Backcountry skiing

Skiing the trails in Stowe's Sterling Forest

Skiing 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

Fresh powder — and exploding grouse — in the Bolton backcountry

What a lovely, cold winter day to be out in the Vermont woods! When the temperatures dip down low, we like to stay warm by earning our turns. So we went to the Bolton Valley backcountry trails to enjoy the fresh powder. I'd estimate that there was about 12 inches of new snow — more or less. It was mostly fluffy, except in extra-windy spots where it got a bit wind-packed. We climbed Bryant trail, enjoyed Birch Loop and descended via Gardiner's Lane. The sky was mostly...[Read more]

Saturday, February 9, 2013 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Slideshow, skiing & snowshoe tours on tap for campaign to save Bolton backcountry

The Vermont Land Trust and Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic and Backcountry have planned some fun events this winter as part of the campaign to save the Bolton backcountry land from development. Two of the events take place this week and weekend, and they include a chance to get out and experience the property in wintertime with some folks who know it well. The most recent communiqué from the land trust reported that we're 95% of the way to the fundraising goal, with $93,000 left to raise...[Read more]

Monday, January 14, 2013 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Cross-country skiing

Earning some powdery turns

Telemark turns on the snowy CCC road.

Guess what we found today? More fluffy snow! Am I sounding like a broken record? Somehow I think you'll forgive me. The SkiMeister and I skied up the snow-covered CCC road and Eagle Cut Trail from Underhill State Park to get some quiet, morning turns in the powder on the way down. This Vermont State Park is on the west side of Mt. Mansfield. In the summer a lot of people hike Mt. Mansfield from the park. In the winter it's a popular skiing trailhead for the very busy...[Read more]

Friday, January 4, 2013 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Mt. Mansfield

Snowstorm is on its way!

I love it when the National Weather Service forecast uses two-digit figures. As of Wednesday late-afternoon, we're looking at a storm from tonight to Friday morning to drop more than 10 inches of snow around Vermont. Likely more in the mountains. Yippee! Follow this link to keep track of NWS storm forecasts (like the image below) and snowfall totals in Vermont. You can probably guess that I'll be checking it often, too! And if you are going to be driving sometime...[Read more]

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

A winter wonderland up high

Moose tracks, bunny tracks and ski tracks. What a great combo! I wanted to get myself into a winter wonderland today, and I found it up high in Bolton, Vermont's backcountry trails. While it looked more like November down on Routes 89 and 2, just a short drive up the Bolton Access Road it started to look a lot like winter! I took my light backcountry skis for a tour on the backcountry trails. I was skiing between 2,150 feet and 2,690 feet or so. The trees were covered in snow...[Read more]

Thursday, December 20, 2012 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Summer events highlight some very special skiing terrain in Bolton, Vermont

As part of the fundraising campaign to purchase the exceptional Nordic and backcountry terrain next to the Bolton Valley resort, the Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic & Backcountry (FOBVNB) and Vermont Land Trust have been coming up with a variety of special events. I attended a meeting this week and I can share a few of the events to look forward to this summer. Some of the events strive to get more people familiar with this beautiful piece of land, which is enjoyed by...[Read more]

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Cross-country skiing, Ski towns in summer

Ridiculously blue sky day; Might be my last nordic ski

The Skimeister and I did a mellow tour up on Bolton Valley’s backcountry trails today. You’ll see that it was so sunny and warm that he was in a t-shirt. Snow is melting very fast in the lower reaches of the nordic trail network, but the coverage gets better when you get up to Bryant Cabin and beyond. Rivers and puddles are showing and it makes you keep on your toes, especially as you descend the Gardiner’s Lane or Bryant trails. While there is quite a bit of snow depth in...[Read more]

Sunday, March 18, 2012 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

Vermont Land Trust steps in to help skiers & hikers protect Bolton Valley's nordic and backcountry land

