Roaming the hills and getting excited for the snowy season in Vermont!

Did you hear our highest peaks got snow last weekend? That's always cool to see in October. It gets us excited for skiing! We've been hiking to get our legs in shape for all those left turns and right turns. We've been doing a "tour de ski areas" of sorts.  You get a new perspective on a ski area when you climb up it when there is now snow. The trails seem much steeper when you don't have skis or a board on your feet. In the fall, you can check out the trail mowing progress...[Read more]

Monday, October 19, 2020 Filed in: Fall & Early season

SkiMaven’s annual ski swap post — the 2020 COVID edition

Photo of a Vermont ski swap with people looking at skis

Updated 11/12/2020 The coronavirus is throwing a wrench into a lot of plans. Ski swaps are no exception. The volunteers who run these fundraising events have gone back to the drawing board to figure out how to offer them safely. Some have considered virtual swaps or outdoor sales, while others are canceling altogether. We’ll update this list as more information comes in. Bookmark this page! Text and images © SkiMaven.com. If you would like to share this list with others you must include a...[Read more]

Friday, September 4, 2020 Filed in: Ski swaps

Killington, Pico, Magic Mountain and Mad River Glen and more ski areas also to close due to coronavirus concerns

Photo of gondola ascending a ski area

Update on 3/16 at 5:30 p.m.: Smugglers' Notch is the last ski resort in the state to announce it will stop operating at end of day on March 17. Update on 3/15 at 2 p.m.: Bolton Valley Resort will close at 4 p.m. today (Sunday) for an unknown amount of time. Update on 3/15 at 10:30 a.m.: Middlebury Snow Bowl is closed immediately for the season. Update on 3/15 at 9:30 a.m.: Suicide Six ski area is closed immediately for the season. Update on 3/15 at 9 a.m.: Bromley ski area has announced it...[Read more]

Sunday, March 15, 2020 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Bolton Valley, Killington, Mad River Glen, Magic, Middlebury Snow Bowl, Pico, Stowe, Stratton, Sugarbush

Stratton and Sugarbush join the list of Vermont ski resorts to close immediately due to coronavirus worries

Photo of a ski resort's many trails

On Saturday evening, after Vail Resorts' announcement, Alterra Mountain Company said it will stop spinning the lifts at their many properties. Starting immediately, Stratton and Sugarbush ski resorts in Vermont will be closed until further notice. These Vermont ski areas join others in closing due the the coronavirus threat. All of Vail Resorts' North American ski resorts will close from March 15 - 22. This includes Stowe, Okemo and Mount Snow in Vermont. Jay Peak and Burke...[Read more]

Saturday, March 14, 2020 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Stratton, Sugarbush

Stowe, Okemo and Mount Snow will close for a week due to coronavirus concerns

Photo of a gondola at a ski resort

All of Vail Resorts' North American ski resorts will close from March 15 - 22. This includes Stowe, Okemo and Mount Snow in Vermont. The announcement came on Saturday evening, March 14. The company says it wants to help tamp down the coronavirus risk for its employees, guests and the communities where their resorts are located. The company will reassess the situation during the week. In Vermont, three other ski areas have announced they will close. Jay Peak and Burke Mountain closed for...[Read more]

Saturday, March 14, 2020 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Mount Snow, Okemo, Stowe

Jay Peak and Burke Mountain ski resorts to close for the season due to coronavirus threat

Photo of Jay Peak Resort from a distance showing the tram

Update on 3/14/20: Middlebury Snow Bowl will close for the season on Sunday afternoon, as will Rikert Nordic Center. They said Middlebury College is taking measures “in response to current health events.” ----- This virus sucks. Yes, I know that's the understatement of the decade. In northern Vermont, both Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts will close for the season on Saturday afternoon. They don't want to exacerbate the spread of the coronavirus. It may also be a cost-saving...[Read more]

Friday, March 13, 2020 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Burke, Cross-country skiing, Jay Peak, Middlebury Snow Bowl, Rikert

Lotsa snow in northern Vermont!

