By Sasha Yakovleff
Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, VT is probably known best for two things: hero terrain and a friendly vibe. Okemo falls into the Southern Vermont mountain region, which is generally the weekend home of many skiers and riders from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. When all these weekend warriors flock to Okemo, it can get a little hectic, but the beauty of the mountain is that the traffic is generally dispersed. This mellow mountain also boasts immaculate parks, such as the top-to-bottom Nor'Easter, one of the best runs on the mountain.
Dale Talkinton sessions Okemo’s Nor’easter park for his spring 2011 edit
Even if Nor' Easter was not the largest park at Okemo, it would still be an amazing run. The trail cuts straight down the fall-line right next to the fastest summit high-speed quad. You can lap Nor' Easter quickly and easily and kill two birds with one stone: ride a premium park and experience most of Okemo's vertical in one trail.
The park layout changes every year but generally sticks to a few patterns to make the most of the mountain's profile. Dropping in off the summit is a rail garden, usually complete with some creative boxes and tire bonks or wallrides on the sides for more lines. Next comes the stairset, featuring a hubba ledge, down rail, and some sort of flat-down box combination. There is then a small rise before the steepest part of the trail. This is the most challenging part to build so the crew always switches it up. Sometimes there are moguls, boardercross spines and rollers, or steep jumps and rails. At the bottom of this pitch the real jump lines start. Usually there is something like a 20- 30- 40-foot rhythm section to get the blood flowing, followed by an elevated bonk feature to slow speed before coming in to the next pitch.
Now you are into the big stuff. There may be a few setup rails leading into a line of 40- 50- 60-foot step ups and tabletops. If you want to throw down, this is the line to hit. After this there is always a roll-in feature to stop at and set up for the final section. A creative cannon or elevated rainbow feature sets you up for the final and possibly the most fun jump: a mid-to-large size step up with a steep landing. This booter is ideal for perfecting new tricks and styling everything out with abundant hangtime.
The final feature at the bottom is always creative. Sometimes you find a wallride with hip options, a bus has been parked there to play on, and also a skate-style up-rail staircase to get technical with.
Once you are done take a right, roll down to the Northstar Express, and repeat all day.