It was a year ago that I first got word that the owners of Bolton Valley Resort were selling a large parcel of land to an individual. And the shocker was that it would include the nordic trails and hamper access to a wonderful backcountry trail network. Most of the nordic center trails were not supposed to open for the 2011-2012 season. Tears came to my eyes while reading that news. But thankfully, that was not the end of the story.  Luckily for skiers,...[Read more]

Friday, March 9, 2012 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Cross-country skiing

An afternoon backcountry skiing tour at Bolton Valley

So the sun was out today and we've seen up to four feet of snow in the last several days in the mountains of northern Vermont. I just had to ski this afternoon! We went up to the Bolton Valley backcountry trail network to earn a few turns. While it doesn't look like there's much snow to talk about when you first turn onto the Bolton Valley access road, it soon becomes clear that there's a lot of snow at higher elevations. We had light backcountry gear and we...[Read more]

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Snow — and lots of it!

Wow! I just skied in a bunch of new snow today!  Take a look at the snow in the photos. And it kept coming down all day... I knew the wind would be an issue today, and the Skimeister was volunteering at at an adaptive skiing race at Trapp Family Lodge. Those two things led me to come up with a plan that didn't include a high mountaintop. We would stay in the woods and ski from Trapp Family Lodge to the Mt. Mansfield/Stowe Mountain Resort cross-country...[Read more]

Saturday, February 25, 2012 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Mt. Mansfield, Stowe, Trapp Family Lodge

It’s snowing!

We're hoping that this snowstorm that is now passing through Vermont will leave a decent amount of snow in its wake! The timing of the storm was later than they expected, and the storm totals have vacillated a bit. Bottom line: We'll have to wait to see what happens by the time the storm winds down by Saturday night! One thing that seems to be clear is that the winds are now blowing in the mountains and they are expected to blow tomorrow, too. Bolton Valley ski resort canceled night skiing...[Read more]

Friday, February 24, 2012 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

Earning turns in a winter wonderland

On our drive home from our ski this afternoon, the Skimeister and I saw a sign that said it was 1 degree. One little lonely degree. It was a good thing we skied up the CCC Road today to keep ourselves warm! The CCC Road is accessed from the Underhill State Park in Underhill, Vermont. There's a busy winter parking lot and you follow a road up to the state park and toward hiking trails that take you up Mt. Mansfield. The road was built by the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC). On the drive in...[Read more]

Saturday, January 14, 2012 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Mt. Mansfield

Big March snowstorm in northern Vermont

The snowstorm that is currently hitting Vermont has been most ferocious in the northern part of the Green Mountains. (It's about time! Several of the storms this season favored southern Vermont!) Here's what Vermont ski resorts are reporting for snowfalls via social media as of 7 and 8 am Monday morning. And it's still snowing in northern Vermont. Note: Check with the resort before you drive there. Some are indicating late openings or ice (southern Vermont) and weather-affected lift...[Read more]

Monday, March 7, 2011 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Cross-country skiing, Jay Peak, Mad River Glen, Smugglers' Notch, Sugarbush

Snowstorm should make for great weekend skiing

Skiers in Vermont are all a-twitter about today's snowstorm. It's been snowing heavily, starting in southern Vermont and working its way up to northern Vermont. Here in the Champlain Valley, I was disappointed not to wake up to the sound of a snowplow, but by 10 a.m. the roads were getting white and the snow had been coming down hard. (Here's a shot of snow falling against my car at 10:30. The snowbank remains from past storms.) Magic Mountain, Mount Snow and Stratton ski resorts already...[Read more]

Friday, February 25, 2011 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

Longtime alpine skier takes a telemark lesson to learn to really free her heel

Oliver, the Smugglers' Notch telemark instructor who coached me this week, seems to have the same skiing philosophy that I do. Why stick only to skiing on the trails and why stick to just one kind of skiing? Branching out and trying something new will keep skiing forever fun and interesting! This is what I've been doing for the last eight years or so. This lifelong alpine skier married a former nordic ski racer, so guess what new sport I picked up? Then I was introduced to...[Read more]

Friday, February 18, 2011 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Smugglers' Notch