What a weekend in northern Vermont. Ski resorts got between 1 and 3 feet of snow over the past week and skiers and riders rejoiced! Photos courtesy: Bolton Valley Resort Jay Peak Resort Sugarbush Resort Burke Mountain Resort [Read more]

Monday, March 2, 2020 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

One day, two mountains — A well-rounded tour of Sugarbush Ski Resort in Vermont

Photo of trails and snowy trees on Lincoln Peak

Today was all about sunny turns. It was a gorgeous day to be outside and we chose to spend it on the slopes at Sugarbush Resort in northern Vermont. We've skied Sugarbush a number of times over the years but today was the first time we skied at both Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen on the same day. The reason we could easily do this is a 2-mile-long connector lift called the Slide Brook Express. It's a nearly 15-minute scenic ride that brings you up and down the peaks and valleys between the north...[Read more]

Saturday, February 22, 2020 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Sugarbush

On today's agenda: A ski tour at Camel's Hump Nordic in Huntington, Vermont

Photo of cross-country skier and tall pine trees

In the shadow of Vermont's third-highest peak (Camel's Hump) sits a low-key, nonprofit trail system called Camel's Hump Nordic Ski Area. We did a very nice ski loop there this morning. Camel's Hump Nordic maintains over 65 kilometers of groomed and backcountry trails. They say they regularly groom 20-25 km for both classic and skate skiing. The trails range from easy field loops to challenging backcountry trails and steep terrain. We took our waxless cross-country skis today but we decided...[Read more]

Sunday, February 16, 2020 Filed in: Camel's Hump Nordic, Catamount Trail, Cross-country skiing

Below zero temps didn't keep us away from earning turns in northern Vermont today!

Photo of a skier in the snowy woods

I'll admit it: I was a bit concerned when the Subaru's thermometer was still reading -7 degrees (F) and we were about to put our boots on. I had really wanted it to get to zero. But the sun was out and we knew the forecast was for temps rising to 20 or more during the day so off we went into the woods. We warmed up quickly while meandering through the trees in the Sterling Forest in Stowe, Vermont. We found the snow was very nice in the shade, and a little crusty if it had been in the...[Read more]

Saturday, February 15, 2020 Filed in: Backcountry skiing

Day 2 of romping in the powder in the Vermont backcountry

Photo of a telemark skier turning in the powder

It was so good on Saturday, we came back for a second helping on Sunday! It was below zero when we left our house this morning, but it actually got warmer as we drove up the mountain access road. The strength of the sun would soon create a surprisingly comfortable and incredibly gorgeous morning for skiing. We earned more turns in the powder in the backcountry trail network at Bolton Valley, Vermont. I got more practice with my AT (alpine touring) gear. I'm still working on making quick...[Read more]

Sunday, February 9, 2020 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Pow, pow and more pow in northern Vermont!

Photo of skier in deep powder that hides lower half of her body

It was a super Saturday in the backcountry in northern Vermont! What fun it was to earn turns through more than a foot of fresh powder! Check out our photos. The only reason you aren't seeing me smile is because it was about zero degrees with a little wind at about 3200 feet in elevation. I was smiling behind my balaclava, which I wore up to my eyeballs. It was not the day to expose any teeth! After climbing past trees bowed over with snow, we switched into downhill mode as fast as we could....[Read more]

Saturday, February 8, 2020 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Fun day to try out new AT gear in the Vermont backcountry!

Photo of skier turning in snow with hobble brush sticking out

In the backcountry, I've been using telemark gear — the older lift-served variety. It's been challenging and fun, but I've been envious of the light AT gear that people use as they climb past me. And I'm a much better downhill skier than a tele skier. So, as some telemark skiers would say, "I've gone to the darkside!"  And boy the darkside is fun! I got some light and wide AT (alpine touring) skis, light AT bindings and light AT boots. I lost a bunch of weight ;) I was much...[Read more]

Saturday, February 1, 2020 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

A satisfying cross-country tour at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont

Photo of the Skimeister making his way up the trail

We're getting some weird weather again this weekend in northern Vermont. We decided to get some cross-country striding in before the mixed precipitation started.  The Skimeister and I clicked into our waxless skinny skis and did a healthy tour around the trails at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. We started out before 9 a.m. and came back to the car three hours later. Let's see if I can remember how we zigzagged around. Up Russell Knoll to Chris' Run and Slayton Pasture Trail to...[Read more]

Saturday, January 25, 2020 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Trapp Family Lodge

