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VT - Stowe - 2017-2018

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:25 pm
by LewLasher
This topic is for trip reports and other information about the Stowe, Vermont area for the 2017-2018 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").

The Stowe Nordic club Web site has a map that shows the general location of various trails around town:

This season, Trapp's is celebrating their 50th anniversary as a cross-country ski area, but, unlike for their 40th anniversary, they don't seem to be adding a new trails.

15 Dec 2017 - free groomed trails

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:42 pm
by LewLasher
I decided to start my 2017-2018 ski season on the free groomed trails. The Stowe Nordic club grooms the 5.5-mile Recreation Path as well as a 3 km loop on the Mayo Farm conservation property, and a short connector between the two trails. Both were groomed on Wednesday evening.

The grooming held up better on the "Rec" Path. Conditions were generally good, except where pedestrians walked on the tracks (especially where the path runs behind a line of businesses such as Piecasso and the Idletyme Brewing Company). The worst conditions were under the Luce Hill Road overpass, but that is not surprising this early in the season.

Conditions on the Mayo Farm loop were fair. It is a big open (windswept) field. The snow depth was low enough that there was significant vegetation in the way in some spots. Because this is not a trail in the summer, the vegetation is not mowed.

Back on the Rec Path: the path runs sort of parallel to the Mountain Road, which has a free shuttle bus. I picked up the bus at Topnotch, near the end of the path, because it was already dark by the time I finished the path.

16 Dec 2017 - Trapp's

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:28 am
by LewLasher
Yesterday I skied at Trapp's. Conditions were generally good to very good, although there were a few places with ice under the snow. Not all trails were tracked. Yesterday morning their Web site reported that almost all the trails were open; today they are reporting 100% open, as is the adjacent SMR/Mansfield touring center.

Trapp's - 24 Dec 2017

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:57 pm
by LewLasher
After yesterday's mixed precipitation, today's conditions were fair to good. The grooming was excellent as of this morning, but, by late afternoon, the steeper trails had been scraped down to ice. Hopefully, the snow tomorrow (Christmas) will ameliorate that.

Trapp's - 26 Dec 2017

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:02 pm
by LewLasher
Conditions today were very good. The amount of snow today was less than predicted/hoped, but was still enough to make a tremendous difference.

Temperatures are predicted to remain far below freezing for the next 7 days, so there is no imminent risk of ice formation.

16 Jan 2018 - Trapp's and Rec path

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:35 pm
by LewLasher
After rain on Friday, there has been just barely enough new snow for good conditions in most places.

Skied at Trapp's this afternoon, conditions generally good, except for a few icy spots on lower Owl's Howl.

Skied part of the Rec Path this evening - semi-monthly evening tour sponsored by the Stowe Nordic club: snow depth wasn't enough for tracks, but enough so that my poles did not hit the paved surface

17 Jan 2018 - Trapp's

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:20 pm
by LewLasher
A slight little bit more snow.
Still some ice on lower Owl's Howl, and a big ice patch at the junction of Luce and Telemark.

Otherwise, good conditions on (among others): Hare Line, Chris's Run, Russel Knoll, Telemark, Fox Track, and (with a few anomalies, well marked by traffic cones) Morrison.

17 Feb 2018 - Trapp's

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:55 am
by LewLasher
Skied today at Trapp's. Conditions generally good. A little on the fast side, but that will change as the temperature goes above freezing the next couple of days.

In other news, the trail formerly known as Owl's Howl is now known as Yerrick's Yodel. Sources at the cabin confirm that Charlie Yerrick actually does yodel. It's unclear though, how that compares to the sound of an owl's howl.

March 17, 18, 20

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:49 am
by LewLasher
I'm falling behind on my trip reports. Lots of new snow from the late-season coastal ("nor'easter") storms have restored winter conditions, which should last at least another week.

On Sunday, I skied at the "Mansfield" (or: Stowe Mountain Resort) cross-country area, but then continued, along the connector ("Ranch Camp") trail up (about 720') to the Trapp cabin. Grooming was slightly better on the Trapp side, but pretty good everywhere. Tracks indicated that backcountry skiers had gotten out onto all the backcountry trails that radiate from the perimeter of the groomed trail network.

Stowe Mountain Resort was recently sold from AIG to Vail Resorts, Inc. So far, the only new feature at the touring center is a large new parking lot (I said to Scott, who runs the touring center, "they paved paradise", but it wasn't paradise and the parking lot is unpaved), apparently for Vail/SMR employees. Otherwise, everything looks the same.