Third son Josh and three friends got me to drive up for a one day at Okemo. I skied for the free hour on Thursday then left my house to renters, so a 2.5 hr drive up and back for a holiday Saturday doesn't make much sense. But neither I nor my wife was keen on letting four 16 year olds commandeer our family auto, so I was chosen to "sacrifice" with a day of skiing. Local knowledge allowed be to avoid or circumvent the crowds well enough to get in a good day's work. Okemo's snowmaking and grooming are first rate. There would be no skiing in southern VT without the pipes. Okemo had 65 of 98 trails open to disperse a large crowd over all of the mountain. Only the long high speed quad had substantial crowds. Conditions were the usual hardpack and scrapped powder. The late day heavy soft bordering porcelain middle trails used to kill my legs. But my move to soft 160 cm shaped ex-rentals has given me great mobility along the edges of trails, and I find my mid 50's legs are lasting much longer. This year's find were $55 yellow Dynastars purchased at the Killington Ski swap. Can't wait to take them into the trees with some powder. But for now hopping down the sides or following narrow dust lines down the center will have to do.
Talked briefly with an Okemo executive about the stalled Jackson Gore project. He said that barring the possibility of a supreme court challenge, trail cutting should begin in late winter. Real estate values are soaring as New Jersey plates are becoming as numerous as New Yorkers. The trailside homes are unbelievably opulent.