A powder-filled Sunday at Smugglers' Notch, Vermont

Today I headed over to Smugglers' Notch Resort to check out 5" fresh atop about 12-18" from Thursday's storm. It's great to see the mountain bounce back after last weekend's thaw. The Sterling double lift opens earliest, so I waited in line (thankful that temps were in the 20s) and caught about the 10th chair after the rope drop. My first run was on Smugglers's Alley and it skied like every bit of 20" of powder. Woohoo! One of the reasons Smugglers' Alley was so good is that it...[Read more]

Sunday, January 19, 2020 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Smugglers' Notch

Winter returns to Bolton Valley and the rest of Vermont

Thursday's storm, and the one hitting tonight, are finally putting us back on track after the recent thaw. The temps are downright wintry as well! Brrrr! Winter is back! Today I headed out for a tour in the Bolton Valley backcountry. We're in the middle of what looks to become a 30" four-day snow total, by the time things wrap up tomorrow night. Yippee! It was a chilly but windless 3 degrees out as I skinned past Bryant Cabin and on up to a grey but pretty vista from Stowe View, at...[Read more]

Saturday, January 18, 2020 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Skiing in about four inches of new snow this morning in northern Vermont

Photo of skier turning in fresh snow in the glades

Around northern Vermont, ski areas reported that about 4 - 6 inches of snow fell Saturday into Sunday morning. It serves as a nice refresh for the conditions. We got up early and headed to the slopes to play in the new snow. We weren't the only ones getting to the hill early! We waited in a growing crowd for Stowe Mountain Resort's Fourrunner Quad to open. It was windy at the base, and we soon found out it was very windy up at the summit. The wind had blown around the four inches of new snow....[Read more]

Sunday, January 5, 2020 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Stowe

Skiing into the new year on new snow at Vermont’s Smugglers’ Notch Resort!

Photo of a skier turning in front of a frozen waterfall

After hitting the snooze button a few times, we got ourselves up and out the door this morning for some New Year’s Day skiing. We made our way to Smugglers’ Notch Resort to enjoy some new snow, which seemed to be a special delivery to celebrate the new year. (Thanks, Mother Nature!) The trails were mostly packed powder and powder. It was fun playing in the new, shallow powder! We sought it out at every opportunity. Our favorite runs of the morning were a bit off the beaten path: Upper...[Read more]

Wednesday, January 1, 2020 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Smugglers' Notch

Starting a holiday week the Vermont way — with a Sunday morning full of skiing

Photo of the summit of Mt. Mansfield and trails below it

I got up with the sun on this first full day of winter. The sunrise was gorgeous! I drove on over to Stowe Mountain Resort to get some turns in. It was a lovely morning. At first it was clear, then cloudy and then clear again. The temperatures were downright comfortable (it will be warmer tomorrow!) and I only found wind at the very top of the Fourrunner Quad and the Octagon. Those of us who got to Mt. Mansfield early gobbled up the "virgin corduroy" (the freshly groomed trails)....[Read more]

Sunday, December 22, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Stowe

A quiet, mellow ski tour on the first day of winter

Photo of red skis on a snowy trail

Welcome, winter! After a week of work it felt great to get out into the quiet woods! I took my waxless skis with three-pin bindings and did a mellow ski tour on the Bolton Valley Nordic trails. At around 1700 feet in elevation, I skied in about four inches of snow on top of a mostly frozen ground. I had to step over a half dozen wet waterbars. Otherwise I enjoyed gliding through the ungroomed snow. The alpine trails at the ski area were bustling, but I had the trail to myself.  The...[Read more]

Saturday, December 21, 2019 Filed in: Bolton Valley, Cross-country skiing

Well, hello powder! Nice to see you!

Photo of a skier making powder turns surrounded by hardwood trees

We explored snowy wooded trails today, and boy are we glad that we did! High in Bolton, Vermont, we found about a foot of light powder to ski in. The tree branches were heavy with snow. It was gorgeous! We still need a better base, however. We encountered rocks, hobblebush and soggy water bars. (Be careful!) But the foot of snow made exploring really fun! That's the good news. Now for the bad news. Sunday night the temperatures start climbing into the 30s and will hit 40 degrees on Monday....[Read more]

Saturday, December 7, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing

Sunday morning runs at Stowe, Vermont — first time on a ski lift this season!

