Food, coffee & après ski

Our first ski today — on the road that goes through Smugglers’ Notch!

Woot-woot! We got out on the snow for the first time this season! There's been quite a bit of natural snow falling in the higher elevations of northern Vermont (13 inches now at the stake atop Mt. Mansfield), so we headed for the Stowe - Smugglers’ Notch area. We thought the skiing should be good on Route 108 going through Smugglers’Notch, and we were right! This section of the road is closed in the winter because it's too tough to plow through tight corners and rocks that...[Read more]

Saturday, November 22, 2014 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Fall & Early season, Food, coffee & après ski, Mt. Mansfield, Smugglers' Notch, Stowe

Mad River Glen: Spring ski it while you can!

Bright sun and softening snow greeted us at Mad River Glen ski area in Fayston, Vermont, this morning. We did not rush out the door to get there when the lifts opened because we knew the snow would have to soften up a bit in order to be edgeable and enjoyable. We loaded the Single Chair for the first time at about 10:30 a.m. and on that first run we stuck to the groomed Catamount trail — enjoying gorgeous scenery along the way. From the top of the Single Chair (at 3,644...[Read more]

Sunday, April 6, 2014 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Mad River Glen, Spring skiing

Snow and warm temps in Stowe, Vermont's Sterling Forest

We knew that Friday’s weather was going to be gloomy, so the Skimeister and I took time on Thursday to do a backcountry ski tour in Stowe’s Sterling Forest. We wanted to enjoy the snow before it got bogged down by warm temperatures and rain. <Sigh.> The morning featured spectacular blue skies. We found rather deep snow to ski through and as the morning turned into afternoon the snow was definitely getting heavier due to the warm temperatures and the warmth of the sun. Sometimes I would...[Read more]

Friday, February 21, 2014 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Catamount Trail, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe

Lots of friends—and their valentines—on a powder day at Mad River Glen

You know the saying—no friends on a powder day. Well, while the SkiMaven was in Colorado, the Skimeister and friends traveled through a classic Valentine's Day blizzard to share Mad River Glen on an epic Vermont powder day. Despite 30-minute lift lines for the single chair, we got in all the fresh turns that our quads and knees could handle! The big draw was of course all the fresh snow (16" - 20"), but a Valentine's Day "Kiss Your Honey" lift ticket...[Read more]

Saturday, February 15, 2014 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Mad River Glen, Ticket discounts

Gondolas and Groomers: Skiing this week at Killington Resort, Vermont

Killington at dawn.

Morning sun hits snowy Killington Peak.

Sunny trails on Snowdon Peak.

A family skis on Killington Peak.

Snowboarding on fresh morning corduroy.

Views abound on a sunny day.

Heading for the Great Northern trail.

Empanandas next to the Skyeship Gondola mid-station.

The shiny, new Peak Lodge with lots of windows.

A family enjoys Snowshed trails on a quiet afternoon.

Great cruising trails off the North Ridge Triple.

An afternoon ride on the Skyeship Gondola.

The North Ridge Triple chair.

Two sunny days to explore Killington.

Carving up groomed trails.

At Killington Resort this week, I gained a greater appreciation for gondolas. It's been cold in Vermont recently and Wednesday and Thursday of this week followed suit. We bundled up to hit the slopes on two stunning bluebird days. The temperatures were in the single digits the first day so the Skimeister, Mother Skimeister and I had a plan: to ski off of Killington's two gondolas as much as possible. The snow was cold and squeaky, and in the morning much of it was like a pair of starched...[Read more]

Saturday, February 1, 2014 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Killington

Pretty March afternoon on slopes of Smugglers’ Notch

Occasional midday flurries made way for clearing skies this afternoon at Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont. My friend and I skied off all three main lifts and enjoyed fast groomers and challenging moguls and glades. The ski area received 2 - 3 inches of snow over the last day. It was light, fluffy stuff that helped the ski conditions. The trees were white with snow and the temperatures were cool. We sought out moguls, and they often had some soft snow on their crests. The bumps were...[Read more]

Saturday, March 16, 2013 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Smugglers' Notch

