Ski Day – a mini photo journal of a short back country ski in the Vermont woods

After an incredibly disappointing (relatively snowless) winter, we got a nice little 1 1/2 foot dump yesterday and to add to this grand event, today was a beautiful sunny day. Don Kiely asked for pictures, so I took my camera with me when Rich and I went out on a 3 hour back country ski. We ski right out from our back yard to the Green Mt. State Forest!

Here is just in our back yard as we enter our woods. Our woods connect with those of all of our neighbors up and down our road and extend through to the next road over, giving us about 100 acres of private land with great trails that we all work to maintain for hiking, snow shoeing and skiing.

A little way into the woods I have hung a small section of Tibetan Prayer Flags on two trees that have always felt like a gateway. The flags remind me to leave all of my worries behind as I enter our woods and on the way home, to be mindful not to let those worries affect me and those around me. Not always successful, but I try, I really try.

We have some nice ski tracks already thanks to Rich and I first packing down the trail yesterday afternoon with our big old wooden snowshoes and then our own skiing and our neighbors’ as well. Luckily nobody postholes our trails in our own woods!

After winding our way through the woods for about a mile, we come out onto our neighbors land and ski along the fencing for their livestock towards the entrance to the Beane Trail. This is where we enter the forest and can head up to the Long Trail if we want. I did this the other day on snowshoes with my neice.

My happy happy skis. These are back country skis. Much fatter than x-country skis, with flex, free-heels (I have leather boots and 3-pin bindings) and metal edges. Lighter weight than my tele equipment. Perfect for woods skiing that’s not too steep. I’m not great on these – I can turn somewhat but have to rely on snowplowing to ensure I don’t kill myself. When I ski somewhere that I need more control, I go for the tele gear.

This is on the logging road that is part of the Beane Trail. It’s a public trail so we were lucky that it just had a nice ski tracks and the snowshoers had kept to the side (and the postholers* had stayed home). At the beginning it is nearly flat, with just a slight incline. After about 1/2 mile you can head up the mountain on the trail proper (but definitely not on skis), or continue out on the logging road that goes through the woods and up the mountain. We did that for about another mile. We are now in the realm of thousands of acres of public land. Yippee. Another option in this direction is to head to the Catamount trail which is a 300 mile long ski trail that goes from one end of the state to the other.

Up up up we went. It was a BLAST coming down.

On the way home, we took a detour out to another neighbor’s field before we headed back into our woods. What a gorgeous day! And mild temps too, about 30 degrees.

The end. Hope you liked it, Don. 🙂

*Post-holers – people who trash a ski trail by walking in boots. Skis and showshoes are good etiquette in the winter.

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