Photo of skiers on snowmaking whales on the Upper Hayride expert run

December 1st seemed like a good day to get on a ski lift! I headed to Stowe Mountain Resort as the sun was rising and got some morning laps on the Fourrunner Quad.  The morning started out sunny and slowly clouded over. My "warm-up" run was on Liftline because it was freshly groomed. It would only get skied off later, so carpe diem! I skied on trails covered with manmade snow. Some of it was very fresh. The resort had been making whales of snow on Upper Hayride, for example,...[Read more]

Sunday, December 1, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Fall & Early season, Stowe

Frosty trees and a thin crust layer at 1,800 feet

Photo of a Nordic skier skiing away surrounded by frosty trees

Today the Skimeister and I drove up to about 1,800 feet elevation here in northern Vermont to see what the snow was like. We brought our light ski touring gear, including older waxless* skis. We knew there would not be a huge base of natural snow. The trees were frosted over and it was gorgeous to behold! We skied in a couple of inches of snow under a thin crust — a thickness that made me think of a crème brûlée crust. When we skied downhill, our 75 mm bindings shattered the crust and...[Read more]

Friday, November 29, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Fall & Early season

Some nice cross-country skiing for November

Photo of classic ski tracks and the tips of skis

I took advantage of another sunny day today. I took my skinny skis and went to Catamount Outdoor Center in Williston, Vt. We don't always get to cross-country ski in November at this low elevation, so it was important to hit the trails! The snow coverage was quite good. Where tracks were set, they were good, too. The Goose Hill side of the trail network features open fields and a hillside. There you can get views of Camel's Hump and Mt. Mansfield. These snowy peaks were set off against a...[Read more]

Sunday, November 17, 2019 Filed in: Catamount Nordic, Cross-country skiing, Fall & Early season

November 16: Scenes from a sunny Saturday on snow

Photo of skier and her tracks through the snow

We went to our local ski hill here in northern Vermont, which isn't open yet, and we skinned up to earn some turns. It was our first telemark / skinning outing of the season! We're thinking there were up to 10 inches of all-natural snow in some places. The untouched snow in the shade was quite soft. But if the sun had been on it there was some breakable crust. With the sun shining brightly, it was much warmer than we expected it would be. And no wind. Bonus! Are you getting on the snow this...[Read more]

Saturday, November 16, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Fall & Early season

Sugarbush Resort is sold to Alterra Mountain Company

Photo of base area of Sugarbush Resort with ski runs in the background

Another Vermont ski resort has been sold. This time, the buyer is not Vail Resorts. Alterra Mountain Company is buying Sugarbush Resort in northern Vermont. Alterra currently owns 14 destinations in North America. They include Stratton and Tremblant in the East, Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado, Deer Valley and Solitude in Utah, and Squaw Valley and Mammoth in California. They partner with an additional 27 around the world on their Ikon Pass. The transaction is expected to close in...[Read more]

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Sugarbush

When do ski resorts open in Vermont for 2019 - 2020 season?

Photo of skier making turns at Smugglers' Notch in sunshine with mountain view

Updated 12/14/19 Please check our direct links to Vermont ski area snow reports before you make plans to go! In November and December, check for midweek closures. Sometimes ski areas are just open on weekends in the early season! Killington - opened November 3Mount Snow - opened November 13Bromley - opened November 16Okemo - opened November 22Stowe - opened November 22Jay Peak - opened November 22 for passholders; Nov. 23 for all othersSugarbush - opened November 22 for passholders; Nov. 23...[Read more]

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Cross-country skiing, Fall & Early season, Jay Peak, Killington, Mount Snow, Okemo, Stowe, Stratton, Sugarbush

Sliding on snow in November in Vermont

Photo of red skis in fluffy, white snow

On Saturday morning I headed up to about 1800 feet in elevation here in northern Vermont. I found five inches of fluffy snow. And no base. But that's OK because I had on my old waxless, three-pin setup. I was out to explore and try to slide on snow for the first time this season. The sun was shining, which made for a great little outing. I often skied through the snow to the grass and rocks. I crossed streams and damp spots frequently. But it felt great to get out there! Incoming Snow Now...[Read more]

Sunday, November 10, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Fall & Early season

Updated Vermont lift ticket deals post for this ski + ride season: 2019 - 2020

Photo of a skier on a snowy trail with a wintry view at Smugglers Notch, Vermont

Each year we compile a list of some of the best skiing deals, discount days, resident discounts and frequent skier deals in Vermont. We've posted the list of deals for the 2019-2020 ski season. Check 'em out![Read more]

Sunday, November 3, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Jay Peak, Killington, Mount Snow, Okemo, Smugglers' Notch, Stowe, Stratton, Sugarbush, Ticket discounts

October snow gets us psyched for the coming ski season!