Deer, hare, owls & more at Trapp Family Nordic Center

I had a first today: I saw deer roaming in the forest while I did a cross-country ski tour at Trapp Family Lodge Nordic Center in Stowe, Vt.! We saw three of them in the woods between the Russel Knoll Trail and Sugar Road. They saw us, but didn't raise their tails and take off—we were quite a distance away. How cool is that?!  As for the other animals I mention in the headline, they made up some of the trail names that we encountered today. Our rather long ski tour...[Read more]

Saturday, March 2, 2013 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Trapp Family Lodge

Cool rime and fun runs at Mad River Glen today

I took to the slopes of Mad River Glen today after the mountains in the Mad River Valley—and in other high spots around the state—received up to 30 inches of new snow this week. (It just kept snowing!) Check out my photos from the day. The mountain was 100 percent open and it was stuck in a cloud with occasional light snow. I was amazed at what the dampness did to the trees — I saw some very cool rime formations on branches! The snow was not the light, fluffy...[Read more]

Friday, March 1, 2013 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Mad River Glen

Skiing the trails in Stowe's Sterling Forest

On a sparkling day, the Skimeister and I enjoyed a ski tour in the Sterling Forest of Stowe, Vermont. This town-owned land has a network of backcountry skiing and snowshoe trails. It is also crossed by the Catamount Trail and a VAST snowmobile trail. We parked near the Sterling Falls Gorge, picked up a map, and crossed an open meadow before heading into the woods on the Marston Trail. We enjoyed skiing on this trail and on a mellow section of the Catamount Trail — the...[Read more]

Saturday, February 16, 2013 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Catamount Trail, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe

Afternoon cruisin' at the Woodstock Nordic Center

I travel up and down Interstate 89 quite frequently, but rarely do I have time to get off the highway to explore. Yesterday was the exception to the rule. I had time to ski in the afternoon before returning home so I decided to check out the Woodstock Nordic Center. I've visited the quaint village of Woodstock, Vt., a number of times — but never in the winter. The Woodstock Inn's golf course is transformed with a blanket of white snow to become the base for...[Read more]

Friday, February 15, 2013 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Woodstock

Frozen granular Nordic skiing; Delish après skiing

You’ve heard the term “frozen granular,” right? Well I was on the definition of frozen granular today while doing some cross-country skiing. The Skimeister and I went for a ski at Stowe Mountain Resort Nordic Center and they had done their best to chop up previously frozen snow, mixed in with a dusting of new snow. It was fast stuff! It was great to get outside, and we were very thankful that a few cross-country centers have held on to their snow. We skied across a bunch of wind-tossed...[Read more]

Saturday, February 2, 2013 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe

Some crazy weather; some good skiing on the cross-country trails

We have had a Stowe kind of week. The two biggest Nordic centers in Stowe held on to much of their snow after last week's thaw, so we ended up skiing there again on Saturday. My friend and I enjoyed a loop at the Mt. Mansfield (Stowe Mountain Resort) Cross-Country Center. We made use of a Catamount Trail Association coupon for two-for-one skiing in the afternoon. (Gotta love that member coupon book!) Stowe had received 2 - 3 inches of fresh snow Friday night into Saturday morning,...[Read more]

Sunday, January 20, 2013 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe

Farmers’ markets in Vermont's ski towns

Farmers' market in Stowe, Vermont

It’s veggie time in the mountains of Vermont! Vermont's ski towns are among those that have weekly farmers' markets when the snow is not flying. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture produces a handy website that has a statewide schedule of many farmers’ markets. The list includes these markets which I selected because they are located somewhere near a Vermont ski resort or ski town that you may be visiting during the summer months: Northern Vermont Farmers’ Market Schedule In/Near Ski...[Read more]

Monday, July 16, 2012 Filed in: Bolton Valley, Bromley, Food, coffee & après ski, Jay Peak, Mount Snow, Okemo, Ski towns in summer, Smugglers' Notch, Stowe, Sugarbush

Family-friendly Vermont winter carnivals

Broomball at the Chester Winter Carnival

With the 2012 Stowe Winter Carnival starting today, it got me to wondering how many other towns in Vermont are holding winter carnivals this year. With a little searching, I found quite a few! You might consider taking in some of these events when you plan your ski outings or ski vacations. None of these towns are very far from ski resorts. Stowe Winter Carnival January 18 - 28Zany sports events, ice carving competitions, movies, kids carnival, snow golf and snow volleyball tournaments, and...[Read more]

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 Filed in: Food, coffee & après ski

