and ride bling. I better get there quick and sign up before the bus fills.

Wait a minute, I work there and will be going regardless. YOU better get there and sign up before the bus fills and YOU get left behind, chipping ice off your sidewalk instead of playing in one of the best snowfalls this season. 

And if it isn’t already tempting enough—though being on a trip with Ted and the rest of the shop employees should be enough—Okemo has another 3 to 6-inches of snow on tap for delivery Saturday. Ted special ordered the extra snow just for this trip, just so you know. 

You don’t have to dig out, because there’s nothing to dig out of down here. So just get down to Avie’s today and get on the list of soon to be very happy skiers and riders taking advantage of not only great conditions, but a great deal getting there.

See you Sunday morning. I want to see the giant smile on your face at the end of the day Sunday. You will be sure to see mine.

 

 

AlanD

After the Storm

We have a major winter storm on the horizon. In fact, blizzard watches and warnings are posted for much of the New England region. Survivalists will freak out and run to the grocery store to stock up on food, batteries, and other necessities. Skiers and riders will run out for a bar of wax so they can be sure to have their gear ready to go after the storm. …more

The Roar of Snow Guns

I just got back from a trip into the northern realms of Vermont for a bit of skiing. While riding the lifts and enjoying the tug of gravity on the way back down, a few things gelled in my mind that I would like to pass along for you to contemplate.

First, it seems that the ski areas in lower Vermont, meaning Killington and south, actually have a bigger base than up north. Or maybe it’s just a different kind of base. But my observations suggest that there is more skiable snow on the trails in lower Vermont. 

Second,  …more

Yes, It’s Still Snowy Up North

It’s tough for some of us to think about skiing or riding when the temperature in Westerly is creeping near the 70ºF mark. In February. And there isn’t a speck of snow left on the ground. In fact, daffodils and a few other early bloomers are poking greenery up through the not frozen ground. Many are thinking spring is sprung and skiing and riding is done for another season. But the ospreys aren’t back just yet, and for me that’s the true marker of the start of spring.

I got to spend a couple days on the slopes in Vermont with my daughter Allison and her boyfriend Rob. We hit Killington and then Okemo. I thought I would share a few thoughts, especially for those thinking the season is over. It’s not. …more

Atop of Okemo

Forty skiers and riders, including my niece Kayla, made the journey to Okemo Ski Resort in Ludlow, Vermont yesterday to enjoy the snow. Yes, it was a busy day on the mountain with President’s Day weekend in full swing. But the condition of the trails made the hustle and bustle fade rapidly. …more