Spring skiing conditions and hordes of Spring skiers were out in force today at Okemo. This was my first time at Okemo this season. I was surprised at how crowded it was. The few times I have been at Killington on weekends this season, I wondered where all the skiers and boarders were. Now I know. They're all at Okemo. Killington can only wish it had crowds like this.
I arrived around 7:45 AM and the base lodge was packed. I skied up to the North Star Quad at 8:15 AM and that had a pretty good line although I got on the lift quickly via the singles line. Thinking the crowds would be lighter over at Jackson Gore and wanting to try the new run, Rolling Thunder (one of the few runs on the mountain that wasn't groomed flat as a pancake), I headed there after one run.
The temps were in the low to mid 40s, the sun was shining brightly and the snow was just beginning to soften as I arrived at the Jackson Gore Quad. Until about 9:00 AM, there was no line here and very few people on the runs.
During the morning and early afternoon, I skied Rolling Thunder and the other bump run, Big Bang. The bumps were relatively small but were fun to ski because they were soft and springy.
The snow was best between 9:00 - 10:30. By 11:00, it had turned to mashed potatoes and was very sticky. The can of wax I brought with me really helped if I applied it every three or four runs.
I had fun skiing several models of Nordica skis which were being offered for free demos in a tent near the Jackson Gore Inn. I liked my Volkl All Star Supersports better than any of the Nordicas I tried, perhaps because I was keeping fresh wax on them. When I told the guy managing the demo tent that the skis were very sticky and needed wax, he said "no wax works in this snow."
I skied a few groomers off of the Solitude lift. Of the lifts I used, this one was by far the most crowded for some reason. It had a 5-10 minute wait in the singles line.
Later in the afternoon, I made my way over to the South Face, which had no lift lines, and skied two runs in the glades. These runs were fun if you stayed out of the rocks and dirt. I would have skied these runs more if not for the long, flat, sticky runnout back to the lift.
Tracks of the day's runs