Cold, classic skiing today on the Stowe Rec Path

We got out on the Stowe Recreation Path today for a short ski today in the cold. I wore a balaclava to keep my face warm and kept moving along to keep my body warm. It worked!  The good folks in Stowe have arranged to groom the recreation path a couple times a week for cross-country skiing. Today the classic tracks were excellent. Fresh new snow this week made the coverage great.  Today also featured the Stowe Tour de Snow and we saw families taking part in the...[Read more]

Sunday, January 15, 2012 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe

Fast, cruising skiing today at Sugarbush with a storm on the horizon

Today was all about fast, cruising ski runs at Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen. I headed over to spend some time on my alpine skis on a cloudy morning turned partly sunny midday. I zipped down the stiff corduroy snow in the morning and stayed on the snowmaking trails, which had a solid base. At the top of Vermont's highest chairlift (top station is perched at over 4,000 feet), the trees were encrusted in natural snow and the views were great. I saw both of Vermont and New...[Read more]

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Sugarbush

Farmers’ markets in Vermont — veggies (and more) in the mountains!

After a snowy winter and wet spring, we are enjoying farmers’ market season in Vermont! At recent markets that I went to I saw lots of leafy vegetables, tomatoes, beans, peas, beets and more. Can’t wait until the sweet corn is out, too! The Skimeister and I started our garden a bit late due to an extremely wet May and some early-June travel. But with some recent heat and sun, things are really starting to grow (eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, for example). But I’ve been picking up...[Read more]

Friday, July 15, 2011 Filed in: Bolton Valley, Bromley, Food, coffee & après ski, Jay Peak, Mount Snow, Okemo, Ski towns in summer, Smugglers' Notch, Stowe, Sugarbush

I feasted on corn snow at Sugarbush today!

After a delicious lunch stop at the The Mad Taco in Waitsfield, I headed up to Sugarbush for an afternoon of sunny spring skiing. I feasted on corn snow — that super soft, granular snow that we get to enjoy in the spring. I tackled lots of bumps on runs such as Organgrinder, Paradise and Murphy's Glades. The moguls were like heaping spoonfuls of mashed potatoes. The only thing that threw me was some unexpected ice while descending Paradise, an expert trail off the Heaven's Gate Triple. This...[Read more]

Friday, April 22, 2011 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Spring skiing, Sugarbush

A Cotton Brook backcountry skiing adventure

On Saturday I joined two friends for our first exploration of the Cotton Brook backcountry trail in the in Bolton / Waterbury / Stowe area of Vermont. I believe we hit a bit of all three towns during our lengthy ski tour, and it offered a little of everything. All three of us have skied the Bolton-Trapp Trail, and I think that trail is a much better choice for earning a sustained skiing descent. But we wanted to check out what was beyond those "To Cotton Brook" signs that tempt you...[Read more]

Sunday, February 13, 2011 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe

Catamount Trail skiing & a stay at a farmhouse inn in Waitsfield, Vermont

The end point: the snowy Lincoln Gap Road.

The sprawling farmhouse that is the Inn at Lareau Farm.

Located in Waitsfield, Vermont, it's handy to Sugarbush & Mad River Glen.

It's also close to Ole's and Blueberry Lake nordic centers.

The fun and funky American Flatbread restaurant.

Flatbread baked in a woodfired oven.

Breakfast time at the Inn at Lareau Farm.

Our room.

Yankee Magazine calls the inn a "Best Bargain for Low-Cost Comfort."

Catamount Trail Light snow fell most of the weekend in Vermont's Mad River Valley and on the other side of the Green Mountains, where I was skiing section 17 of the Catamount Trail. As our group skied the 10-mile section of this backcountry trail on Saturday, the fluffy snow created a featherbed effect along the trail. This section starts on the Natural Turnpike in Ripton, Vermont, and snakes its way to Lincoln Gap in Lincoln. We skied north, following the western edge of the Green Mountains....[Read more]

Monday, January 31, 2011 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Blueberry Lake, Catamount Trail, Food, coffee & après ski, Mad River Glen, Ole's, Sugarbush

