Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

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Telecat
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Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

Post by Telecat » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:09 pm

Hey y'all

In effort not to let this utterly depressing winter down here in the catskills slip away from me, I'm going to head up to Vermont next week for a 3 day roadtrip.

I've already planned to go to mad river glen on Wednesday (first time, so pumped!) For some heavy telemarking

I'm on a budget, and probably shouldn't be paying for this trip in any case, but skiing is life. Priorities man. But any cheap or free XCd area recommendations are a plus.

I'm not opposed to total backcountry skiing alone either. I have an emergency personal locator beacon and some winter survival gear incase I'm stuck waiting for rescue.

I'm not amazing on the downhills yet on my XC skis and leathers, but I havent had any issues negotiating my way around yet even on sheepish stuff.

Im not sure where I'm going to be staying yet. But vaguely in central/north central vermont. I was looking at Bolton valley because I've heard great things. But their ungroomed/bc trails are mostly rated as very difficult. I'm sure I'll be fine. But I'm open to other recommendations too!

I'm going to drive up Tuesday morning. I'm not a morning person so I probably wont get out the door pre-dawn for a full day of skiing. But I have a peak pass so I can ski at no cost at mt snow on my way up north if the weather holds up there. If the weather sucks there I'll skip it or maybe go XC skiing Tuesday afternoon somewhere more north.

Thursday I'll have all day to XC ski wherever I want and I'll drive back home to the catskills after.

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Re: Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

Post by Cannatonic » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:18 pm

sounds fun, everywhere from Bolton north just got a 3-foot dump. Not sure what conditions are like after that rain moved through last night. It looks like there could be some fresh snow by the time you get up there.

Skiing up Smuggler's Notch from the Stowe side (the closed road) is one of my favorite things to do. Lot of great views and friendly people. it's more of a fun social vibe versus wilderness feeling. But it's a great place to practice XCD/tele turns. I believe it's 600 vertical feet to the top of the notch, and the descent is just the right grade for XCD turns without accelerating out of control.

You can double the vertical by skiing down the Smuggs side and back, but the descent on the Smuggs side is more gradual and not enough to get some turns going, you just point 'em most of the way. For more of a pure XC ski, the Stowe community bike path that winds through town is another fun, scenic option.
Last edited by Cannatonic on Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

Post by Landscraper » Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:00 pm

Sections of the Catamount Trail near downhill resorts yield some great trail side pitches. Back Country Alliance is also a good resource. There are some BC ski outfits that are making great precedent working with US Forest Service making BC ski areas.

Sections 23-25 are really nice for ducking off trail for a little downhill practice.

Tooling around the Sterling Forest in Stowe is always a good time

If you’re GIS mapping inclined you can look at the Forests department Trails layer on VTANR Atlas

AllTrails has a good inventory that’s got some smaller “social” trails on it

Stowe Nordic has a comprehensive list of Nordic/BC areas around Stowe... can’t go wrong with copying MTB lines either :)

Craftsbury for groomers, anything designed by John Morton is a treat (but likely groomed)

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Re: Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

Post by Telecat » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:27 pm

Cannatonic wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:18 pm
Skiing up Smuggler's Notch from the Stowe side (the closed road) is one of my favorite things to do. Lot of great views and friendly people. it's more of a fun social vibe versus wilderness feeling. But it's a great place to practice XCD/tele turns. I believe it's 600 vertical feet to the top of the notch, and the descent is just the right grade for XCD turns without accelerating out of control.
This sounds like a ton of fun! So is this just literally the road through the notch? Just drive until I reach the road barrier then get out and ski? How much is the mileage to the top of the notch and back? Looking for a solid 4-6 hours of skiing. Would like to see some cool wilderness features, of course the notch would be pretty cool, never drove through there even in the warmer months

I'll also be staying in montpelier, so very central

I was also looking at the camels hump xc area, any experience here? Definitely seems like i could find cool views there too. And maybe an opportunity for both groomed and ungroome ld snow.

I'm cool with groomed or ungroomed snow, as long as the ungroome stuff has been tracked by someone else lol. I'd be cool with the trail breaking challenge usually, but its exhausting and Thursday will also have a long drive back home after.

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Re: Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

Post by fisheater » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:33 pm

I’ve been told it is not hygienic to ski in other’s tracks! However too much trail breaking does keep the mileage lower.
Good luck, sounds like a great ski vacation.

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Re: Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

Post by Woodserson » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:12 pm

Due to the warmth, I don't know condition they'll be in, but Cochran's and Northeast Slopes are two rope-tow ski areas near Montpelier that ooze character and history. Low altitude so do your research, but great XCD locations with easy to manage pitches. Northeast Slopes is not open right now but skinning it is approved. We need snow.

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Re: Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

Post by Telecat » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:02 pm

Woodserson, thanks for the recommendations I'll check it out. I'm really hoping the rain forecasted on Tuesday either doesnt happen or will dump some snow at higher elevations, mad river glen looks pretty high up and its looks like its in a notch from what I can tell on the maps. So I'm really praying!

I know MRG is (in)famous for not grooming and having lots of bumps, so I'm hoping there isnt too much ice!

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Re: Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

Post by Woodserson » Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:10 am

Altitude is your friend. Bolton will be good!

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Re: Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

Post by Cannatonic » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:04 pm

Never heard of Northeast Slopes before - very cool! Will have to check it out. I love T-bars.

T-cat yes, to ski the Notch you drive up 108 through the Stowe resort and Route 108 terminates in a parking lot at the closed gate. A stone's throw from the Stowe parking lots. 108 continues up the Notch and back down with another gate and parking area next to Smuggler's Notch ski area on the other side.

With a ban on motorized vehicles, the Notch becomes a Disneyland of winter sports. Groups of ice climbers are walking up to climbing routes in the Notch, downhill skiers pass by, descending sidecountry routes from Smuggs & Stowe. Families are hiking up with sleds. XC skiers. You can watch the climbers on the ice from the road. I think it's about a mile & half from either parking lot to the top. You'll pass the Long Trail shortly after leaving the Stowe parking lot. Going down the road to Smuggs & back up is a great workout and way to spend the afternoon.

here you go...
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"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)

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Re: Favorite places to XCd in Vermont? Taking trip next tues-thurs

Post by Cannatonic » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:42 pm

still going :lol: ... here's a shot of Profanity & Hourglass on the Chin from that day and what appears to be a slab fracture on Adam's Apple....
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"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)

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