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My long awaited, much anticipated, trip to Okemo

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
I really liked the 24 mile drive from I-91 to Okemo; the towns in that part of Vermont are much more attractive than the squalor around Hunter NY.
The difference between the helpful friendly and cheerful Okemo employess, and the typically sullen, rude, and dishonest inbrednecks who work at Hunter was astounding.
The difference between the frendly, open and generally nice crowd at Okemo, and the alternately boasting and whining, scheming and scamming Hunter Mtn crowd (mostly from NYC and Jersey) was quite a pleasant surprise.
Having said all that...
I rode the lifts that were open, and explored a lot of the trails, and I won't be going back. There's just nothing there for me.
post #2 of 46

That's it?

post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 
I'm not going to say a discouraging word about the runs at Okemo. It's a very fine area, and perfect for it's customer base. I want them to stay in business until global warming raises the average winter temp in New England to 50 degrees, and we all ski on styrofoam pellets mixed with vegetable oil.
I've skied Iceface, Kmart, Waterville Valley, Gore and now Okemo. I could tell from the parking lots that I wasn't interested in WIndham or Belleayre.
For now I'll be sticking with Hunter.
post #4 of 46

Wow, really?   Belleayre is actually a pretty decent "skier's mountain".   None of the fufu lodging, keep the newbies on the bottom and not in the entire mix, with some pretty challenging terrain.   I've been to Hunter once, and that was enough for me.  Between all of the bus trips and ski schoolers it's like a giant game of Plinko.   On one run, there were about 20 people wide holding hands across the entire trail moving very very slow.

post #5 of 46

Having worked at and skied Okemo, I can understand this post. Customer service and amenities are paramount at Okemo, and that really shines through. However, the extreme emphasis on customer service I believe is partially due to the fact that there just isn't much mountain there. Sure, plenty of trails, but nothing really challenging. Fairly flat, everything groomed as level as a parking lot, and every trail 100 yards wide. Okemo is great for families and newbies. However, it's not much of a skier's mountain. That's pretty true for most of southern VT. If you want a challenge, go North young man. Sugarbush, MRG, Jay, Stowe, Smuggs... all feature much better terrain than can be found down south.


 

post #6 of 46

Okemo is my home mountain, so I echo a lot of what you are saying, though some of the woods runs can get pretty challenging as the trees can get tight. 

 

Windham is not a bad moutain as there are some steep areas over by the wheelchair double, though not as steep as Hunter.  I have skied Belleayre twice in my life and it is 300' of steepness followed by miles of flattish cruisers.  If you want a challenge in So. VT, try Magic

post #7 of 46
Thread Starter 
I've read some very positive reviews of Magic.
The thing is, I like to do a lot of runs (at Hunter, i get in 6 runs per hour, at 1520 feet of TRUE vertical for each run).
This requires a high speed chair that goes from the base to the top. Many ski areas with very high quality trails simply don't have that.
The gondola on Little Whiteface has a 2500' vertical rise (they claim). I may do some skiing there next season.
The fact that I'd have to take two chairs to reach the summit pretty much negates the value of the 3000' vertical at Whiteface.
post #8 of 46

 I agree with Wraith that Belleayre is just not a skier's mountain. The steepest pitches there are about the same as Windham's but a third of the size. And Hunter just is a lot steeper (and bumpier) than both of them. The Cathedral's Brook in Belleayre is a pretty awesome run on a powder day though.

 

I don't know how much you'll like Whiteface though for fast runs. While that Little Whiteface gondola serves up big vertical in one lift, it's quite a long lift ride because it goes up a ridge, down a ridge, and then back up to the peak. It does have some sweet runs coming down though. You should definitely go up to the real peak while you're there. You go up the Little Whiteface, ski down about 800' vertical and go up another 1500 or so and there is the best runs on the mountain (all 3 are continuously steep, with Cloudspin and Skyward being one of the 2 steepest and longest groomers in the East for extremely fast runs).

post #9 of 46

Would you rather just do a lot of runs of middling quality or fewer high quality runs.  The answer to the question may dictate where you should ski.

post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick H View Post

Wow, really?   Belleayre is actually a pretty decent "skier's mountain".   None of the fufu lodging, keep the newbies on the bottom and not in the entire mix, with some pretty challenging terrain.   I've been to Hunter once, and that was enough for me.  Between all of the bus trips and ski schoolers it's like a giant game of Plinko.   On one run, there were about 20 people wide holding hands across the entire trail moving very very slow.


Often times when I hear someone not care for Hunter I find out that they didn't know about or didn't try the West side, where it is steep, long, and there is no wait for a chair. If bumps are your thing Anapurna can get pretty nasty.
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post

I've read some very positive reviews of Magic.
The thing is, I like to do a lot of runs (at Hunter, i get in 6 runs per hour, at 1520 feet of TRUE vertical for each run).
This requires a high speed chair that goes from the base to the top. Many ski areas with very high quality trails simply don't have that.
The gondola on Little Whiteface has a 2500' vertical rise (they claim). I may do some skiing there next season.
The fact that I'd have to take two chairs to reach the summit pretty much negates the value of the 3000' vertical at Whiteface.

