Tag Archives: okemo

Spring Skiing? Delightful!

Despite the fact Avie’s bus trips are done for the season, the urge to let gravity yank me downhill is still impressively strong. And my leg muscles are finally tuned to the point where at days end there is only a blissful ache instead of throbbing pain.

So, I pointed north and had the great pleasure of being at Okemo yesterday. The resort is still 100% open, and there is plenty of snow, though they are done with snowmaking for the season.

I was clicked into a pair of Blizzard Quattro RS skis, which thrive on firm-and-fast. So I started my day over on the South Face to hit it before the snow began to soften. I put down first tracks on every open, non-mogul trail. I had first and second tracks on Blind Faith. If you get the feeling there were few people there, you got it right.

I stayed until about 10AM when the lower parts of the trails began to soften, and a steady stream of skiers and riders began to show up to take advantage of that softening. I worked my way over to the Main Face of the resort and hit all the classics—World Cup, Chief, Defiance, Nor’easter and Jolly Green Giant. These trails were still firm-and-fast, though the ice chip/”Death Cookie” mix—which graced most slopes on the South Face—had been skied over and chopped up to make the glide a bit less tooth rattling. I liked Chief and Nor’easter so much I did them each a few times top-to-bottom. I caught a big air (for me) on World Cup, and landed it! Usually airtime for me results in spectacular yard sale events, but not this time.

I went next over to Solitude, and the surfaces there were very smoothed out. What is typically called “dust-on-crust” though the “dust” was a pretty good coating. I took a run on all the trails in Solitude, then headed back for a few final runs down Chief to make some big carves in the softening snow.

It was a blast. There is plenty of snow left to have plenty of fun on. Yes, there are a growing number of hazard markers gracing the trails, and bald patches are sure to be turning up as the warming days march onward. But for now you can get the best of everything. Firm-and-fast to start the day with some high speed runs, mellowing in mid-morning as the snow softens, and then outright spring skiing and riding in “Hero Snow” late morning through mid-afternoon.

Conditions are still phenomenal up north, so there is no reason to toss your gear in a corner for the spiders to play on until next fall. Get yourself up north again while the getting is good. And it is good.

I’m still smiling, the morning after my day of play at Okemo. Since smiling and being happy are good things, I’m planning on doing it again. And again. Hope to see you out there.

 

 

AlanD

Save the Best for Last

Fifty-three lucky people filled the bus for the last 2018 Avie’s Ski & Ride Trip. And they were very, very lucky people indeed.

As is typical for the last trip, Okemo was the destination. The weather was typical January, though it was mid-March. The mood on the bus was typical; happy people getting ready for a day of playing in the snow. And what a day of play it was!

The definition of “Bluebird Day” in the dictionary has a picture of the skies at Okemo on the day of the trip. Brilliant sunshine from a brilliantly blue sky. All day long.

The snow? Incredible! Firm and fast across the mountain early in the day, allowing for some quick runs down the mountain. South Face softened up a bit late morning, allowing for some exquisite carving fun. Woods, bumps, corduroy. It was all there laid out in abundance for all. And amazingly, the crowds were not so horrible in the morning, and by early afternoon skiers and riders went from trail’s end right onto a waiting chair.

It was a perfect ending. If we needed something to complain about, it might have been that there was a touch too much breeze at the summit. But that really didn’t wipe the huge smiles off the faces of folks as they climbed aboard the bus for the ride home.

Ted gave away a wealth of socks and scarves, koozies and cookies, hats and hoo-dads. There was even a movie that wasn’t Ice Age or Elf!! Can you believe that!?

If you didn’t make the last Avie’s trip, you can still get in on some action in the snow up north. There is plenty there, and things look to stay colder than “normal” for the next week or so, meaning the snow will linger. It’s worth the trip. I had so much fun Sunday, that I went back up on Tuesday. It was just as good, but a bit less fun without the great bunch of people I skied with throughout the day.

Get out there a few more times while the snow lingers. But if you are really dead set on calling it quits for the season, be sure to bring in your skis or board and have it “summerized.” This will ensure that come next year, when the Avie’s bus is pulling out of the parking lot with you on board, your gear will be ready to play hard.

 

 

AlanD

March Magic

Today I had the pleasure of popping into Okemo and spending the morning cruising the mountain slopes. Like Killington the day prior, the newly fallen snow was plentiful, though Okemo had smoothed out many trails into delectable corduroy. They did leave quite a few trails ungroomed, so there was a nice diversity of snow across the mountain.

My legs were still a bit sore from the day before, and it took a few runs in Jackson Gore to work out the kinks. Most of the trails in the Solitude area were ungroomed, and so not very busy. I stayed there for a bit, then wandered back to the main mountain, ending my day with a quad crushing run down Chief.

There is abundant snow on all the trails, and if forecasts are on target then it will mostly stay there as temperatures warm a bit by day, then tumble again by night, preserving the snowpack. There are rumors afoot of another “dump” early in the coming week; let’s hope it’s true. 

Regardless, conditions are incredible right now. Most of the ungroomed trails will eventually get groomed over the coming few days to preserve and enhance conditions, so if you want the lumps and bumps, get out there soon. And if you like the groomers, get out there! Now! 

And to help you get there, you can hop on the bus from Avie’s this Sunday the 11th of March. The bus heads to Stratton for what I am sure will be a great day of playing in some very, very, tasty snow. Seats still available, but dwindling rapidly. 

However you can get there, get there. And enjoy some of the seasons most endearing conditions.

 

 

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

Avie’s Ski & Ride Bus Trips — Ready to Roll!

We just wanted to let you all know that the Avie’s Ski and Ride bus trip list has now been posted on the Avie’s website. I’ll get you there in just a moment. 

Unfortunately, most ski resort prices have now surpassed the $100 mark for a lift ticket. 

Fortunately, Avie’s keeps the price UNDER $100 for its’ ski and ride trips! …more

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

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