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

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

A Vermont ski resort poll

Backcountry ski touring in northern Vermont

I'm so looking forward to some backcountry skiing around the spine of the Green Mountains this weekend! While northern Vermont missed this week's coastal storm, it looks like we'll get some light snow through the weekend. I'm packing my goggles! I enjoyed a nice cross-country ski at the end of the day yesterday near home in the Champlain Valley. We made our own route along a river and the edges of some corn fields. There was ample snow and while it was a bit crusty in sunny spots, it was not...[Read more]

Friday, January 28, 2011 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing

Views and turns earned on Burling and Beaver Meadow Trails

Well if it's going to be 10 degrees, it's always nice to have the sun out! We were treated to sunshine and blue skies as a group of us skied up the Beaver Meadow Trail and down the Burling Trail in Morristown, Vermont — on the flanks of the Sterling Range, north of Stowe. Because the Skimeister is recuperating from ACL reconstruction (yes, he messed up his knee while snowboarding), I've been seeking out friends and groups to ski with. Today I joined nice folks as part of a Catamount Trail...[Read more]

Saturday, January 22, 2011 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Catamount Trail, Stowe

A deep, white backcountry skiing tour today in northern Vermont

I've figured it out: I am a right-turner. At least when it comes to my skinny backcountry skis, I tele turn to the right much better than to the left. I figured this all out on the backcountry trails at Bolton Valley at lunchtime today. There is a lot of snow up there! It was gorgeous. On top of all the snow we've been getting for a week or two, I found a thin, fluffy layer of fresh snow from last night. It put a thin blanket over yesterday's ski tracks. I saw photos of the...[Read more]

Thursday, January 20, 2011 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

New snow today, and some icing here and there

Vermont ski resorts are reporting 4 to 9 inches of new snow; some got an icing as well. Mount Snow says the lifts got a coating of ice, so many have a delayed opening this morning. Magic Mountain, also in southern Vermont, said they also had received wet precipitation that created a layer of ice on top of the fresh snow that fell yesterday. A few resorts, including Mad River Glen, are reminding skiers that this snowfall — which is not as fluffy light as recent storms — is actually a good...[Read more]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

New book: “Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast”

Wow – what an incredible hardship for writer David Goodman. The Waterbury, Vermont-based writer had to ski backcountry and side-country ski trails all around the northeast so he could write about it. Tough job, but someone's got to do it, eh? The fruit of his labor is a book that came off the press this fall called “Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast.” I bought a copy of it at the Catamount Trail Association annual meeting, and I asked Goodman to sign it after he gave a slideshow....[Read more]

Sunday, January 16, 2011 Filed in: Backcountry skiing

Snow today in Vermont, and backcountry events on the horizon

Well the snow is really hitting Vermont today! Nearly all of the state has a winter storm warning or winter weather advisory. Gets me in the mood for more backcountry skiing! With that in mind, here are two backcountry skiing events in Vermont that are coming up quickly. Get Out and Backcountry Ski Festival This Catamount Trail Association event is held at Bolton Valley Nordic Center on January 23. You can learn from expert instructors who will help you improve your telemark technique or...[Read more]

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Wondering what 9 - 12 inches of Vermont powder looks like? I'll show you!

I earned some turns today, and I picked a winner of a day to do so! Up on Bolton Valley's backcountry trail network, I romped in 9 inches to a foot of fresh, light powder during an early-lunchtime ski tour. It was so gorgeous up there! (Just look at these photos!) While climbing Bryant Trail, I surmised that only two skiers had gone before me this morning (I could tell from the pole holes). And they had skins on because they didn't have to herringbone where I did in my waxless skis! I also...[Read more]

Monday, January 10, 2011 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Eight resorts now open; and Catamount Trail member savings

Mother Nature has been cooperating with Vermont ski resorts by allowing for some serious snowmaking to take place recently. And, some snow squalls added a bit of natural snow to the mix today. Eight ski resorts are now open in Vermont — most with limited intermediate and expert terrain. Gets a skier in the mood for skiing off some of their holiday overindulgence, and for saving some dough! On that note, I received my Catamount Trail Association member coupon booklet earlier this month and it's...[Read more]

