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VT - Stowe - 2016-2017

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:34 pm
by LewLasher
This topic is for trip reports and other information about the Stowe, Vermont area for the 2016-2017 skiing season.

Stowe has 4 commercial groomed cross-country ski areas, the 2 larger ones being the Trapp Family Lodge ("Trapp's) and Stowe Mountain Resort ("SMR" or "Mansfield"). Supposedly, Edson Hill, which apparently closed for some number of years while I wasn't paying attention, is re-opening this year, and Topnotch also still exists.

The Stowe Nordic club grooms, snow permitting, the 5 1/2-mile Stowe Recreation Path ("Rec Path"), the "Quiet Path", and one of the fields on the "Mayo Farm". A new bridge on the "Quiet Path" will provide a loop that connects to the Rec Path.

Trapp's is opening a new trail this year - actually, it's sort of re-opening an old trail: the part of Old County Road that went from Parizo towards the Luce trail. However, the new trail isn't going to go all the way to the perimeter, but somehow connect in to the Telemark trail. I haven't seen the new trail on the map yet, nor has it opened yet for skiing.

Trapp's also has a new "BierHall" restaurant at their expanded brewery (not the original microbrewery in the "Deli-bakery"). There is supposedly a trail to the brewery/BierHall, but it's on "the other side of the street" off of the Sleigh Road trail, which tends to be one of the later trails to open.

Trapp's - 20 Dec 2016

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:37 pm
by LewLasher
I skied today at Trapp's. I found the conditions to be fair to poor at lower elevations, and fair to good at higher elevations. Other skiers seemed happier than me. Maybe the conditions were better for skating. Or maybe the conditions were better earlier in the day when there was still something resembling snow on the hardpack. I'm thinking of trying again tomorrow, earlier in the day, with metal-edged skis.

Trapp's - 23 Dec 2016

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:40 pm
by LewLasher
I skied today at Trapp's. Conditions were generally good, with most trails open, and almost all of those trails tracked. I only found one small icy patch in my travels, on Bobcat.
What was closed: Luce, Haul road below Oslo (including the Chute and Chute Bypass), Hare Line, Sugarhouse Chute, the new "Morrison corner" trail, and probably some stuff on the other side of the road.
I did manage to find and ski the new short (0.5 km) trail, "Lager Lane", on the other side of the road, that goes from Sleigh Road to the new brewery and Bierhall restaurant.

But everything I said about the conditions is probably going to deteriorate after tomorrow's predicted "mixed precipitation."

Trapp's - 24 Dec 2016

Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:54 pm
by LewLasher
Not quite the eve of destruction that I anticipated. Today's rain/snow was very light. I skied down from the cabin after 3 p.m., and the trails seemed to have survived reasonably well, especially above Russel Knoll.

Tune in tomorrow for the destruction update.

Trapp's - 25 Dec 2016

Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:52 pm
by LewLasher
This is becoming, unfortunately, an all-too-common conditions report: below Old County Road, fair to poor (except: better in the snowmaking area of the stadium); above Old County Road, good.

Hoping for snow on Thursday ...

Trapp's - 30 Dec 2016

Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:58 pm
by LewLasher
I skied today at Trapp's. Conditions were generally good, with only a few small icy spots on a few trails. Almost all trails were open, including Hare Line, but the new Morrison Corners trail was still closed. Yesterday and last night it snowed at least 5 inches - measured on my car this morning, a few hundred feet below Trapp's, and it continued with light snow today. Conditions should remain good for the next 3 days, then there may be rain on Tuesday and mixed precipitation on Wednesday.

Trapp's - 1 Jan 2017

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:40 pm
by LewLasher
Conditions slightly better today than Friday, but still a few icy spots here and there.

I finally skied the new trail. They have not yet put up any trail signs for it, nor have they added it to their trail map. But, according to the conditions report on their Web site, it is called "Morrison Corner". The Web page says it is 3 km, but by (both of) my GPS measurements, it is 2.15 km. Not very big, but it is their first new trail in 8 years. It connects Old County Road (from the junction with Parizo) to the Telemark trail (just below the highest point on that trail). Basically, there is now a way to get down from the cabin without having to pass through a Knoll (Picnic or Russel). It remains to be seen whether the Morrison Corner trail will hold snow better than lower Parizo and Picnic Knoll.

Trapp's, 28-29 Jan 2017

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:19 pm
by LewLasher
Where I have been? Skiing.
I have been neglecting to give numerous updates on the local trail conditions.

So, where was I?
OK: Trapp's conditions generally good at lower elevations, very good at higher elevations. All trails open.

Trapp's: 20 Feb 2017, 14 Mar 2017

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:33 pm
by LewLasher
You know how it gets, some ski seasons, you just lose interest in compulsively reporting the conditions every damn time you go out skiing.

Well this is one of those ski seasons.

Let's see, what did y'all miss (that I can remember):

Feb 5-11, Snow Mountain Ranch [Colorado]: unseasonably warm temperatures, but the snow held up better than it would have in New England: fair to good conditions
Feb 16, Great Brook Farm [Massachusetts]: good to very good conditions
Feb 19, Craftsbury [Vermont]: snow holding up OK in somewhat warm weather, good conditions
Feb 20, Trapp's [Stowe, Vermont]: everything froze solid, poor conditions, wished I had brought metal-edged skis
Mar 4-5, Bear Notch [New Hampshire]: conditions fair to poor, but glad to have anything at this point

Which brings us more or less up to date. Phew!

And now: today (Mar 14) at Trapp's, all the ski trails remain closed. However, the snowshoe trails were open, and were a lot of fun. Also, there is a major ("nor'easter") snowstorm currently in progress in the northeastern quadrant of the U.S. Beautiful powdery snow has been falling here all day, and is predicted to continue overnight, and tomorrow, Trapp's should have their ski trails open again.

Ides of March

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:49 pm
by LewLasher
There's always an optimist, in the worst ski season (that would be 2015-2016), who says "all we need is one good snowstorm."

Yesterday (and, in fact, continuing into today) was that snowstorm.

Today I skied at Trapp's and also down to Mansfield (otherwise known as "Stowe Mountain Resort"). Conditions were good to very good in the morning, and then, as the day went on, got a little unusual. The machine-set tracks were covered up by new snow and replaced with skier-set tracks. Essentially, it was backcountry-light. What made it unusual was that almost 100% of the snow - including off to the side of the trail, and almost the entire snow depth - was new fresh powder. Which is not something we get all that much of around here, ever. On one tricky downhill, I decided (unnecessarily) to steer around what looked like ruts made by other skiers, and ended up going off the side of the trail, falling down anyway, but landing in what felt like a pillow fort.

Conditions should be excellent tomorrow and Friday, and - unless it rains - through the weekend.