My love for Okemo started years ago. It wasn't just the snow or the beautiful Vermont views or the array of on mountain lodging - it was Snow Stars - their awesome Children's Ski Lesson Programs. Our kids were happy from morning till afternoon with their instructors and the ski buddies they met. They learned plenty, but still had enthusiasm for the outdoor heated pool and the Kids Only Pizza Party in the evening. This left Greg & I time to savor Okemo's exceptional on mountain dining at Epic, or the cozy Coleman Brook Tavern at Jackson Gore Inn.
Well, my kids are grown, and for me this past weekend Okemo was all about the Snow. They call it Operation Snowburst. Okemo now has 1,075 HKD snowguns, and over 7,000 gallons per minute of pumping power. Sounds technical but what these snowmaking advancements mean to you skiers is the most open ski terrain in the East at the moment.
Last Saturday, before the big snowstorm, Okemo had over half the mountain open - 67 trails of their 120. The man-made conditions were super. And then it snowed 16" overnight and Sunday we were skiing that fantastic mix of manmade groomed snow topped with dense natural powder - delicious. Oh by the way, Okemos's on mountain food is still some of the best in ski country. It rivals Deer Valley. My short ribs were to die for, so was the turnip cupcake with maple frosting dusted with Vermont bacon (sweet + savory = superb). Then I had to ski some more of the 478 open acres of Okemo's Operation Snowburst before my ski pants did (burst that is).
See you on the slopes.
Okemo Mountain Resort Photos by Greg Burke, Dec 2013
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.