If you skied or snowboarded last weekend, you’re in for a pleasant surprise: the number of open trails at ski resorts across the Northeast has more than doubled since then.
That’s not to say it wasn’t bad last week, as seen from the above video at Okemo in Vermont.
But this weekend, it’s going to be better!
From Connecticut to Maine, nearly every ski resort will be open this weekend including Connecticut’s Ski Sundown in New Hartford which will start its 41st season at 10 a,m. Friday. Mount Southington will follow on Saturday. Save $10 off an 8-hour flex ticket on Saturday by printing from its Web site.
While there have been no big snowfalls to explode trail counts, cold temperatures have allowed snowmakers to greatly expand terrain. Resorts that have some of the biggest snowmaking arsenals like Stratton and Okemo in southern Vermont have nearly half their trails open.
That’s great news for people who are laying down mucho bucks for the always expensive Christmas/New Year’s weekend. With the extended forecast of continued cold temperatures, expect most major resorts to have 75 percent of their trails open including those key connecting trails to slopeside condos.
Along with more trails and good packed powder conditions, this weekend looks especially sweet because there will be no crowds on the slopes. That’s because most people are busy with holiday plans preparations and commitments,
If you’re free, here’s an idea worth considering this weekend. Are you a skier or snowboarder who has a friend, family member etc. who has always said they wanted to learn how to ski or snowboard but never has?
Well, head up to Okemo where you can ski/ride to your heart’s content while your friend takes a FREE class, complete with a lesson, lift ticket and equipment. It’s being offered through Sunday to anyone 7 or older.
Granted it’s a basic lesson and a lift ticket to the beginner area, but it’s a great introduction to the sport by certified instuctors.
Reservations are required. Call (802) 228-1600 to reserve your spot.
The beginner package includes a combination lower-mountain lift ticket, a level 1 or 2 beginner group lesson at 10 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. and introductory level rental equipment (skis, boots, poles, or boots and snowboard). Keep in mind that your free lower mountain lift ticket will be issued by your instructor after you have completed your first-time lesson.
Beginners should arrive at the Okemo Express Rental Shop located in the Okemo Clock Tower base area at least an hour before lesson time to register for the program and be fitted for equipment. Participants also qualify for a free First Tracks Plus card entitling them to continued discounts and benefits all season long on group lessons and full day recreational rental equipment packages or to purchase a full adult ski or snowboard package at a special promotional rate (inquire at Snowsports Center).
Okemo has a Web page that should answer most of a newbie’s questions. It’s as easy as clicking here.
Finally, if you have some last-minute Christmas shopping to do, stop at the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham on Route 103 as you head back to I-91.
Yeah, it’s a little touristy, but it’s loaded with all kinds of clothing, gifts, food and unusual items. And one of the cool things … it has loads of FREE foods to sample including Vermont cheeses, smoked sausages, spreads and dips. It’s the kind of place where you end up buying something. Definately worth checking out.