Saturday, November 27, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Catamount Trail, Cross-country skiing, Ticket discounts

What a difference a week makes

Last week we were in the midst of a freak spring snowstorm, while the last few days have been warm — almost too warm as we hit around 80 degrees. Things are looking very green in northern Vermont. And purple and pink and yellow and white, depending on what tree or bush is in the vicinity. Even the mountains which looked frosty white last week are now taking on their springlike appearance. Yet, a look at the official snow stake on the top of Mt. Mansfield illustrates that there is still a lot...[Read more]

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Jay Peak, Mt. Mansfield, Spring skiing

Playing around in deep, damp snow on April 29

Here's a peek at what things looked like at higher elevations today in northern Vermont. I messed around on the Bryant and World Cup trails on Bolton Valley's nordic system this afternoon. Yesterday's freak spring storm and today's bright sunshine made this a must-do exercise. I'd say there was at least 14 inches in these shaded trails, which are located at about 2,100 feet. The snow was heavy, so what I did it was more like a snowshoe walk than a ski. But it was so nice being outside where I...[Read more]

Thursday, April 29, 2010 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Jay Peak, Spring skiing

102 inches of snow atop Mt. Mansfield

Yes, that is one - zero - two. 102 inches at the stake on Mansfield. Check out the graph: That's all. Just wanted you to know.[Read more]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Mt. Mansfield

Two feet of snow or more: great for skiing, and sled dogs?

Fresh snow and sled dog racing, too!

This storm has dropped about two feet of snow on many Vermont ski resorts thus far — some are reporting more. The weather is affecting lift operations here and there today, so check my Vermont ski resorts snow conditions page. It has direct links to the resorts' ski report pages. This stuff is really helping to beef up our base. So happy! I'm planning on skiing on Friday, so I'll let you know where I end up and you can be sure I'll post some photos and a recap. Meanwhile, this weekend also...[Read more]

Thursday, February 25, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Burke, Cross-country skiing

More than a foot of new snow in Vermont — and more falling

Well the winter storm warning has delivered. Several Vermont ski resorts from Okemo to Jay Peak are reporting a foot or more of new snow this morning. And it continues to snow today. Yippee! Visit the snow report links on my Vermont Ski Resort page for the latest conditions. And here's a link to National Weather Service snow reports from towns across the state. Note that these are often in-town measurements — not mountain-top...[Read more]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

Cold, scenic ski tour in the woods in Stowe, Vermont

I'd say it was about 5 degrees (F) on Saturday when we clicked into our skis in the Sterling Valley area of Stowe, Vermont. Needless to say, it was not a day for dallying about. We selected a backcountry ski tour so that we'd keep moving and generate our own heat on this clear but cold day. I had been eyeing a section of the Catamount Trail in Stowe ever since our summer hike up in the Upper Sterling Valley. The Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowshoe Waterproof Trail Map (you can buy it at the...[Read more]

Sunday, January 31, 2010 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Catamount Trail, Stowe

January rain to be followed by cold temps and snow

I absolutely hate it when it rains in the middle of winter. It feels like we took two steps forward to only take one step back. Aargh! It is indeed raining in Vermont today. The temperatures will drop through the week, however, and will be accompanied by some snow. In fact, the lows will be in the single digits in many places by Thursday evening. Go figure. We'll see what Mother Nature has to offer over the next few days. Let's hope for a strong rebound in the snow department.[Read more]

Monday, January 25, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

Two backcountry skiing events for those who are BC-curious

Are you BC-curious? Two upcoming events in northern Vermont will get skiers out into the backcountry to introduce them to backcountry skiing or improve the skills they already have. The venue for both of these events is the terrific Bolton Valley nordic and backcountry trail network. And both events have limited enrollment, so check 'em out now. "Get Out and Backcountry Ski Festival"Sunday, January 24 at Bolton Valley This event is put on by the Catamount Trail Association — the keepers of...[Read more]

