"These are not your typical Okemo trails," said Barry Tucker, Okemo's' Vice President of Operations. "Offering some of the steepest pitch at Jackson Gore, they have lots of character with natural outcroppings and contours to enhance the way these trails will ski."
The trails are White Lightning and Rolling Thunder, named by Matt Webb in a contest among resort staffers this summer.
Webb, incidentally, won dinner for two at Jackson Gore's Coleman Brook Tavern. Given Okemo's emphasis on haute cuisine, this is no mean prize. Ellen Demers, Okemo's food services director, has worked closely on the area's food offerings with Diane Mueller, who owns the resort with husband Tim.
Demers has helped to create an array of restaurants around the mountain, each with its own specialty menu and flavor, in a move mirrored at other high-end resorts working hard to appeal to a sophisticated consumer.
Anyway, back to the new trails.
The summertime trail clearing required winching some trees uphill to avoid a sensitive wetlands lower on the slope, to a point where they could be loaded onto trucks and hauled away on Mountain Road.
White Lightning is 1,000 feet long and Rolling Thunder is 2,600 feet long. The latter has a vertical drop of 850 feet, dropping one foot for every three feet of distance traveled. (That's pretty steep, underscoring Barry Tucket's point.) The new trails will add approximately eight acres to Okemo's 632 acres of skiable terrain.
They are the final two trails of the original Jackson Gore layout, and mark the maturation of the Okemo trail system.