 

You're going to be disappointed in Magic then.  There is no high-speed chair.

 

If you want lots of laps -- head up to Stowe, and lap the Mt. Mansfield quad.  Or the gondola for that matter.  It's about 2,000 vertical feet a shot.  I've cranked out five laps in an hour on the quad.
 

 

post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post

I don't know how much you'll like Whiteface though for fast runs. While that Little Whiteface gondola serves up big vertical in one lift, it's quite a long lift ride because it goes up a ridge, down a ridge, and then back up to the peak. It does have some sweet runs coming down though. You should definitely go up to the real peak while you're there. You go up the Little Whiteface, ski down about 800' vertical and go up another 1500 or so and there is the best runs on the mountain (all 3 are continuously steep, with Cloudspin and Skyward being one of the 2 steepest and longest groomers in the East for extremely fast runs).

 

 

Cloudspin and Skyward are two great trails if you want some steep runs. There's also Hoyt's High over on Lookout Mountain that looks pretty challenging but it has not been open when I've been there.
 

 

post #13 of 46
Thread Starter 
My peak experience at Whiteface was on a very hard packed subzero day in the late 80s.
On my Hexcell GSR skis (203 CM, of course). No lift lines that day.
I shot from the top to bottom, barely turning, for hours on end.
When the feeling returned to my feet i discovered that I'd developed Morton's Neuroma in my right foot. The popping sensation led me to believe i'd broken a bone.
I've been back since, but never repeated that experience. Maybe with my GS 9s, some day... some way.

Last season I passed two women stopped at the top of Hellgate (Hunter Mtn).
One was saying to the other: 'It's not any steeper than Cloudspin'. I stopped and we chatted for a minute. I loved that run; Skyward too.
Edited by Phlogiston - 4/4/11 at 2:54pm
post #14 of 46

Glad to hear that you found Okemo friendly, one of the best parts of the resort. I have to agree with you to a point. The three black runs on the Main peak, Chief, World Cup an Defieance, are not much of a challenge ( unless it is a holiday saturday and you have to dodge the crowds.)  straight, wide open and groomed like a golf green.  You didn't say if you went over to Jackson Gore. The trails there are a bit more bumped up and Black Hole and Supernova are good tree runs.

 

I will have to put Hunter on my list for next season, as I have never been there to compare.

post #15 of 46
Thread Starter 
Most of the challenging terrain on Hunter isn't bumpy. In fact the bump runs are pretty much out of the way, off to the side, requiring that you turn onto them from a main black diamond run, such as Hellgate, onto the bumps, on Crossover.
Or you must go past all the others, East Side Drive, Minya Konka, to get to K27, on the far edge of area.
Eisenhower often has fine well shaped bumps, they have competitions, and you can see staff shaping them with shovels the day before; but only on half the width of the trail, so you can stay over on the fairly steep level slope on the other side, as I do.
But you can easily miss Eisenhower and shoot down Racers Edge; then get to the bottom and wonder: where were the bumps i saw from the lift???
I don't do bumps. In fact i ski in spite of a doctor telling me to never ski, jog or climb again, after knee surgery in 1999. That rules out bumps for me.

I like making my turns on patches of thin snow scattered among long sections of ice and hard pack, the day after a melt / refreeze. In other words, most of the time at Hunter.
post #16 of 46

Phlogiston,  how do you think  the conditions will be on Sunday??????

I was planning a trip to VT, but with the rain everybody is expecting, I am not driving 4+hrs for that.. Probably will do Hunter ...

post #17 of 46
Thread Starter 
It looks bad for Hunter. I'm pushing my trip back to Thursday, due to a change in forecast.
Basically they're predicting rain or wet snow every day except for Thurs. I'll report on Thursday's conditions, on Thursday night.
The weekend could turn out beautiful; and lift tickets are only $25 now.

http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/hdfForecast?query=hunter%2C+ny

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Hunter&state=NY&site=ALY&textField1=42.2112&textField2=-74.2157
post #18 of 46

Was thinking of doing Hunter this weekend (closing weekend btw) too, but the webcams show a dismal situation.....it might be ova'    I wonder if anything in VT is even worth going to at this point....lots of rain and warmth.

post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post

  I wonder if anything in VT is even worth going to at this point....lots of rain and warmth.


It snowed most of the day at elevation today. Snowstake is still climbing. Looks like mild daytime temps with freezing at night for the next week. That's a recipe for great spring skiing.

post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post




It snowed most of the day at elevation today. Snowstake is still climbing. Looks like mild daytime temps with freezing at night for the next week. That's a recipe for great spring skiing.


How much do you think you guys got?, down in Middlebury looking at the mountains from the valley it looks like the snow line is about 1500-1800' elevation and we got rain only in the valley.

