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My first attempt at a trip report, so here goes.....

Lancaster, PA to Okemo,Vt

We(she) planned this trip only a couple of days before heading out. I am not the planner, so I go where I am told. I provide the driving skills and the cash, she does the planning. I had hoped to break-in a new pair of boots on this trip but it didn't work out that way. So I was heading up to do some skiing with my old boot that I know don't fit and are broken.

Left Thurday evening with the intention of getting closer to our destination, leaving a short ( 3 hr ) drive in the morning. We managed to make it to around the Hunter area, and grabbed a room for the night at some cheap, run down motel. The rooms were beat, the floor was dirty, but the sheets were clean. Can't say that I would stay at this place again, but I knew that if we didn't stop then, it would be hard to find a place until we drove another 2 hours, so we stopped. We got a premature wake up call from the room above us around 2:30 am. I thought they must have been falling down drunk above us with all the banging on the floor. We packed up at 6 am to try and get to the mountain early. Our 3 hour drive took a bit longer, due to the heavy snow falling. There were accidents all over the NY Thruway but we managed to avoid all the carnage. Once in Vermont, the going go even harder. Accidents galor, with one semi stuck going up a hill and another crashed hard through the guardrail going down. We finally managed to get to the mountain around 10 am. Snow is coming down at a good clip so we gear up and head out on the mountain.


The snow is coming down and nice light fluffy conditions covering everything. Visibility isn't good, but It's snowing so who cares. The mountain is 100% open. The glades are all open, so we start exploring the mountain. It was a great day !!! It is hard to believe that they were planning on closing the next week, but with all the coverage they were planning on staying open until 4/20. I may have to head up there again once the new boots are fitted. The glades, tons of fun with lots of fresh snow on them. The rest of the mountain was also in terrific shape. I managed to lose my glove liners, so I was skiing with just a glove shell and thought I was going to get frostbite on my hands, so we had to go in a couple of times to warm up. They said they only had a few inches of fresh snow, but it seemed deeper in certain areas. There was enough to cover any iced over areas that were around.


Light snow still falling all morning with cold, cold temperatures. It's not supposed to be this cold this late in the year, but since it made for good snow I'll take it. I ended up poaching a pair of liners from my girlfriend so my hands didn't freeze off. I didn't have my heavy glove liners since I haven't worn them all year, but could have used them. It's cold and windy on the mountain, so since the g/f is breaking in new boots, we took several breaks to warm up and rest. My boots are killing me, so I just left my buckels loose and skied. It started to clear up in the afternoon, but still stayed cold and windy. We ended up stopping around 2 o'clock. Her feet were getting sore, and I never really warmed up inspite of having some of her stuff on. For a saturday in Vermont there were no lift lines, so we got a ton of runs in. Okemo has 97% snow making coverage so there were no bare areas.


Cold and clear in the morning. Having had a bad boot day the day before, I decided to use our snow blades that we brought along. We bought these a couple of years ago. A friend had a pair that he got when he went to a skiing camp. He had let me borrow them and they were tons of fun. They used them to teach on, but we found them to be a lot of fun. They teach you to stay balanced on your skis, and since my boots were killing me, I decided to put them on and try them today. While I am no instructor, I highly recommend these things. They are unforgiving when it comes to balance. You must stay centered over them, because if you lean forward or back chances are you are going to fall. Since they are only 99cm they are quick little turners. I was carving tight rr tracks the whole day. They are only stable when they are on edge so you are constantly turning. Our plan for the day was to start at 8 am and ski without taking a break until around 1'o clock then get out on the road to head home. After 4 1/2 hours of doing nothing but turning, my legs were beat. The conditions were great. The sun was shining and the snow was soft. It made for great carving.

Overall impressions of Okemo.

I had never skiied there. In fact, most of my skiing was either small PA resorts or out west. It is a fun mountain to go to. In fact, I would definately go back. It was only a 7 hour drive to get there,which makes it reasonable for a long 3 day, weekend get-a-way. The lift system is good, with three base areas. The mountain is spread out enough so that there are not tons of people in any one area. Getting around the mountain was easy enough.

Okemo does a lot of grooming. They groom almost all of the mountain, with the exception of the glades. Lots of good intermediate and beginner terrain. The groomed Blacks were tame, and anyone could ski them. It is definately a family friendly place. Not exactly the place you want to go for gnarly skiing, but then not everyone is a gnarly skier. They have affordable ski and stay packages on-line so it makes trip planning easy. Staying on mountain was more expensive, but if you are with kids I am sure that it would be the way to go, since the Jackson Gore base area, is more of a "destination area." You could stay there and never have to drive anywhere. We stayed just outside of town in a small motel, called the Happy Trails Motel. It was a decent place and would stay there again. They also had the ski/stay packages which were cheaper, but you did have to drive/shuttle bus to the mountain. We ended up driving since I need to eat before heading out to the mountain.

The town of Ludlow is cute. Didn't seem to have tons of nightlife if you are looking to have that kind of entertainment. We go for the skiing and are getting too old to stay out late. There were some nice places to eat if you wanted to spend money for a good meal. We had a very nice meal at the PotBelly, a resturant and bar. There were also some cheap places to eat. We do a little of both. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the pizza. We were in BC in January and decided Canadians don't know what good pizza is. If you get to the mountain early, parking was easy and a very short walk to the main base area.

Buying liquor in Vermont wasn't the easiest. We ended up asking a local maint. guy where you could get booze, and he was kind enough to direct us to the local liquor store, which was also a small grocery/convenience store ..... It was a small store that had "everything." You could get all of your groceries, liquor, and a good assortment of guns and ammo. The decorations in the store comprised an interesting assortment of newer and antique long arms. I guess, if they didn't have what you wanted to eat, you could outfit yourself, and go out to hunt something down. We saw a yummy looking dear outside our motel one morning. There was a more main stream grocery near the mountain, but not having been to the area before, we didn't know where any of the ammenities were. The local brew was tasty, but not being a big beer drinker, I probably won't know what good beer is.