Bluebird skiing day at Smugglers' Notch today

I feel rather guilty for having such a nice day on the slopes today, while some skiers at Sugarloaf, Maine, were part of a terrible lift accident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were injured. (See this Associated Press article.) But the sky was blue and the snow rather plentiful today at Smugglers' Notch in Vermont. They had reported up to 10 inches of new snow over the last couple of days, and it was fun to ski in, even if I wasn't getting first tracks. My warm-up run (ha!) was...[Read more]

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Smugglers' Notch

Blue sky, white snow & lots of skiers at Bolton Valley today

What a stunning day. As my friend Julie and I drove up to Bolton Valley Resort, I noted how frosty everything was — even as low as the elevation of Timberline Lodge. The trees were encrusted with snow and the sky was brilliant blue. It was quite a treat to be skiing today. A $15 ticket and the sunshine brought a bunch of skiers and riders out. The lines grew quickly as the morning passed. After a couple of warm-up runs on the more traveled trails, we picked our way through Glades and then...[Read more]

Friday, December 24, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Bolton Valley, Food, coffee & après ski

A variety of yummy skiing news this week

Oh, you lucky, lucky Mount Snow skiers! You get to fuel up on my favorite coffee any day of the week — slopeside! Mount Snow and Vermont Coffee Company announced they have opened a café at the ski resort. Vermont Coffee is roasted in Middlebury, Vermont, and the Skimaven ski blog is basically powered by their yummy Dark Roast. Not only does the coffee taste delicious, but it's fair trade and organic. I know — almost too good to be true! Other tasty news this week is that Mad River Glen is...[Read more]

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 Filed in: Bolton Valley, Food, coffee & après ski, Mad River Glen, Mount Snow, Ticket discounts

Biking around the ski town of Stowe, Vermont

I love the long daylight hours that we enjoy at this time of year. However, because of this light, I woke up way too early on this Sunday morning. I peer out the window and what do I see? Snowflakes are blowing around in the stiff breeze. We surely are enjoying highs and lows when it comes to spring weather lately! Luckily, I knew the forecast for this weekend wasn't looking good so on Friday afternoon I headed out to Stowe, Vt., for a bike ride. The sun was shining and I needed to be in...[Read more]

Saturday, May 8, 2010 Filed in: Food, coffee & après ski, Ski towns in summer, Stowe

Vermont Maple Weekend is this weekend. Sweet!

Maple syrup: Oh, how sweet it is. When you are out and about Vermont this weekend, stop into a sugarhouse that's participating in Vermont Maple Open House Weekend. Sugarmakers are found all over the state -- from the Massachusetts line to the Canadian border. They will show you how they make their sticky, sweet jugs and bottles of golden maple syrup. You may also get a free sample, too. For details, check out this Web site: Also keep on the lookout for signs that point...[Read more]

Friday, March 26, 2010 Filed in: Food, coffee & après ski

First day of spring; Skiing is winding down at Trapp Cross-Country

On the Sugar Road at Trapp nordic center today — the first day of spring — we heard birds chirping away, saw families out enjoying mild temperatures, and watched die-hard cross-country skiers try to make the most of a melting ski surface. With the extraordinary stretch of warm weather we have had lately in Vermont, Sugar Road — Trapp's major thoroughfare — is melting down in a big way. In many places we had to tip-toe around muddy or rocky spots. Otherwise we were scraping along frozen...[Read more]

Saturday, March 20, 2010 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Spring skiing, Trapp Family Lodge

Spring skiing abounds, and beta on good eats near Smugglers' Notch

Sunny spring skiing continues in Vermont today and Saturday. Wow, it's been an incredible stretch of sun and soft snow. All this corn snow can make a skier hungry! A local weekly newspaper is talking up a small dining renaissance in Jeffersonville, Vermont, the home of Smugglers' Notch ski resort. Seven Days recently wrote about some interesting new restaurant options and menu changes at the Mix Café and Bakery, Stella Notte, Hearth and Candle and The Brewski:...[Read more]

Friday, March 19, 2010 Filed in: Food, coffee & après ski, Smugglers' Notch

Sunshine-y nordic skiing in Vermont, in the Mad River Valley

Can it get any better than this? The Skimeister and I hit Ole's cross-country center in Warren, Vermont, this afternoon for a ski tour. It was absolutely gorgeous out. No clouds. Warm temperatures. And the snow was still firm in many places because of our cold evenings and excellent grooming at Ole's. I was on skating skis while the Skimeister took to the trails in a sit-ski. He rented it recently so he could get out skiing despite a major knee injury that he sustained last month. Yup, he...[Read more]