Snowy rocks, trees and cliff at the top of the gondola on Mt. Mansfield

On Thursday, October 17, it rained a lot in Vermont. But when the clouds later lifted, they revealed bright white high peaks! The highest spots in the state had snow on them and it was lovely. On Saturday we found 4 - 5 inches of snow at 3700 feet on Mt. Mansfield, at the top of the gondola.  Here are a few photos from Saturday afternoon on Mansfield. Plus, a shot of a white-glazed Mt. Mansfield from a sailboat on Lake Champlain on Sunday.  This gets us very excited for ski season....[Read more]

Sunday, October 20, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Fall & Early season, Sailing

2019 Ski Swaps in Vermont – SkiMaven’s annual list!

Photo of skis for sale at a Vermont ski swap

<<CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE 2020 LIST OF SKI SWAPS!>> Updated 10/8/2019 It’s time to plan for buying or selling at one of Vermont’s ski swaps! Consider bookmarking this page and sharing it with friends. We will update this list as more events are announced and details are confirmed. If you have information about a swap that is not yet listed here, please drop us a comment below. Thanks! Text and images © SkiMaven.com. If you would like to share this list with others you must...[Read more]

Thursday, August 29, 2019 Filed in: Ski gear, Ski swaps

Resistance is Futile: Vail Resorts to bring Mount Snow into the fold and other Peak Resorts

Image of blue bubble chairlift with skiers on it at Mount Snow in Vermont.

Vail Resorts announced today its plans to purchase Peak Resorts, a group of 17 ski areas that includes Mount Snow in southern Vermont. The acquisitions include Mount Snow, Hunter Mountain in New York, three resorts in New Hampshire (Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched) five in Pennsylvania (Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder), four in Ohio (Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River), two in Missouri (Hidden Valley and Snow Creek) and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. With...[Read more]

Monday, July 22, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Mount Snow, Okemo, Stowe

Earning sunny turns on Easter in Vermont

In addition to spending time with family and doing some yard work, we also earned some turns on Sunday. At Bolton Valley (which is no longer running its lifts) you'll still find a bunch of snow. The snowpack is quite deep in most areas! But it is April 21 so some sunny areas are melting out and logs and rocks are appearing.  It was mostly sunny as we skinned up Ricker Mountain, which is where the ski trails are located. It was wonderful to sit in the warm sun and take in the view at the...[Read more]

Sunday, April 21, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

A Spring Skiing Spectacular at Mad River Glen!

These are the days you might dream about in the winter when it's zero degrees and you're planning to hit the mountain. It reached about 60 degrees at the base of Mad River Glen on Saturday. The sun was bright and warm. The snow corned up nicely everywhere we went. And a modest crowd of skiers was soaking up every second of it! After we did a warm-up on groomed trails from the top of the Single Chair, we ventured over to the Sunnyside Double. It was mid-morning and we knew things had been in...[Read more]

Saturday, April 13, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Mad River Glen, Spring skiing

Last lift rides for this season at our closest ski area :(

A group of skiers and riders comes down the hill under the Vista quad lift

While there is beaucoup snow in the Green Mountains, some ski areas are stopping their lifts for the season. It's a matter of economics really. Ski areas closing on Sunday afternoon included Pico, Magic Mountain, Bromley and Bolton Valley. Other ski resorts are looking at weekend-only operations, while others charge ahead seven days a week. Sunday afternoon I took advantage of some very springlike conditions at Bolton Valley Resort. There weren't many people out during the last couple of hours...[Read more]

Sunday, April 7, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

It's April 6 and there's still a lot of snow in the mountains in Vermont!

