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Sweet snow found in Honey Hollow

Posted Sunday, January 6, 2008
— Backcountry skiing, Catamount Trail, Camel's Hump Nordic
Sweet turns in Honey Hollow, near Camel's Hump

Sweet turns in Honey HollowI've been wanting to ski Honey Hollow from Huntington for a couple of years. It's located near Camel's Hump—partially in Huntington and Bolton, Vermont. I've snowshoed and even skied up a ways from the Duxbury Road parking lot a few times, but I've wanted to do a car shuttle to allow me to check out what backcountry skiing lies above. Today was the day to do it.

After dropping the car in the appropriate spot on Duxbury Road in Bolton, near the Winooski River, the Skimeister and I headed for the Camel's Hump Skiers Association trails (Note: This trail network is now called Camel's Hump Nordic) in Huntington. We crossed the road to the trailhead and immediately we were climbing—albeit moderately—and I had to shed my jacket and mittens.

There really was quite a bit of climbing over this five-mile route. More than we expected. But it was about 28 degrees or so and we were pleased to be out in the snow. We even met a man who owns some of the CHSA land as he was rolling the groomed trail. They have an honor system approach to ticketing where they ask you to leave trail fees at the parking area to contribute to keeping the CHSA trails maintained. It was $5 per person for us to access the Catamount Trail for our tour of Honey Hollow.

Soon we had left those trails and jumped onto the Catamount Trail—with more climbing. Some downhill stretches here and there kept us entertained. We stopped for water breaks and I gobbled down my Nuts Over Chocolate Luna bar (yum!).

The most challenging thing today was avoiding running water and wet spots. We just need more freezing cold nights to make things solid. Some of the small stream crossings were tricky, and you don't slide your skis into the water or it will be like dipping them in Elmer's Glue—they'll just stick to the snow.

I enjoyed the downhill areas where the trail wasn't hemmed in by a running brook and there was untracked powder on the edges. I also liked it when the trees were nice enough to space themselves out so I could venture off the beaten path. I linked some of my shallow tele turns in these areas and really enjoyed it.

The route drops you out at a logging road with a moderate pitch, so I had some more pushing to do as we slowly wound our way down to Bolton. My shoulders felt tired by the time we reached the car, but it was a great ski day.

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