Why isn't there a song about skiing in the rain? I can just picture Gene Kelly dressed in Gortex whistling while carving down the soft slushy slopes. Skiing in the rain is greatly underrated, and incredibly rewarding. Seriously, Saturday was wet (okay - premature snow or mixed precipitation in ski area lingo - you get the drift) around New England - but the snow at Okemo was soft and pliable. Dressed in today's technical fabrics, I stayed pretty dry inside for my 16 ski runs, even though my outer layer told another soggy story (one lift attendant laughed when he saw me) and I wished I had a squeegee for my goggles (note to Santa - great skier stocking stuffer).
Call me crazy, but I love spring like snow conditions and mild temperatures in December. The dozen plus trails I skied were very well covered with manmade snow at Okemo, even though Mother Nature had not helped the cause at all. Sunday, the sun came out and with it colder temps, so the snow firmed up and was fast - to say the least.
The lesson here, if you wait for optimal sun, snow and super weather you could be sideline a lot in a New England winter. Wear the right gear and go for it - and you can be pleasantly surprised by the skiing and riding. December skiing is about getting your ski legs in shape, and getting outside when everyone else is shopping and panicking about the holidays.
See you on the slopes.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.