Contributed by James Young, Ontario, Canada
Unpretentious. Right from the get go this is all about going uphill. 4 miles - 2100’ says it all. Turn off the highway and welcome to +10% and it is relentless all the way up.
I parked directly across from the climb start in a plaza - lots of parking and coffee shop for pre and post ride caffeination. Turning off busy HWY 103 onto the Okemo Mountain Road is a contrast in both tone and slope….103 is loud flat and busy and Okemo is quiet, steep and downright serene. This climb has character! From the highway it just goes up. Oh sure, the first half mile there is a slight easing but after that it is game on. This road is on the ski hill….you are riding under the lifts and carving up the slopes. Most of the ride is well canopied with occasional cutaways for crossing pistes and wonderful views of the valley below. It twists and turns all the way up and there are ample opportunities for some quality paper boy riding. The top is marked by a very understated gate at the beginning of a gravel path…..as above - unpretentious!
But here is the secret: serenity! Only two slow moving maintenance vehicles passed by the entire time - a great ride to focus solely on climbing - hearing only the birds, your tires on the road and (for me) heavy breathing.
The road surface is good to very good - enough rough and patched areas to give pause on the descent but you can see them form well away and no loose gravel whatsoever. Having said that, the twists will put a crimp on bombing it and the views are exquisite - my recommendation? Take it easy down this one and enjoy the vistas.
Road Surface: Good to Very Good Traffic: What’s that? Safety: Safe as it gets Beauty: Outstanding - bring the camera Tree Coverage: Not much in the first mile but lots after that….. Descent : Twists with some road patch work…. Parking / Post Ride Amenities: Ample parking at the base directly across Hwy103 - Plaza with a coffee shop…no need for anything else really.