 

post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post




How much do you think you guys got?, down in Middlebury looking at the mountains from the valley it looks like the snow line is about 1500-1800' elevation and we got rain only in the valley.

 


6ish inches. Snowline was pretty much right above he parking lot.

 

post #22 of 46

I visited a whole series of NY and VT mountains in the last few weeks during a 2 week, "the mountains are closed in PA" trip. I hit Hunter, Windham, Bromley, Okemo, Killington, Pico, Middlebury, Bolton, Smugglers, and Stowe. Bolton and Okemo were my least favorites on the trip. In addition to the terrain at Okemo, I find the crowds to be not much more appealing than the crowd at Stratton. I was also surprised to find the snow quality at Okemo to be among the worst I encountered - coarse, grippy, man made everywhere despite the abundant snow in VT this year. Okemo may have had state of the art snow making 10 or 15 years ago but I don't think they have kept up with the best current technology.

 

 

post #23 of 46

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post

I really liked the 24 mile drive from I-91 to Okemo; the towns in that part of Vermont are much more attractive than the squalor around Hunter NY.
The difference between the helpful friendly and cheerful Okemo employess, and the typically sullen, rude, and dishonest inbrednecks who work at Hunter was astounding.
The difference between the frendly, open and generally nice crowd at Okemo, and the alternately boasting and whining, scheming and scamming Hunter Mtn crowd (mostly from NYC and Jersey) was quite a pleasant surprise.
Having said all that...
I rode the lifts that were open, and explored a lot of the trails, and I won't be going back. There's just nothing there for me.

mad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gif

 

If your ability level is lower intermediate,  I agree that Hunter is not the place to go.  On the other hand if you can easily ski Hunter's numerous groomed single black diamond trails,  then Hunter is awesome.  If you can ski even steeper bump runs, then Hunter is definitely the place for you.  If you did not ski clare's on the west side on a powder day or when they were making snow on the west side, then you missed some awesome skiing.

 

As for your extremely rude comments toward Hunter Employees well let me say you are pretty rude yourself.  I am sorry that the squalor as you called it and the employee service did not meet your high standards.    Its too bad you did not get to enjoy the natural beauty of the Catskill mountains that was built by mother nature.  

 

Catskill Mountain Squalor Photos


Edited by catskills - 4/7/11 at 3:18am
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post

Was thinking of doing Hunter this weekend (closing weekend btw) too, but the webcams show a dismal situation.....it might be ova'    I wonder if anything in VT is even worth going to at this point....lots of rain and warmth.


Mad River Glen is reporting 6" fell yesterday. Temps are dropping into the 20s at night. I will likely head up that way this weekend. Will reprot back.
 

 

post #25 of 46
Thread Starter 
I could write a book about the unbelievable, over the top, astonishing, mind-blowing rudeness of most of the Hunter employees I've encountered.
I choose not to give examples.
They could take etiquette lessons from NYC Taxi drivers.

I've enjoyed the Catskills for years, since going to the Catskill Game Farm and Howe Caverns, in 1963.

I ski the single black diamonds at Hunter all the time. Love them. As long as the only Hunter Mtn inbrednecks i deal with are the lift rats, I'm fine.
post #26 of 46

As a Huntah skier all through the 80's I will say that Huntah has the best skiing close to NYC. Slams agains Hunter are along the lines of "No one can hit my little brother but me...". Hunter, to an extent is the antithesis of Okemo (and an extent Windham, I guess that is why both can coexist. Hunter reminds me of Steve Martin in "My Blue HEaven", when he comments about women....'"I like them a little bit..you know...dirty" wink.gif

post #27 of 46
Thread Starter 
It is exaclty 125 miles from my driveway to the parking lot at Hunter.
I can ski 9,000 vertical feet an hour.
And there's the value pass...

I will (and do) tolerate a lot for that combination.
post #28 of 46

^^^^ How was the snow condition today Phlog?????

I am still almost hell bent on going Sunday, even though it will be mushy, but for the last time, so no complaintbiggrin.gif..... Ihope.. LMK, thanks.

post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplatt03443 View Post




Mad River Glen is reporting 6" fell yesterday. Temps are dropping into the 20s at night. I will likely head up that way this weekend. Will reprot back.
 

 

Skied MRG today maybe 8-10" in places up high in the woods, incredible winter conditions up there. It looks to be beautiful all weekend. Get up there you won't be disappointed.
 

 

post #30 of 46


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post
.....  Hunter  Mtn inbrednecks .........


I got a real problem with this racial slur.  There are a lot of good people in Hunter.  

 

If your skiing 9000 vertical feet per hour just how much time do you spend talking to Hunter Mountain employees.  When I am skiing laps at Hunter its not possible to talk to Hunter employees.    I don't really understand what your issue is here with Hunter employees.  It does not make any sense.  I ski Hunter at least 5 to 10 times a year.  I have never had a problem with Hunter Employees.  Not once.   Your sure the problem isn't the person you see in the mirror  in the morning. 

 

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