When I cross-country skied almost two weeks ago, I nearly froze my fingers off in the bitter wind. Today I could have worn a t-shirt and gone without gloves.
Spring temperatures have come early to northern Vermont and many cross-country ski centers will soon feel their effects if they haven't already. For this reason, we took advantage of fair weather to hit the Nordic trails this afternoon.
We skied two loops at Ole's Cross-Country Center in Warren, Vermont. The snow was very soft, and there were a few bare patches or wet patches here and there. We used waxless cross-country skis and they were terrific in the spring snow.
From the Nordic center, which in the summer serves as the main building for the Warren Airport, we skied across the "runway" and crossed a dirt road to pick up the Deer Run trail. It features a couple of downhills and then a gradual uphill through a field and into some birches. We skied through some evergreens on the Buck Ridge Connector and then returned to Deer Run to see the grand view of the peaks that make up Sugarbush ski resort.
Most of this skiing up until now had been done in the sun and boy it was warm! We started out wearing fleece vests but quickly took them off. I seriously could have worn a t-shirt.
After taking in the mountain views from the cornfield, we continued on Deer Run through the woods. Unfortunately, this woodsy stretch of trail had a lot of pinecones and litter from the pine trees and cedars. And the snow was not as deep here in the woods. We were glad to get out of these woods and back onto the "runway" to head for our next destination.
We took off our skis to cross the very muddy Airport Road. We headed up the Warren Pinnacle Trail — first across a broad field and then by some birches and into the hardwoods. The sun was getting lower in the sky and it was lovely. We noted how quiet it was in this less-traveled corner of the Mad River Valley.
We finished our cross-country ski by zooming back down the meadow. The waxless skis hummed rather loudly through the spring snow!
We missed skiing Ole's last season because it was a terrible season for Nordic skiing. That made us extra glad to hit Ole's trails in the sunshine today!
Ole's Cross-Country Ski Center at a Glance
- Located at 2355 Airport Road, Warren, Vermont, at 1,500 feet in elevation
- 45 km of machine-tracked trails
- Half of Ole’s trails are in the fields and half are in the woods
- 30% of trails are rated easy; 50% intermediate; and 20% difficult
- Rentals and lessons are offered
- Free skate skiing mini-clinics weekly & occasional free classic mini-clinics (not for novices)
- Snowshoe trails available, too
- Food available
- Beware of VERY muddy dirt roads (Airport Road) and parking area in springtime