Backcountry skiing surrounded by snowy branches

We skied in two inches of fresh cream cheese today. We went in the backcountry trail network at Bolton Valley. The fresh snow clung to tree branches, which started to drip while we were skiing.  The mountain was stuck in the clouds while we skied. And at the bottom of the trail network, the snow got quite sticky with the warm-ish temperature. Did you know the snow pack is still very deep?!? There are 118 inches of snow at the stake near the top of Mt. Mansfield. We'll be skiing for a...[Read more]

Saturday, April 6, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

Lovely spring skiing at Colorado’s sunny Beaver Creek Resort

Snowboarder admires mountain views from Grouse Mountain at Beaver Creek, Colorado

The SkiMaven took a road trip to Colorado this week! I enjoyed bright blue skies, some fresh snow and some spring skiing conditions. I spent some time skiing at Beaver Creek Resort, which is in Avon, Colorado. It’s about 10 miles west of Vail. Early in the week of March 25, I enjoyed a couple inches of fresh snow at Beaver Creek. The resort’s trails had a silky layer over them – whether they had been groomed overnight or not. Lovely! I skied with a couple of young Speedmeisters. We hit a...[Read more]

Sunday, March 31, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Colorado skiing, Spring skiing, Western skiing

Late March delivers a bluebird powder day at Smuggs

After a day and night of heavy snow, followed by a day of high wind (and lifts on wind hold) — today was the right day to hit the slopes at Smugglers' Notch Resort near Jeffersonville, Vermont. Another draw for Smuggs? The main Madonna 1 chairlift had been on wind hold all day yesterday, so the entire upper mountain would be practically untouched.The snow report pegged the storm total at 23" and it was all there: sometimes piled into giant firm drifts, sometimes wind-kissed, and sometimes...[Read more]

Sunday, March 24, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Smugglers' Notch

18 + inches of snow to enjoy in the Vermont backcountry today!

Skier breaks trail in deep snow surrounded by snowy trees

Wow! I think Friday's snowstorm was an over-achiever! This morning when we ventured into the Bolton, Vt., backcountry trail network, we measured at least 18 inches of new snow! It was a good thing we were in the backcountry, too. Some ski resorts had lift closures due to the wind. But where we were, it didn't matter! We were earning our powder turns. The powder had a medium consistency. If we got going fast enough we could kind of surf the top inches of it. If we slowed down too much, the...[Read more]

Saturday, March 23, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

A quick morning ski tour in the backcountry

Making ski turns through the snow

We hit the backcountry network at nearby Bolton Valley, Vermont, this morning to earn some turns. It was a lovely, windless, warm morning. We found 4 - 6 inches of fresh snow piled up from the last few days. Some sunny or windy spots were a little crusty or windpacked. But finding soft turns in shady areas was bliss. A great way to start the day. Unfortunately we will have very balmy weather on Thursday and Friday. With some rain. We'll see what happens![Read more]

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

A spectacular Saturday on the snow

It was a stunning day on the snow today! Not a cloud in the sky, a deep snowpack and warm temperatures. So very nice indeed. The Skimeister and I headed to Stowe, Vt., to do a backcountry ski tour. We explored the woods in the Sterling Forest. We earned our turns among the hardwood trees. And we had a leisurely snack stop in the sunshine. We noticed the snow in the shade and higher in elevation was rather light. But as we moved down to sunnier, lower elevations it became stiffer. We surfed on...[Read more]

Saturday, March 9, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe

Weekday skiing rocks! A beautiful Tuesday at Sugarbush’s Mt. Ellen

With the day off today, I warmed up the Subie and headed to Mt. Ellen at Sugarbush Resort. I was hankering for some uncrowded laps on high-speed lifts. And that's what I got! As you surely know, skiing during the midweek is the way to go when you can swing it. The mountain was quiet and many chairs were empty as they climbed up the 4,083-foot Mt. Ellen.  The day started with sun and blue skies. It was chilly but gorgeous! From Mt. Ellen you get great views west to Lake Champlain and...[Read more]

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Sugarbush

Warm, sunny cross-country skiing this weekend; a bit of snow on the way

Classic ski tracks in the woods with beech and pine trees

We stayed closed to home this weekend and hit our local cross-country skiing center. The snow is holding up pretty well at Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston, Vt. We skied on the woods side of the center on both Saturday and Sunday. The sun and warm temperatures this weekend made for nice, comfortable outings. The kind where you can stop to watch the woodpeckers or to soak up the sun on your face. Now we're looking at just a bit of snow Sunday night into Monday. The coastal storm is...[Read more]

