Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Notching It Up

It seems the classic winter-in-Vermont outing for us is the trip to Stowe to head up into the Notch for some touring and some turning. (For those not in-the-know, this is Vermont Route 108 which is closed between Stowe and Cambridge/Jeffersonville in the winter.) We made a wonderful afternoon out of a quick trip to the top of the Notch, and  then we made our first turns of the season on the way back down. I love making trips to the Stowe area for skiing. The Notch is a classic favorite, as are the sections of the Catamount Trail through Nebraska Notch and the Sterling Valley, and Trapp's keeps up a wonderful set of trails that I hope to explore more. This is truly a special place for us here in Vermont.

As the Notch is probably the only location where you can really tour in Vermont right now (please snow more!!), we are heading out there again today. This time, we'll go up and over the Notch to the Jeffersonville side and come back, and we'll make more of a day of it with snacks and a thermos of something warm to drink. And, while I don't think we'll do this today, the ultimate Notch trip would be to head up the Long Trail and descend Smugg's, then skin back up and over to Spruce, and finish a long day by gliding back down that side of the mountain. We've been dreaming of this one - maybe this is the year!

Anyways, for those looking for some snow to glide on - and a chance to use those touring muscles again - the Notch is pretty good right now considering our winter here in VT. There's the typical uneven surfaces from the walkers and snowshoers, the snow is soft enough to carve through the choppiness. And there is always some powder to be had along the edges of the road - just don't mis-calculate and end up in the stream! Just watch out for thin cover in spots - I actually carved right down to pavement, shooting sparks everywhere! Actually, it was kind of cool...but not good for the ski, I'm sure. And what gives?! Why don't we have more snow yet?? Well, regardless, we're headed back out there shortly - we hope to see out there! Happy trails!

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