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Okemo vs Killington

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi - Which tends to get/have more snow - Okemo or Killington? Planning a late Dec / early Jan vacation and trying to get some insight into which of the two might be a better bet, more so given this season might not be the best given the weather impact from El Nino. Thank you.

post #2 of 27
Big K
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by naja View Post
 

Hi - Which tends to get/have more snow - Okemo or Killington? Planning a late Dec / early Jan vacation and trying to get some insight into which of the two might be a better bet, more so given this season might not be the best given the weather impact from El Nino. Thank you.

 

Killington almost certainly gets more snow, as they are at a much higher elevation (by Vermont standards of elevation at least).  You can ride a bike from Killington to Okemo (about 20 miles) pretty fast, as it is virtually all downhill.  :)

 

That said, Killington and Okemo both have powerful snow making systems, so neither really needs that much help from Mother Nature.  The terrain options at the two areas are pretty different.  Okemo is known for mile after mile of intermediate-pitched groomers.  If that's what you like, you'd be in heaven there.  Killington has "something for everyone", but not necessarily a lot of anything.

 

Natural snow only terrain in New England at the time-frame you're considering is usually an iffy proposition.

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 


Thanks Kevin - I did not mean to be focused on just natural snow - my question/concern was about snow in general, either man-made or natural or combination of both. It sounds like Killington likely has a better chance of having more snow than Okemo in late Dec and early Jan, though its seems from your comments like both will make plenty of snow and we should be able to find some decent runs a either place.  

post #5 of 27

The problem with late December/early January is that it is not uncommon to get rain.  We've had that problem around Christmas the past couple of years and even got hit hard by rain at Jay Peak over MLK weekend 2 years ago.  I would expect Killington to deal with rain a little better than Okemo based on elevation, although I doubt Killington will really see snow if Okemo gets rain.

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by yossarian143 View Post
 

I doubt Killington will really see snow if Okemo gets rain.

Happens all the time. In fact two seasons ago there was a storm where any place south of Killington got heavy rain. From Killington north there was two feet of snow. & it was good snow not heavy slop. I know I was there. Even snowed in Rutland

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post
 

Happens all the time. In fact two seasons ago there was a storm where any place south of Killington got heavy rain. From Killington north there was two feet of snow. & it was good snow not heavy slop. I know I was there. Even snowed in Rutland

The big shame is that the Beast will have more/better snow, but I think Okemo is the more fun mountain to Ski on. If there is good natural snow, do Pico instead. It's owned by K-ton, and right next door. More vertical drop. (1900 versus 1650')

post #8 of 27
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonathan Keller View Post

 

but I think Okemo is the more fun mountain to Ski on. If there is good natural snow,

 

Depends on what floats your boat. 

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

 

Depends on what floats your boat. 

Which is why I said "I think Okemo is more fun."

 

I just do not like Killington. In my opinion, it's poorly laid out, the runs are short, and overall, even their challenging on piste stuff isn't that challenging for the most part. I can't speak for the off-piste there, as I have never been with someone who knows where the stashes are.

post #10 of 27

Ahhhh, there's the rub. The layout isn't bad if you disregard the pointless terrain. Like Snowshed and Ramshead.    

 

If you don't run with the lemmings, it's actually a pretty quiet and peaceful place. :cool

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

Ahhhh, there's the rub. The layout isn't bad if you disregard the pointless terrain. Like Snowshed and Ramshead.    

 

If you don't run with the lemmings, it's actually a pretty quiet and peaceful place. :cool

 

I feel that if I am going to drive 5 hours to Killington, I might as well just go 6 an go to Stowe or Sugarbush ;)

post #12 of 27

I see your point. 

 

My place is at Stratton so it's 4 hours on Friday night. I find the skiing at Killington is worth the extra hour drive.

I don't ski the NE much anymore, but with the Max pass this year, I'll probably get some December turns in the NE. 

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

I see your point. 

 

My place is at Stratton so it's 4 hours on Friday night. I find the skiing at Killington is worth the extra hour drive.

I don't ski the NE much anymore, but with the Max pass this year, I'll probably get some December turns in the NE. 


Have you skied Pico much?  I had a very good time there last March with 6+ inches of soft snow in the trees.  Then went up to Sugarbush and MRG.  Had fun there too.

post #14 of 27

That is the funny thing. I had a pass to Killington/Pico for 8 seasons and not once did I venture over to Pico. Thought about it a few time, but never made it.  

We definitely will make it this year with the Max pass. ;) 

 

We skied every weekend there the entire season with the exception of 3 annual trips out west. So we knew the mountain well. Often I would get in two to three extra weeks up there. Winter and early spring were our slow seasons at work.   

 

To me, Killington is one of the best mountain in SVT - if you know how to get around and understand crowd dynamics. The crowds are very predictable, same in NYC. :D 

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

That is the funny thing. I had a pass to Killington/Pico for 8 seasons and not once did I venture over to Pico. Thought about it a few time, but never made it.  

We definitely will make it this year with the Max pass. ;) 

 

We skied every weekend there the entire season with the exception of 3 annual trips out west. So we knew the mountain well. Often I would get in two to three extra weeks up there. Winter and early spring were our slow seasons at work.   