Sunday, March 3, 2019 Filed in: Catamount Nordic, Cross-country skiing

Backcountry skiing on a warm and sunny February day

Snowy glades and blue sky

I was in my happy place today. We did a ski tour that had us climb up to 3,000 feet and then ski down through the sunny, snowy woods.  It was so nice to be able to leisurely switch over to downhill mode. The weather was windless and warm. There was no reason to rush as we took the skins off our skis and put on our helmets and dry mittens. There's still a lot of snow in the backcountry trail network at Bolton Valley, Vermont. Every once in a while I would stab a pole into the snow and...[Read more]

Saturday, February 23, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Primo cross-country skiing conditions today

Cross-country skiing in Stowe, Vermont.

Today I skied with a group at the Trapp Family Lodge Nordic center. The snow was amazing! Apparently when we got rain in the Champlain Valley this week, the higher elevations in northern Vermont got snow that didn't change over to rain. The snow coverage was terrific. And on the sides of the trails there was a deep layer of powder before your pole hit the hard crust below. (We got that crust layer nearly two weeks ago.) Trapps does a very nice job of grooming and we enjoyed skiing in sturdy...[Read more]

Sunday, February 17, 2019 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Trapp Family Lodge

End-of-the-day / early-night skiing in a bunch of new snow!

Powdery turns this afternoon and early evening at Bolton Valley.

I couldn't resist the news of 12 inches of new snow at higher elevations this morning. I made some plans to get out on the snow at the end of the work day. Snowflakes continued to fall throughout the day at Bolton Valley Resort. They had picked up another few inches before I arrived.  I hit Bolton's slopes at the end of the day before the night skiing lights turned on. The powder was fresh and light. And it was still falling from the sky. Fun stuff! While there was daylight I took runs...[Read more]

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Bolton Valley

Frozen granular cross-country skiing after the rain, thaw and freeze

I went to ski at about 2,100 feet in the northern Green Mountains today. First, the good news: There's still a deep snowpack! Now, the bad news: The top layer is frozen solid. In fact, it shines in the sun. You can see the frozen tracks of skiers and riders who had been in the woods recently. With today's wind, I decided to cross-country ski. I knew I would want to go somewhere where they had groomed the trails. Bolton Valley Nordic Center was the place for me this morning. They had groomed...[Read more]

Saturday, February 9, 2019 Filed in: Bolton Valley, Cross-country skiing

Deep snow — now more condensed — in the backcountry in northern Vermont

We noticed a change in depth of the snowpack today as compared to a week ago. While doing a backcountry tour we had to duck more often than usual to pass under branches. That's a good sign! (Have you heard that there were 98 inches of snow at the stake near the top of Mt. Mansfield? It broke a record for January 31.) Since Wednesday's super-light powder fell, the wind has played with it. The snow is now more consolidated and wind packed, but still great to ski. We also noticed the streams are...[Read more]

Saturday, February 2, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

All hail the powder! Amazing powder day at Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont

What a day to take off from work! The weather forecast looked promising and we think it over-delivered. Smugglers’ Notch reported 12 inches of new snow overnight. And when we got there we found it was the light, fluffy snow of our dreams. No windblown, windpacked stuff. Woo-hoo! On the drive to the resort it was snowing. Then during much of the midday it was sunny with bright blue skies. (Gorgeous!) And then the snow decided to come back for another go at the end of the day.  We did...[Read more]

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Smugglers' Notch

Sunday skiing in Stowe in a snow globe

I skied through the snowflakes today in Stowe! I enjoyed a loop on the cross-country ski trails at the Trapp Family Lodge.  The parking lot was almost full when I got there at midday. However, I picked trails that aren't skied as much so I only passed five people. And three turkeys. And a whole bunch of crows. Judging from all the tracks in the snow, I'm sure I also skied past some deer hiding in the woods. We probably picked up an inch of snow as I skied. I took Skater's Waltz from the...[Read more]

Sunday, January 27, 2019 Filed in: Cross-country skiing, Trapp Family Lodge

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