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Ole's, Spring skiing

Bumped up and singled out at Mad River Glen

Bumps were the order of the day at Mad River Glen today. Soft bumps and smushed snow in between them. It was a fun day to play in the moguls. There was great coverage at Mad River today after the big storm this week. But it wasn't light Utah snow — more like Sierra cement. You really had to ski where others had skied. In order to ski the crud on the sides of the trail you had to do jumping turns. So I was not skiing in the woods today, that's for sure. The sun was out when my friends and I...[Read more]

Friday, February 26, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Mad River Glen

Great grooming & some surprises at Rikert cross-country center

The kids that go to Middlebury College have it good. They can ski at the Middlebury Snow Bowl and the Rikert Ski touring Center; both are owned and operated by the college. To get to Rikert from Middlebury, we drove Route 125 up and along the Middlebury River, through the micro-village of Ripton, and then to the college's scenic Bread Loaf Campus. Rikert nordic center is based in one of the barns on this historic summer campus known for its writers' conference. The mustard-colored historic...[Read more]

Monday, January 25, 2010 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Rikert

Regional media dish about Vermont's après ski spots

If you read this ski blog enough, you might get the idea that I like pairing a skiing outing with food or drink. Yes, I'm a sucker for après ski. When you read some of these reviews you can see why; in Vermont we've got a plentiful selection of places to tempt a skier after hitting the hill. These recent articles don't cover the entire state, so feel free to chime in with some of your favorite places to eat and drink après skiing. 1.  This Seven Days article gives the skinny on some...[Read more]

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 Filed in: Food, coffee & après ski

Exploring Blueberry Lake cross-country trails in E. Warren, Vt.

When it comes to skate skiing, I'm sure glad that I had years of experience as an instructor of first-time alpine skiers. Why? Because long before I tried skating, I had already mastered climbing up hills quickly — with skis on — using a herringbone. After I did a snowplow demonstration or chased down a wayward student, I would head uphill to regroup with the class — stepping from ski to ski in a wide "V." I put these hard-earned skating skills to work today as we explored Blueberry Lake...[Read more]

Sunday, January 17, 2010 Filed in: Blueberry Lake, Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski

Eating up the marshmallow fluff this afternoon at Bolton Valley

I skied this afternoon at Bolton Valley in some super-light snow that had fallen in the last 24 hours -- and it was as tasty a treat as a Fluffernutter sandwich. In fact, light, fluffy snowflakes were falling the whole time I was skiing; it seemed to make each run a little better. On the less-traveled trails and in the glades off of the Timberline Chair, I was playing in some fun powder. I noticed at times that I wasn't able to see my skis as I made a small wake through the snow. I'd guess...[Read more]

Friday, January 8, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Bolton Valley, Food, coffee & après ski

Gorgeous blue sky and white trees in backcountry today

A bluebird day. Darn cold, but blue! The trees on the ridges around Bolton Valley looked like they were frosting  decorations on a cake. We went for an end-of-the-afternoon ski on the backcountry trails at Bolton. Blue sky, squeaky snow, and white trees; it was gorgeous. There were a few more inches of snow since this past weekend, so waterbars were better covered and more frozen, as well, with the recent cold snap. I think we only had to step over one of them this time. The base is...[Read more]

Friday, December 18, 2009 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Food, coffee & après ski

Summertime around Burke Mountain Resort: Mountain biking rules at Kingdom Trails

In the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont — the corner of the state nestled next to the New Hampshire and Canadian borders and easily accessed by Interstate 91 — one small ski town has found a winning solution for maintaining tourism throughout the year. In East Burke, Vermont, home of Burke Mountain ski resort, landowners and business people have teamed up over the years to create an incredible network of mountain biking trails. They call them Kingdom Trails and they attract bikers from...[Read more]

Sunday, August 23, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Burke, Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Ski towns in summer

Getting Your Freshies: Farmers' markets near Vermont ski resorts

A ski town farmers' market in Stowe, Vermont

I must be getting hungry. Perhaps that's why I'm dreaming about hitting some farmers' markets this weekend!Farmers' markets are a wonderful resource in Vermont ski country. And increasingly in Vermont, you can graze at one of these markets in the winter as well as the summer months.In the summer you'll find starter plants for your garden, then delicious veggies straight from the farm, fabulous baked goods, locally raised meats and handcrafted cheeses, handmade products and artwork. In the...[Read more]

