VT - Stowe - 2013-2014

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LewLasher
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VT - Stowe - 2013-2014

Postby LewLasher » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:10 pm

This topic is for trip reports and other information about the Stowe, Vermont area for the 2013-2014 skiing season.

LewLasher
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Early start, early thaw

Postby LewLasher » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:16 pm

Trapp's got an early start this year, opening on November 29, and got as far as 35 km open, but then ran into an early thaw last week and closed for one day (December 8).

Today, they had about 7 km open: Sugar Road, Fox Track, Telemark, and Russel Knoll trail up to the Picnic Knoll connector. Conditions for classic skiing were fair to poor. The best I can say about it was that the ice coverage was uniform, so there were very few bare spots and no rocks. Skaters seemed to be having a better time of it, so I'd guess for them conditions were fair to perhaps good. For snowshoeing, conditions were very good to excellent.

LewLasher
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Friday the 13th: the thaw is gone

Postby LewLasher » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:38 pm

I skied today at the Trapp trails. Conditions were generally good : about 2" of snow over the ice base, only a few (like 3) icy patches. They announced 20 km of trails open, but did not list which trails were open or closed. What I found that were closed were : Hare Line, Luce, lower Haul Road (from Oslo to Luce), and upper Russell Knoll (basically, the knoll itself ). Not sure about the race course or Deer Pond.

The cabin is opening tomorrow. Then more snow is coming on Sunday.

Also, the Mansfield/SMR touring center is opening tomorrow.

LewLasher
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Dec 15 - all trails open

Postby LewLasher » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:59 pm

Skied today at Trapp's. All trails open. Conditions good to very good.

Mansfield /SMR should have all their trails open tomorrow, or as fast as they can groom them.

LewLasher
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24 Dec 2013 - Thin ice

Postby LewLasher » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:30 pm

Yesterday I snowshoed around at Trapp's, surveying the damage to the trails. Conditions were poor to fair. On most trails, the thickness of the ice was only an inch or two. The grooming machine was able to break up the ice, but it also kicked up a lot of dirt clumps. And some trails had gaps in the ice coverage, most noticeably on the Cabin trail between Owl's Howl and Slayton Pasture. Nonetheless, the cabin was open! And there were several people who arrived, somehow, by ski! That was the Christmas miracle.

Jon44
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Re: VT - Stowe - 2013-2014

Postby Jon44 » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:12 pm

Hey Lew:

Thanks for the reports.

Can you say a little bit about trail work that Trapps did over the summer (I think I remember reading something about that). Is it possible to go on a longer tour there without going up or down?

Thx, Jon

LewLasher
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Trapp trail work

Postby LewLasher » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:49 am

Jon44 wrote:Can you say a little bit about trail work that Trapps did over the summer (I think I remember reading something about that). Is it possible to go on a longer tour there without going up or down?

There aren't any new trails this year. My impression was that they regraded some trails, and also the big open area that is used as the start/finish area for races.

LewLasher
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25 Dec 2013 - maybe slightly better?

Postby LewLasher » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:01 am

Re-reading my trip report from December 24, it sounded like the end of the world.

Things looked a little better on the morning of December 25 (as I, again, surveyed the trails on snowshoes). The snowmaking operation was operating, and they had moved snow around so that, for example, Sugar Road had full snow coverage. So there was definitely skiable terrain open, and the grooming was very good as of the morning.

The main problem right now is that, if you want to get to the higher-elevation trails, there is only one trail to get between Picnic Knoll and Old County Road: "downhill Parizo". Even the uphill traffic must use the same section of trail, which is ordinarily one-way downhill. And, even on days with excellent conditions, even when there are other trails that skiers could take downhill, that section of trail often gets much of its snow scraped off by afternoon. So that problem is now exacerbated by the fact that all traffic is being funneled there.

The other problem, if you want to go to the cabin, or, more specifically, if you want to return from the cabin, is the rough, icy section of the Cabin trail. If I went on skis yesterday instead of snowshoes, I think I would have taken my skis off and walked down the most dangerous section.

So, overall, I think I would upgrade my conditions report from "poor to fair" to "fair to poor."

LewLasher
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28 Dec 2013 - winter is back

Postby LewLasher » Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:17 pm

There was enough snow (4-5" ?) on Thursday so that things have recovered from last week's disastrous thaw.

I skied today at the "Mansfield" (Stowe Mountain Resort) touring center. Conditions were fair to good. A couple of icy patches on the outer part of Bear Run, and some bumps (more than usual) on Peavey, but it was definitely skiable.

LewLasher
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Ski season went away but then came back

Postby LewLasher » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:26 pm

This is a long time for me between trip reports.

There was a couple of weeks where the skiing was crappy to non-existent. But ski season gradually came back to life over this past week.

I skied at Trapp's on Friday and Saturday and at SMR/Mansfield on Sunday. There was limited terrain open on Friday, and, even on Saturday, the only way down from the Trapp cabin was lower Parizo, although, because it snowed most of the day, conditions were good. By Sunday, all the trails were open at Mansfield, and, with Sunday night's snow, almost all the Trapp trails are open now, too.

LewLasher
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Trapp's, 30 Jan 2014

Postby LewLasher » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:53 pm

Skied today at Trapp's. Conditions were generally good to very good. The snow was more packed, less powdery, than on Sunday. A few thin spots, on hills of course. Almost all trails were open (lower Owl's Howl being the main exception). Nice to ski Hare Line again. And, although you could keep going down after Chris's Run now that Russel Knoll Track was fully open, the knoll itself was in poor shape. But they recently created a bypass trail, which they apparently plan to keep, that goes around the steep part of Russel Knoll.

LewLasher
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Trapp's, 7 Feb 2014

Postby LewLasher » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:33 am

Skied yesterday at Trapp's. A little better than last week; I'll upgrade it to "very good." All trails open. If you looked really hard, you could find a little vegetation sticking up through the snow on Russel Knoll, and a tiny ice patch on Hare Line. But I found not even the least flaws on Bobcat nor the Chute.

LewLasher
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13 Feb 2014 - calm before the storm

Postby LewLasher » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:08 pm

I skied today at Mansfield/SMR and the higher-elevation trails at Trapp's. Conditions were very good, with perhaps slightly better grooming at Trapp's. I even did my token "backcountry" skiing for the winter, skiing on the ungroomed trail Old Camp, a shortcut to the groomed connector between the two ski areas.

And it won't be until overnight that we get the effects from the infamous nor'easter that has wreaked such havoc elsewhere to the sou' and west. Probably the most noticeable effects will be in the backcountry.

LewLasher
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Full winter - 15 Feb 2014

Postby LewLasher » Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:51 pm

I skied today at Trapp's and SMR/Mansfield. Grooming was slightly better at Trapp's, so I'll say "very good" for Mansfield and "excellent" for Trapp's. Good snow coverage in the backcountry, although one skier who went up to Skytop Ridge said that the snow was heavy.

Now all we need is to keep this snow pack for another 2-3 weeks for the Junior Nationals.

LewLasher
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No thaw for JNs

Postby LewLasher » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:10 pm

Skied a little today at SMR/Mansfield. Conditions generally very good: no ice or other trail anomalies, hard-packed base so you can get some speed on the downhills.

And there is no rain or thaw in the forecast for the whole week, so conditions should remain good, if unseasonably cold, for the Junior Nationals. Much better than the last big event around here, the NCAA Championships in 2011, when it rained all day for the long-distance races ...


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