VT 2011-2012

New England States, NY and anyplace else east of the Mississippi

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LewLasher
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Location: Stowe, Vermont

VT 2011-2012

Postby LewLasher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:33 pm

This topic is for trip reports and other information about Vermont for the 2011-2012 skiing season.

(At some point I'll get around to setting up a separate topic for Stowe, Vermont.)

LewLasher
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Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:23 pm
Location: Stowe, Vermont

Craftsbury opens first

Postby LewLasher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:39 pm

I haven't gone there to verify this, but, according to their Web site, Craftsbury is open with about 3 km of groomed trails on manmade snow.

They are continuing to make snow and spread it around for the Eastern Cup races that are scheduled there for this coming weekend.

As far as I know, Craftsbury has the only open groomed trails right now in Vermont. (Trapp's was open around Thanksgiving, but is regrouping now.) Bretton Woods in New Hampshire is the only other place I can find that has groomed trails open in the northeast (including Québec).

LewLasher
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Location: Stowe, Vermont

Highland Lodge is closing

Postby LewLasher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:24 pm

The Highland Lodge in Greensboro, Vermont is closing. Not just the cross-country ski operation, but the hotel itself is going out of business.

Their Web site says that they are hoping to help facilitate some kind of conservation arrangement to keep the trails open, but that remains to be seen.

I don't know whether Craftsbury is interested in expanding, but I know that I would certainly approve of that! There is a trail that connects the Craftsbury trail system to the Highland Lodge trails, and, in past years, the Craftsbury Marathon started at the Highland Lodge and ended at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

LewLasher
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Re: Highland Lodge is closing

Postby LewLasher » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:01 pm

LewLasher wrote:I don't know whether Craftsbury is interested in expanding, but I know that I would certainly approve of that!
Well, to answer that question, all I had to do was to search the Craftsbury Web site:

http://www.craftsbury.com/skiing/nordic_center/news/HL1112groom_111122.htm

Craftsbury is going to groom "a portion" of the former Highland Lodge trails (which means, I hope, that they will also groom the connecting trail on a regular basis, rather than only for their Marathon). They are going to open the formerly-Highland-Lodge touring center on weekends and holidays. And, as in the past, they will have a shuttle service on weekends to facilitate one-way tours from Highland Lodge back to Craftsbury.

This probably makes Craftsbury the largest touring center in Vermont, and possibly the largest in New England. I'm not quite sure what their exact current kilometrage is, because some of their trails overlap (although their longer trails tend not to).

LewLasher
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Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:23 pm
Location: Stowe, Vermont

Craftsbury, 3 Feb 2012

Postby LewLasher » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:54 pm

Skied today at Craftsbury (where I am staying for the weekend). Conditions fair to good. As a result of the rain on Wednesday, some of the trails are on the icy side, but the Pisten Bully has made most trails skiable. Almost all trails are open except on the lakes.

LewLasher
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Re: VT 2011-2012

Postby LewLasher » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:43 pm

About an inch or so of snow last night improved today's conditions to a solid "good".

We had 6 people in our group, 2 beginners and 4 intermediates (I'm putting myself in the latter category). I convinced the 2 beginners to ski from the Craftsbury Outdoor Center to Craftsbury Village (about 6 km each way) and they handled it pretty well today.

The 4 intermediates took on the long-distance trail from Craftsbury to the Highland Lodge, a one-way schlep of about 20 km. We did it in the uphill direction, so it took most of the day. The conditions on the connecting trail seemed slightly better than elsewhere, possibly due to little skier traffic and less risk of overgrooming (Craftsbury only grooms the Highland Lodge trails and the connector on weekends). I'd strongly recommend this trail to anyone who visits Vermont and who wants to ski a 20 km one-way tour. (There is a free shuttle bus to/from the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.) Most people seem to prefer the downhill direction for some reason, but it is worthwhile either way. The only caution I'd give is that it might be less than ideal on a cold windy day, because there are a number of open areas along the route. Still, there are some nice views, including of Mt. Mansfield (I was thinking of bringing a portable TV with me next time to see if I could get broadcast reception in Greensboro from the TV transmitters on Mt Mansfield).

LewLasher
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Re: VT 2011-2012

Postby LewLasher » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:20 pm

I went back to Craftsbury today to volunteer at today's adaptive race, part of the weeklong USSA SuperTour Finals. (This is the first year that this annual event has included adaptive races, with the result that the winners got cash prizes.)

In spite of record-breaking warm weather for all of last week, Craftsbury managed to stockpile enough snow to maintain about 2 or 3 km of skiable trail. That doesn't sound like very much, but it is totally amazing given that there are no groomed trails open now in the entire Northeast (including Canada). The fact that they added a snowmaking system this year certainly helped, although not this past week. It's really that they've got very dedicated, hard-working folks working there.

LewLasher
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Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:23 pm
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Not an April Fools story

Postby LewLasher » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:30 pm

Craftsbury was open today with 1.5 km skate-groomed.

Which they used for yesterday's 50 km race.


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