Friday, June 19, 2009 Filed in: Food, coffee & après ski, Ski towns in summer

Early Easter morning on the ski mountain

[For Easter 2010 sunrise service information, follow this link.] We did it. We were out the door on Easter Sunday by 5:15 a.m. The Skimeister and I wanted to attend our first-ever Easter Sunrise Service, and it would be atop Sterling Mountain at Smugglers' Notch. At 6-ish, we loaded the lift with about 70 other people. The light was faint, but it wasn't dark at this hour. People had skis, snowshoes and plain old boots. The lift crept along because they had to extract the non-skiers from...[Read more]

Monday, April 13, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Smugglers' Notch, Spring skiing

Cross-country skiing in Stowe as things start to melt

We had another gorgeous skiing day on Saturday. It's been an incredible stretch of sunny weather for Vermont! I wanted to go cross-country skiing so I looked at options that were at a higher altitude, where the snow coverage was still good. In the villages the sun has melted off much of the snow. I decided to go to Stowe Mountain Resort's cross-country center, which is situated at about 1,500 feet or so. It has remained chilly in the mountains, especially overnight, so I was not in a huge...[Read more]

Sunday, March 22, 2009 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Spring skiing, Stowe

Making springy turns at Stowe, Vermont, on St. Patrick's Day

Must be the luck of the Irish. We had a beautiful day of spring skiing at Stowe today! Stowe had special $35 lift tickets for St. Patrick's Day, so the Skimeister and I — and several hundred other people — made tracks for Mt. Mansfield. Blue skies ruled the day. We loaded the gondola about 9 a.m. We didn't think the runs off the quad were soft, and we didn't see anyone skiing Liftline or National until late morning. Gondolier and Perry Merrill were already quite soft. We took a number of...[Read more]

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Mt. Mansfield, Spring skiing, Stowe

St. Patrick's Day ski deals and Smugglers' Notch in winter

On Sunday I went to see if there was any snow at the Smugglers' Notch cross-country center. Nope. None. Nada. The sun had melted many areas and what little was left was all ice. For some reason the attendant at the nordic center didn't realize that there wasn't enough snow to cross-country ski on. They were renting snowshoes, which weren't really needed either; you could just walk the trails in some decent boots. The Smuggs Web site also made it seem like there was plenty of skiing there. I...[Read more]

Monday, March 16, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Mad River Glen, Spring skiing, Stowe, Ticket discounts

Sunny spring nordic skiing at Trapp Family Lodge

What a day! Saturday was a warm and sunny day to strap on some skis. Enjoy our photos from Trapp Family Lodge Nordic Center, where spring conditions prevailed and the sap buckets were collecting maple sap. The snow cover was very good, and conditions called for waxless skis or Klister wax (very, very sticky stuff!). In the afternoon we stopped in to see what was new at the West Branch Art Gallery, next door to the Rusty Nail. We then had a maple latté at the Stowe Coffeehouse near the...[Read more]

Sunday, March 15, 2009 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Spring skiing, Trapp Family Lodge

Good skiing and bright sun at Smugglers' Notch, Vermont, today

Today was a gorgeous day to be on the slopes in Vermont. The Skimeister and I bought the Bash Badge Plus at Smugglers' Notch this season, which gives you free early- and late-season skiing (and $25 tickets in between), so we rearranged our work to hit the mountain for part of the day—sans credit card. There is still a lot of snow up there. The snowfall from a couple of days ago still clung to the shady side of trees, and the snow was still rather soft to ski through in glades that do not get...[Read more]

Thursday, March 5, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Mad River Glen, Smugglers' Notch, Ticket discounts

Unbelievable powder skiing today at Sugarbush, Vermont

Today I had the best powder day EVER in the East. Sugarbush is among the Vermont resorts that were hammered by snowstorms and mountain snow showers over the last several days. Yet, on the heels of the major storm on Sunday came wild winds on Monday. The wind closed the lifts at Sugarbush by 10 a.m. on Monday. Bottom line: We would have fresh tracks and nicer weather to enjoy today. The Skimeister and I could not pass it up. We got to Sugarbush's Lincoln Peak area about 8:30 a.m. and picked up...[Read more]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Sugarbush

