Sunday, April 8, 2018

Okemo & Sugarbush, VT: 03/30 & 03/31/2018

Sugarbush, Saturday 3/31/2018.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

We kicked off Easter break with an overnight excursion to Vermont to use our remaining Mountain Collective day at Sugarbush. Since the long weekend started with a round of rain across ski country Thursday night, we warmed up with a day of at Okemo, where we knew the grooming crew would do a good job getting the mountain back into shape.

Things didn't look all that promising as we drove in and out of rain showers on our way over from Saratoga, but the sun came out as we pulled into Ludlow, and the rest of the day stayed dry with temps in the 40s and breaks of blue sky. As expected, the groomers delivered hero snow conditions.

Sylvie skiing one of the Solitude trails

Beth at Jackson Gore

Danger! Warning!

We found the best terrain over at the Jackson Gore terrain pod, with a good selection of moderately steep cruisers. Although 90% of the mountain was open, the 10% that was closed - anything with moguls - were the trails we were most interested in skiing. We made the best of the situation, sticking to the steepest open trails and laughing at the "Moguls!" warning sign at the top of the one bump run that was open.

Beth skiing the moguls

Sylvie skiing under the Jackson Gore bubble quad

Beth skiing the hero snow

The forecast looked promising for Saturday, and we woke to temps in the upper 20s and bright sun. We arrived at Sugarbush early, but took our time booting up as we knew conditions would only get better as the sun warmed the snow. Exposure was key, with the east-facing slopes softening the quickest. After a couple laps on the Valley and Gate House quads, we met up with friends around 10am and headed up the North Lynx triple where we found great spring bumps on Birch Run, Morning Star and Sunrise.

Beth skiing off the Gate House quad

Daniel and Sylvie skiing Birch Run

Cheryl skiing Birch Run

We devoted most of the afternoon to skiing the Castle Rock pod, working elevation and exposure for the best conditions. Castle Rock run was probably the pick of the day, but Rumble was a lot of fun to ski in soft conditions too. What a contrast to Okemo just a day earlier. Cover got sketchy at the very bottom of Castle Rock - it didn't look like they'd be able to run the Castle Rock chair much beyond Easter weekend.

Beth and Cheryl skiing Birch Run

Daniel and a bunch of other skiers on Sleeper

Last run of the day on Snowball

We've had a great run of conditions for all of March, it was great to close out the month with some sun and soft spring snow.

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