121 trails, 80 lifts, 9 terrain parks means AWESOME DAYS to ski Okemo Mountain Resort!
Since we started taking family ski trips only last year, I hadn’t ever been to Okemo Mountain Resort – or any Vermont ski resorts until Okemo invited us for a stay. My husband, the skier, insists on another Vermont ski resort as the best one in our relative area. We had heard only good things about going to ski Okemo, but being so early in the season we weren’t sure what to expect when we were invited to visit as part of an Okemo Media Weekend. We were assured trails would be open and with Okemo ski lessons for both kids booked, we headed to the slopes.
The story of Okemo Mountain Resort is one of family. The Mueller Family purchased the resort thirty years ago when they had young children. The design and innovations through the years were done with family in mind, and since 1982 the resort has grown immensely. Today the Muellers no longer own the Vermont resort but still manage it with their two children, and are always looking to improve upon the overall family experience at Okemo. Read more about Okemo lodging in our article, Jackson Gore Inn at Okemo Mountain Resort or in our article about Okemo dining, Eat Beyond The Boring at Okemo Mountain Resort Restaurants.
Okemo may be family friendly, but there’s still some good skiing trails there on the Okemo Mountain! Our media weekend was mostly attended by some experienced adult skiers, and all were more than pleased with the conditions and the Okemo trails (even though only 1/3 were available). Last year, Okemo debuted new “bubble chair” lifts that keep you safe from the elements and one even has heated seats so you can warm up before that long ride down the mountain.
Our children don’t have their own ski gear which isn’t a problem of course, as Okemo has rental shops at both mountain bases (hours may vary seasonally). There are half day, full day and multi day options for both Okemo skiing and snowboarding equipment rentals. My kids were fitted quickly and we were sent on our way with assurances that if anything wasn’t working, just to come back for adjustments.
It’s been said that to become a lifelong skier, the foundation has to be set with the quality of lessons. Makes sense right? Who would want to go up to the top of a peak without a lot of practice and knowledge? The Okemo ski school, Ski and Ride School is available to all ages, with season long or day lessons, full day or half day ski lessons. Children up to age 7 enroll in Snow Stars, and 7 and up move up to Mountain Explorers. Regardless of age, adults and kids can learn to ski at Okemo.
Learn to Ski Okemo Ski Lessons
My almost 7 year old has as much experience and skill as my 11 year old, but we enrolled them in the separate Okemo ski school programs with the agreement that they could do half day lessons, allowing them to ski with dad in the afternoon. They have always done either private lessons or lessons together, so I was skeptical to have my son in a ski lesson with younger kids
With Snow Stars, children ages 4-6 are paired up with their peers and the goal is to HAVE FUN! And they do! They start off in the Snow Stars facility, head outside in the snow for some play on skis, and then as their ability allows, they head to the mountain and the magic carpet. Ski ability is broken down into 6 levels, and Snow Stars can accommodate them all. The day long Okemo ski school session provides lunch – the pizza is what kept my son there for the full day! After a few more hours in the afternoon, he was able to ride the chair lift and headed out to ski with dad and his sister. Dad reported that he was doing great with his stops and even threw in some jumps. Check out his end of ski day joy!
After a day of learning to ski with Okemo Ski School lessons
Over at Mountain Explorers, the Okemo Ski School for more advanced students, students are also separated by skill. My daughter was in the green group, about mid way through the skill chart. She was the oldest, and her companions were graduates of Snow Stars from years prior. Her instructor was patient and helped her build her confidence on the skis. The students start their Okemo ski lessons at the magic carpet and advance to chair lifts within their lesson.
See the video of the Okemo Mountain ski lesson’s Mountain Explorers class
For their first time out to ski in 2016/2017, the Okemo Mountain ski lessons were needed to increase that confidence and reignite those skills. All helping to inspire that lifelong love of skiing!
Something we didn’t know is that Okemo Mountain night skiing is limited in Vermont due to environmental concerns (limiting light pollution). Given that, we made sure the kids were out for as long as they could be. On our second day of Okemo skiing, thanks to some serious snow making, the Jackson Gore Base had some trails open. Those trails were a little more than my two could handle, so a quick shuttle ride back to the Clock Tower Base from Jackson Gore gave them hours of Okemo ski fun. With each run they improved, memories were made, and some beautiful sights were seen both by them (in the chair lift) and me, who got to watch them bond through sport.
If you visit to ski Okemo:
- There’s ample parking at Clock Tower Base to ski Okemo and shuttles take skiers from all bases, parking lots, and lodging.
- Okemo ski passes and lift ticket rates vary. Check out the latest, and Okemo ski deals, here.
- No need to pack lunch – ample dining options exist at all mountain bases.
- Check here for Okemo ski conditions. Okemo does some great snowmaking!
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Click over to see the rest of our Family Travel to Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont series.
To arrange a feature on your location contact Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun publisher.