A-Z of Resorts: Okemo

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The Independent Travel

Ask anyone who has ever skied in Vermont for their verdict, and the response will probably include the words cold, icy, and artificial snow, perhaps with a disparaging comparison with the Rocky Mountains.

Ask anyone who has ever skied in Vermont for their verdict, and the response will probably include the words cold, icy, and artificial snow, perhaps with a disparaging comparison with the Rocky Mountains.

More optimistically, they might also add that the resorts in this part of the United States are usually close to a few quaint little New England towns, and within easy reach of some good shopping.

That may not sound like an unqualified endorsement for a skiing holiday in the southern Vermont resort of Okemo (pronounced ock-ee-mo). But in many ways its 98 trails are ideal for beginners and intermediate skiers. They have plenty of opportunities to ski the whole mountain from top to bottom without finding any tricky black stretches.

For more ambitious skiers, there are some black runs at the top, including a couple of particularly steep ones through the pines, with some superb views. And the resort's snow-making capacity can be an advantage, especially if, as is the case at the moment, the natural snow cover is thin.

Lift passes sold in Okemo are also valid at nearby Stratton and Sunapee, which provides some challenging alternatives. But what makes it for me is that the resort can so easily be combined with an entirely different kind of holiday. The gateways to Vermont are New York, Boston and Montreal, each of them an excellent city-break destination in winter.

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