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Up & down the Overland Ski Trail on Mt. Mansfield

Judging by the "groomed" nature of the Overland Ski Trail this afternoon, I'd say it was a busy weekend on the west side of Mt. Mansfield! This backcountry trail is accessed from Stevensville Road in Underhill. You start up as if you were hiking the Nebraska Notch Trail, but then at the first fork in the trail you go left. It was evident that many backcountry snowshoers, dogs and skiers had been on the trail, and in fact we met several people on the trail. The trail was very packed for the...[Read more]

Sunday, January 10, 2010 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Mt. Mansfield

A snowstorm welcomes the snowiest month in Vermont

How many ways do you know how to say "snow"? Perhaps la neige (French)? la neve (Italian) śnieg (Polish) der Schnee (German) снег (Russian) sněhu (Czech) la nieve (Spanish & Portuguese) 雪 名 (Japanese) muruaneq (Yup'ik Eskimo - Specifically soft, deep fallen snow on the ground) Or how about pow-pow (American skier dialect)? Any way you say it, we are currently getting slammed with it in Vermont this weekend! Here's what the NWS had to...[Read more]

Saturday, January 2, 2010 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

Vermont snowfall reports

Several Vermont ski resorts are reporting about 10 inches or so of new snow over the last 24 hours. Yee-ha! But with all this snow has come quite a bit of wind, so check with your favorite resort to see what lifts are open; many of the high lifts were on wind hold this morning. Visit my Vermont Ski Resorts page for links to snow and lift reports. Here's a recap of snowfall from the National Weather Service/NOAA. Keep in mind that many of these observations are taken in towns, not in the...[Read more]

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

After a rainy Sunday, snow coming on Monday

Geez, I go away for a couple of days and things go to hell in a handbasket. OK, it isn't that bad, but we did see warm temperatures in Vermont on Sunday that brought some rain with them. Argh. So the stake atop Mt. Mansfield is now reporting three fewer inches of the white stuff. It now reads 27 inches. But, just as quickly as the spring-like weather hit, we will plunge back down into a deep freeze by Tuesday, with snow on Monday. Weather forecasters are saying we might get 6 inches or so in...[Read more]

Sunday, December 27, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Mt. Mansfield

Tiff between Trapps and Stowe resort affects nordic skiers

The cabin at Trapp Family Lodge nordic center.

The two largest cross-country centers in Stowe, Vermont, are in the midst of a tiff over a forest trail that connects the nordic centers. Because of the falling out between the Trapp Family Lodge and neighboring Stowe Mountain Resort, the Ranch Camp trail will not be groomed for at least part of its length — causing skinny-skiers to think twice about moving between the two resorts. And the Catamount Trail Association is now saying that those who want to ski the Catamount Trail, which follows...[Read more]

Monday, December 21, 2009 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Stowe, Trapp Family Lodge

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

Snow & cold descend on Vermont; and a free learn-to-ski deal

As if trying to make up for the tropical weather we experienced in November, Old Man Winter is really putting the chill on this week. It will be cold again tomorrow but I'm hoping to get out in the snow for a bit. I'll do some kind of nordic to keep the blood flowing; probably backcountry skiing. The cold temperatures have made for light, fluffy overnight snowfalls. The kind of snow that you can blow off your car with sheer lung power. This morning Vermont ski areas were reporting between one...[Read more]

Thursday, December 17, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Jay Peak, Okemo

Wintry backcountry outing today at Bolton Valley

If it's not wintry in your neck of the woods, then you have to head to higher ground. It was down-right snowy up at Bolton Valley's backcountry trails today in Vermont. The Skimeister and I went for an afternoon tour — our first of the season. We noticed more snow the higher we went. Boy, I was feeling it as I slogged up the Bryant trail! But the Birch Loop trail brought welcome ups and downs through about 11 inches of fresh snow. The trees had snow on them and we came across moose tracks...[Read more]