Exploring new ski trails at Trapp Family Lodge cross-country center

Seems like several Vermont resorts are celebrating anniversaries this year. Killington is turning 50, Sugarbush is 50 and Trapp Family Lodge's cross-country center has turned 40. To commemorate four decades of skiing, Trapp Family Lodge cut a new trail and named it "The 40 Year Trail." I would have called it the Back 40, but hey, they didn't ask.During what must have been a 14-km loop, the Skimeister and I tried out this new trail on Saturday morning and also skied for the first time on Hare...[Read more]

Monday, February 9, 2009 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe, Trapp Family Lodge

Skiing the lower Steeple Trail, a classic backcountry trail near Mt. Mansfield

Saturday dawned with clear, sunny skies and the Skimeister and I cemented our plans for the day over breakfast. Despite the expected drop in temperatures during the day, we would head over to Stowe, Vt., to tackle the lower Steeple trail. It would my first time on this backcountry skiing terrain to the west of the Stowe Mountain Resort nordic center, and to the south of Mt. Mansfield. It's a historic Vermont trail that I had read about in David Goodman's "Backcountry Skiing Adventures" book,...[Read more]

Sunday, January 25, 2009 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Mt. Mansfield, Stowe, Trapp Family Lodge

Winter Carnival time in Vermont, and a backcountry skiing event on Sunday

Friday afternoon update: The Skimeister and I took a longish lunch and did some cross-country skiing at Catamount nordic center in Williston, Vt. The coverage was good. My poles punched through about five inches of snow on the side of the trails. So, the higher elevations should have even better snow conditions! Bundle up and have fun this weekend. Many Vermont ski resorts are nearly 100 percent open now. Now onto winter carnivals, which take on two forms in Vermont. The first is a collegiate...[Read more]

Friday, January 23, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Burke, Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Okemo, Stowe, Trapp Family Lodge

Damn cold here in Vermont—might as well try a new restaurant in ski country

Depending on where you live in Vermont, you woke up this morning to temperatures in the order of -24 or -17. It was so cold last night that my house let out some very strange sounds. (Hope the siding is still attached.) So, needless to say, this is not skiing weather. In fact, Bolton Valley Resort did not offer night skiing this week due to the cold. Over in northern Maine, Big Rock ski area closed for a couple days citing the dangerous wind chill. This is the kind of weather that when you go...[Read more]

Friday, January 16, 2009 Filed in: Bolton Valley, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe, Sugarbush

A lovely day in Stowe at Trapp Family Lodge cross-country center

I thought I'd share a few photos with you from Stowe and the Trapp Family Lodge cross-country center. I had a really fun and informative day of nordic skiing on Saturday as part of the first-ever Catamount Trail Association's Ladies Expo. More than 100 women descended on the center to get coaching in classic and skate cross-country skiing and backcountry ski techniques. Everyone I spoke with had a terrific day. The sun was out most of the day and we were doing all sorts of drills so we...[Read more]

Sunday, January 11, 2009 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe, Trapp Family Lodge

NYT shares tips about spending a weekend in Burlington, Vermont

Well things aren't looking great this weekend as far as the weather is concerned. What a shame—we had such great snow before Christmas! Here in the Champlain Valley there's a lot of melting going on. The snow is making a racket as it slides off our roof. The mountain forecast for northern Vermont even calls for rain before temperatures cool off on Sunday night, with snow showers following on Monday and Tuesday. Ah, patience is a virtue. I've been meaning to share this article from the New...[Read more]

Saturday, December 27, 2008 Filed in: Food, coffee & après ski

"It's not quite over yet"

Even with the mercury rising, you can still ski in Vermont

"It's not quite over yet." So says Sugarbush ski resort, which will open up on Saturday so they can say that they skied into May. The same goes for Jay Peak resort. Both Vermont ski areas are running a lift and a couple of trails for a spring-skiing ticket price of $25. Sugarbush will run the Super Bravo lift for skiing on the Valley House Traverse, Stein's Run and Coffee Run. They say that skiers may need to walk a bit at the end of Coffee Run to get back to the lift. They'll be serving up a...[Read more]

Friday, May 2, 2008 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Jay Peak, Spring skiing, Sugarbush, Ticket discounts

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