|A wonderful little winding trail at Okemo.|
Keeping with their strange lift layout, in order to reach the highest point on the mountain involves taking 4 different chairs, none of which seem particularly speedy, leaving me to contemplate just why exactly I am doing this when its so ludicrously cold out as I sat on the lift. Upon reaching the true summit of Okemo, I was greeted with a hell of a view. After waiting around for several minutes for someone to come up to take a picture of me, I finally bugged the lifty to get one of me, as it was clear no one else was nutty enough to be on the top of the mountain exposed to the jet stream that seemed to be hitting it.
|Okemo Mountain Summit.|
|Me on top of Okemo.|
|One of Okemo's many closed double black diamond glades. I wish I could have skied them.|
|Big Bang, Double black on Jackson-Gore and the only hard trail I found open.|
|Summit of Jackson-Gore.|
|Headed back to Okemo from Jackson-Gore, cold-smoke billowing.|
|Delicious Coconut Rum Hot Chocolate at the Sitting Bull Bar.|
|Hot Dog Hill Progression Park.|
|Entrance to the park, closed for snow making.|
|I have no idea who has the balls to hit that, it looks dangerous as hell.|
|That kinked rail looks gnarly as hell.|
After getting the shots from the main park, I headed next to the 'Progression Park' Only to find several feral snowcats roaming the trail, reshaping the park. I moved on to the pipe. When I took the pictures there was a snowboard comp going on. I find it amazing how basically no one can get over the lip of this massive beast. I am guessing the pipe had 18-20 foot walls on it. If no one can get out of the pipe in a comp, why not just make a smaller pipe? I hadn't been in a pipe in years and years, as none of the mountains I regularly frequent have one. Later in the day when I got to get into it, I was please to find how much fun I was having, even if all I was doing was small airs back and forth in it. I need to go someplace with a half-pipe more often.
With all the pictures taken care of, I cruised around for awhile more. When I returned to the main park to take a lap down (that's what I tell my self, most of the stuff in there was way above me.), I was pleased to find a free-skiing comp going on with some local private schools. I am sure there were some Newschoolers in there for sure, but I didn't want to mess with anyone's mental game by bothering them so I staked out on the first main jump next to the judges to watch for awhile. Props to the mountain staff for not giving a shit about the weather and judging the comp in howling winds and blistering cold. I saw some pretty huge spins off the jumps and it was nice to be able to watch this stuff in person from right up close on the knuckle of the jump. By the time I was done watching, the light was super flat. When I went in to change lenses I realized it was already 3:30, and with Okemo's strange lift pattern, I probably wouldn't make it back up top. Being cold as hell from watching the comp, I decided it was probably better to call it quits. I headed out quite happy to have visited.
I have to say, I was very impressed with my new camera on this trip. It is a FujiFilm Finepix X60 Camera designed for extreme weather usage. Around 11 when I stopped in the mountain top lodge, I found my cell phone which was 3 layers down in my outerwear, had frozen and died. There was literally frost on the screen. The Fuji camera had only a single wind-proof layer between it and the biting cold, and had a full battery and shot great all day. It takes great photos to boot.
The plan for this Sunday (1/26/14) is to head up to Cannon Mountain. Unfortunately they are currently reporting that all of their glades are closed, and they have nothing on their website about current parks that are open. Still, most of the mountain is open, and I would much prefer to go there than a huge mountain I have never been to that is only reporting 60% open (like Mount Snow, where I was originally planning on going). If anyone is going to be at Cannon, let me know asap and we can ride together!
One final side note, for anyone who has not seen it, here is the edit made from the NS meet at Loon. Check it out!
Tabarnak Pack - "Loon Mtn"
Keep on shredding!