 

To me, Killington is one of the best mountain in SVT - if you know how to get around and understand crowd dynamics. The crowds are very predictable, same in NYC. :D 

Well then I have to share Ray's TR again . . . this is the day that Jonathan skied Pico for the first time.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/133677/pico-tour-alba-adventures-3-1-2015

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

That is the funny thing. I had a pass to Killington/Pico for 8 seasons and not once did I venture over to Pico. Thought about it a few time, but never made it.  

We definitely will make it this year with the Max pass. ;) 

 

We skied every weekend there the entire season with the exception of 3 annual trips out west. So we knew the mountain well. Often I would get in two to three extra weeks up there. Winter and early spring were our slow seasons at work.   

 

To me, Killington is one of the best mountain in SVT - if you know how to get around and understand crowd dynamics. The crowds are very predictable, same in NYC. :D 

If you venture to Pico, see if you can meet up with Ray. He and his family can give you a great tour of the mountain.

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Keller View Post
 

I feel that if I am going to drive 5 hours to Killington, I might as well just go 6 an go to Stowe or Sugarbush ;)

 

That would be fine if it was only another hour, but it's not, particularly to Stowe from K-mart. Would def go to S'Bush vice K-Mart if distance isn't an issue anyway.

 

And NOkemo is one vanilla run after another after another. Thank goodness they have trail signs so you can tell if you're still on the same run.

post #18 of 27
From where I live, going to Stowe is only an hour more, because i can go straight up 91.

And when I drove to Sugarbush, it was only an hour more drive time than Kmart.
post #19 of 27
Killington is a far bigger mountain than either Pico or Okemo. However, it's poorly laid out, can be maddening crowded and expensive, especially during peak periods. Although the last two negatives also applies to Okemo just as much.

For the K regulars, the poor laid out turns into an advantage once one figures out the laidout idiosyncracy. Same goes for crowd avoiding. And for those with a pass, or nailed down some deals in advance, K isn't any more expensive than Okemo at all. And not much more than Pico.

But for the few days a year skiers, big-K might actually be too big and too confusing. And too expensive too. That's where Pico comes in with all of the advantages. Cheaper, less crowded and not too hard to get to know.

That said, Okemo has the edge on snow making over Pico. And early season, even though Killington might have more trail count than Okemo, they may or may not connect well so the skiing may or may not live up to the expectation of a "big mountain".
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Keller View Post

From where I live, going to Stowe is only an hour more, because i can go straight up 91.

And when I drove to Sugarbush, it was only an hour more drive time than Kmart.


Stowe & Sugarbush are about equal drive time going up I-89 from White River Junction. One you drive south to the other north off I-89. Not sure if it's only an hour more than Killington. Might be if you get off at White River Junction for Killington but may be longer if you use the Okemo exit off I-91 to get to K. If you're driving up rt. 100 from Killington Sugarbush is about an hour. Stowe would be closer to 2 hours.

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post


Stowe & Sugarbush are about equal drive time going up I-89 from White River Junction. One you drive south to the other north off I-89. Not sure if it's only an hour more than Killington. Might be if you get off at White River Junction for Killington but may be longer if you use the Okemo exit off I-91 to get to K. If you're driving up rt. 100 from Killington Sugarbush is about an hour. Stowe would be closer to 2 hours.

Yes. It does depend on your route. I would not want to take 100 to get to Stowe. I live in Queens, so I go up 91. Sugarbush I go up through eastern New York, and take 100 up, though last time, I came back a different route that seemed faster.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Keller View Post


Yes. It does depend on your route. I would not want to take 100 to get to Stowe. I live in Queens, so I go up 91. Sugarbush I go up through eastern New York, and take 100 up, though last time, I came back a different route that seemed faster.


I live in Brooklyn so about the same. If I was driving directly to either Stowe or Sugarbush I'd take the I-91/I-89 route. When driving directly to Killington (which I often do, season pass holder) I take the Taconic Pkwy then rt. 22 over to VT. rt 7 into Rutland. I can make Killington in under 5 hours using this route even with the lower speed limits.

post #23 of 27
sounds about right!
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post


I live in Brooklyn so about the same. If I was driving directly to either Stowe or Sugarbush I'd take the I-91/I-89 route. When driving directly to Killington (which I often do, season pass holder) I take the Taconic Pkwy then rt. 22 over to VT. rt 7 into Rutland. I can make Killington in under 5 hours using this route even with the lower speed limits.
post #24 of 27

As to cost and crowds, Killington and Okemo are about equal.  Intermediates love Okemo.  Experts hate it.  Pico is a different beast.  Smaller, less snowwmaking, later opening and earlier closing, closed Tuesday and Wednesday other than holidays.  You'll get bored quickly if most of the upper mountain terrain isn't open.  However during the week when there's fresh snow it's a delight. 

post #25 of 27
My time at Okemo is limited to one day 5 or 6 years ago (it was with philpug the last year he was in the East). But at least that year, Okemo had more and better moguls than Killingotn. I remember one natural gulley filled with pretty respectable bumps.
post #26 of 27
Killington is back open today!
post #27 of 27

In my experience Okemo does the best grooming / snowmaking in New England.  Obviously Killington is a much bigger, much badder ski area.

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