Okemo 1.3.15

22 Runs
Thick Overcast

Two days in a row at Stratton (and my last 4 total days skiing) was enough so I felt the need to go somewhere else with one of my SkiVT 3 passes. I originally wanted to go to Magic this week if the snow was good, but considering the conditions, I'll save Magic for a better day. Bromley was also an option, but considering it was overcast I passed as I would rather ski Bromley on a sunny day as after all that is the mountain's trademark. So I decided to go to Okemo as it had been a few years since I had been there, and I wanted to check out the new lift.

Parked at Jackson Gore and was on the hill at 9:15 to surprising uncrowded good machine groomed conditions. However it also felt much colder than the previous days even though there was no wind, so after two runs I was back in the lodge to grab my facemask. It ended up being a cold day until about 2pm when it felt a little warmer. It also was a dark overcast day so it was flat light everywhere, not the most beautiful of days. Everything open at Jackson Gore skied very nicely in the morning and it remained uncrowded over there throughout. I think the cold might have kept the crowds down today as it was a lot less crowded overall than Stratton. The one place that was mobbed was the Sunburst liftline, as everyone wanted to lap the new lift. This was my first time on one of these new bubble lifts and overall it is a very nice ride. However the seat warmers were barely noticeable, the cold of my pants seemed to cancel out whatever warmth they provided instantly. I also think the orange tint is a little weird especially when wearing my red goggle lenses, I bet the blue tint bubbles looks better.

After a few runs on Chief and World Cup which were also skiing nice, I made my way over to South face after lunch. The South Face runs were not as good as the rest of the mountain as there was more boilerplate and ice over here. The South Face area was also a ghost town compared to the rest of the mountain with a good chunk of chairs going up empty, it felt like it was midweek over there. A little nice thing over there was that they have a fire pit which was nice to stand around every other run or so to warm up by the open flame.

In the late afternoon I worked my way back towards Jackson Gore doing a few more runs off of the Sunburst and Solitude lifts. After 22 runs the blandness of the trails with a couple of exceptions become apparent. At the start of the day I was excited about how good the conditions were compared to the previous days, thinking Okemo was better than Stratton. But by the end I felt like I was just going through the motions with little to take away from my skiing throughout the day. So it is alright to go to Okemo once every couple years, but I think it would become very boring to have a pass here. Again this wasn't my first time to Okemo, I knew what to expect but my opinions of the place did not change much. I have been to Sunapee a lot over the years and while the similarities in operations, snowmaking, and grooming are obvious between the two, Sunapee's runs have a lot more character. The good was that their grooming was better than Stratton's so the morning runs off Jackson Gore and Sunburst were a lot of fun. But I had had enough of the mountain by days end.

Was in the car at 4pm before it started snowing, but got stuck in the storm on 91 driving home. It was a slow ride back home but made it back safely. The roads were tough out there as not much plowing or treating seemed to be going on.

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