Snow was the word of the day. We were headed this morning for Mountain Top Nordic Center in Chittenden, Vt., near Killington and Rutland. I had heard good things about it, so this was the time to check it out as we were heading north from Okemo.
It was snowing during our drive, and it had snowed the night before, and as we prepared to hit the trails it really started coming down! I felt kind of silly, but I went back to the car for my goggles. (Hey, vision is a good thing when you are skidding down a hill!)
We headed out on Lower Interfield to do a loop. We crossed a pretty meadow and then entered the woods, where the snow clung to the trees. It was lovely.
I'm not an expert nordic skier and my skinny classic skis were challenged by the few inches of snow that had fallen on the set track.
As I was schussing along, I heard a woodpecker tapping on a tree. A few times I stopped for a breather and listened to the wind in the trees. I found out later that the cross-country ski center is in the Green Mountain National Forest. I noticed that some of our trail coincided with part of the <link http: www.catamounttrail.org external-link-new-window external link in new>Catamount Trail.
We were headed for Deer Run, where we enjoyed several downhills in the powder (those goggles came in handy here :). The trail had fun twists and turns.
The snow stopped for part of our ski, but then at one point the wind picked up and blew down clumps of snow off the trees as if we were in a blizzard. It was pretty humorous to watch the Skimeister get bombarded with snow.
The last leg of the loop brought us to a large meadow, where we could see horses and a stable ahead. This is where we were treated with the views that Mountain Top is known for. The clouds had lifted and we looked out on a snowy mountain range that included the 3,365-foot Mt. Carmel. Gorgeous.
We crossed the road and headed to the nordic center. It's cozy with camp-style furniture, a woodstove and room to hang out and have a bite to eat. They serve food there, but I munched on my sandwich and relaxed in a rocking chair.
The meadow that's behind the nordic center affords views down to the Mountain Top Inn and the Chittenden Reservoir. A look at a topo map put the nordic center's elevation at about 1,800 feet, with skiing up to 2,170 feet.
I'm looking forward to coming back someday on a sunny day to really soak up all the scenery.
MOUNTAIN TOP NORDIC CENTER AT A GLANCE
60km of trails
40km groomed with dual-set tracks
Snowmaking covering 1km
Cross-country rentals and ski lessons available