Big East Ski Trip 2.0
Big East Ski Trip 2.0: January 22-25, 2015
Big East Ski Trip 2.0: Okemo Mountain Magic
By Gerry Bell
Also see Peter Emmel's photos
We held the second annual ’68 Big East ski trip at Okemo Mountain Resort this past Jan. 21-23. I got a little smarter over the past year and planned it for midweek following MLK weekend (instead of Super Bowl weekend) at strategically located and very accessible Okemo (instead of remote out-in-the-boonies Sunday River). And … success!! Attendance tripled – 17 people in all – including veterans of our western ski trip, as well as new blood sampling the D ’68 ski experience for the first time.
Which was the whole point: have a great mini-vacation skiing an uncrowded mountain (we’re old enough to do what we want midweek!), and recruit fresh faces not only for Big East but for our annual western trip too.
Attendees were Dave and Nancy Dibelius, David and Roberta Gang, Gerry and Jackie Bell, Bear Everett, Rich duMoulin, Steve Schwager, Tom Enright, Peter Fahey, Bob Block, Peter Emmel, Chris Mayer, Ed Heald, John Engelman, and David Walden. Bruce Senn planned to join us but was a last-minute emergency cancel; counting on him next year!
We enjoyed a fabulous reunion central house (as long as you had four-wheel drive!), a throwback pizza-and-beer evening, a night out at a fine Irish pub, and a wonderful catered reunion banquet on our last evening.
I can’t take credit for this … well, okay, I pushed everyone to the Irish pub because I had a craving for bangers and mash … I have to give credit to Okemo. Besides our luxury lodging, relaxing apres-ski, and terrific meals, the resort did an outstanding job with the skiing: an amazing recovery from an ice and sleet storm the preceding weekend to give us immaculate packed powder, long cruising runs, and sunny skies. And, as befits our station in life, we found a pretty good place for on-mountain lunch too!
We had such a good time that we’re going to do it again – same resort, same midweek, same house , and hopefully another one like it to house even more classmates. Watch this space!
Greetings, gentlemen. I just received the inaugural issue of SKI Magazine for the 2014-2015 season, which naturally turned my thoughts to skiing (as if I ever stop!) Our annual March ski trip (to Sun Valley, ID) is in Larry Griffith’s capable hands (contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for info or to join up); here I’m revving up for our Big East ski trip, Version 2.0.
The purpose of this one is bring together ski vets and newbies alike for a few days– without a sizable week-long commitment – at a premier Eastern ski area. If you’re new to this, it’s a chance to get your feet wet (or your boots in snow) for ’68 ski trips; if you’re a trip veteran … well, another chance to ski and kick back with your classmates.
Even with last season’s successful Version 1.0 (see our Winter/Spring Newsletter, starting on page 8) I think I could have done a better job coordinating. Goof #1: I scheduled our get-together for Super Bowl weekend. Dumb. Some people actually have plans other than skiing on Super Bowl weekend! Goof #2: I succumbed to home-town pride and held our shindig at Sunday River Ski Resort – great ski mountain, but hell and gone to get to for virtually everyone.
So this year – how about Tues Jan 20 to Fri Jan 23, 2015 -- a midweek mini! (Immediately following MLK weekend.) Hey, we’re all retired, right? Or, if still working, so senior that we can do what we please! And midweek, at Eastern ski areas – no crowds, no lift lines, the snow doesn’t get skied off – I think this will work!
And how about Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, VT? Here are three reasons to say yes. (1) My high school class held its 50-year reunion there over a weekend in July, and the Okemo folks were absolutely wonderful to us – great accommodation deals, fantastic lunch and dinner venues – couldn’t have been nicer. (2) The skiing is tops – Okemo takes second to no one in snowmaking, grooming, and lift and trail design. First-rate skiing! (3) Southern VT is far less drive time from CT, NYC, NJ, PA, upstate NY, and northern New England than is Sunday River, so I’m hoping to cast a much wider net for this outing.
We already have a cadre of classmates signed up – some ski trip vets, some newcomers – and we’ve reserved a house on the mountain, close to the main base, that will serve as a great reunion central. Plenty of houses and condos nearby that will enable us all – however many “all” turns out to be -- to be close together. What I need to know now is your interest. So – talk to me (email@example.com)! I am sure we can fill the rest of the house we’ve already reserved, and fill another one if need be – but we should move quickly, before everyone else starts to think about the upcoming ski season. Let’s make this happen!