Saturday, December 12, 2009 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Creative Vermonters turn old skis and boards into ski furniture

Vermont ski furniture

Been in your basement or barn lately? Trying to figure out what to do with all that old ski equipment? Two small companies in Vermont can help you turn some of your skis into some very cool furniture, like this Adirondack style chair made out of nordic skis. It's beautiful! Based in Morrisville and Waterbury, Vermont  —  towns that bookend Stowe  —  these companies will take your old gear and suggest ways to create a ski chair, table, CD rack, coffeetable, or whatever the...[Read more]

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Ski gear

Meet fellow backcountry skiers and prepare Vermont's Catamount Trail for ski season

A nearly buried trail marker on Vermont's Catamount Trail.

In Vermont, fall brings cool mornings, apple picking, colorful foliage and trail work! Over the next couple of months, skiers will meet up in small work crews to prepare Vermont's cross-country and backcountry ski trail, the Catamount Trail. Section by section they'll clear fallen trees, make sure trail markers are visible and generally clear the way for skiers this winter. This 300-mile-long trail is a treasure for freeheeled skiers who like to get out in the woods when...[Read more]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Fall & Early season

Vermont skiing news includes foolish felons

It may be springtime, but they're still churning out skiing news on the Internet. In late April, the nefarious Big Jay trail cutters were sentenced. According to the Burlington Free Press: "Paul Poulin, 48, of Derby Line, and Alan Ritter, 47, of Jay pleaded no contest in Vermont District Court in Newport to felony charges of unlawful mischief. The two received suspended terms of 18 to 36 months. They will serve 60 days with a pre-approved furlough community restitution program, to begin...[Read more]

Friday, May 8, 2009 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Jay Peak

Heading for the final stretch

Believe it or not, many Vermont resorts picked up a few inches of snow early this week. I skied in it a bit late Thursday afternoon in the Bolton Valley backcountry trails. With the warm temperatures and sunshine we have been having it was like skiing through sticky mashed potatoes. But there continues to be a lot of snow in the woods at this higher elevation and we had fun making the most of it. Although, we had to cross a stream to finish our descent on Gardner's Lane. There's a lot of...[Read more]

Friday, April 3, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Ascutney, Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Jay Peak, Killington, Mount Snow, Okemo, Smugglers' Notch, Spring skiing

Photos from Bolton Valley backcountry spring skiing

The Skimeister and I went to Bolton Valley Resort on Friday afternoon for an afternoon spring ski on the backcountry trails. I wasn't completely sure what to expect back there, but the snow was very soft and there was still a lot of it. I noted that trying to make telemark turns on soft snow that hadn't been traveled recently was challenging. It's much easier when you are doing alpine skiing and you are on well-trodden moguls. Even still, I was able to make a handful of decent telemark turns...[Read more]

Saturday, March 28, 2009 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

It's snowing in Vermont — and NYT features the Catamount Trail

I just had a lovely, blustery walk for some Vietnamese pho (a delicious noodle soup). It's snowing again in Vermont! I discovered another great page on the NOAA/National Weather Service site. It gives estimated snowstorm totals: They also report: TOTAL SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 9 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHERAMOUNTS IS EXPECTED BY TUESDAY MORNING ACROSS CENTRAL ANDNORTHERN VERMONT...INCLUDING THE WESTERN SLOPES OF THE...[Read more]

Monday, March 2, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Catamount Trail, Cross-country skiing

Weather ups and downs and a Mardi Gras parade

The weather highs and lows are affecting my mood. Tuesday I was thrilled with an amazing powder day here in Vermont, but now it's likely to rain tomorrow—even at higher elevations—before it turns back to snow in the mountains. Argh! Well at least we have a substantial snowpack. Check out this NOAA page for the latest snow depths, which includes 87 inches at the stake on top of Mt. Mansfield! (Let's see: 87 divided by 12...hey, that's over 7 feet!) After Friday's rain, the temperatures will...[Read more]

Thursday, February 26, 2009 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Mt. Mansfield

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