Powder on the Slopes!

Beautiful Stowe

This past Friday, after a really great work week (I was promoted on Friday, hoooray!), with my Lent/nutrition plan in full swing, and snow in the forecast, we packed our bags and went straight up to Stowe, VT. Rob and I were able to utilize my brother and sister in law’s house, which is located just outside of downtown Stowe. Since the house was empty, we invited our avid outdoor friends Greg & Paulina and Kate & Alec. Everyone was beyond thrilled to be making the three and a half hour trek up to the beautiful New England town for a chance to ski and snowboard at one of New England’s best mountains.

We got up late on Friday night, after sitting in stop and go traffic on 93 north and a lengthy stop at a belly busting Mexican joint somewhere in the Lebanon, NH area.  We were wiped, but that didn’t stop us from popping out of bed Saturday morning as if Santa’s gifts were waiting for us under the tree at 6:45am. Greg and Paulina were able to get to the mountain for the first chair, an impressive feat! Kate, Alec, Rob and I all strolled in shortly after 8am, and hit the mountain in order to catch some corduroy!

Mount Mansfield in all it's glory

Due to icing and freezing rain issues a lot of the lifts were closed and the lines were CRAZY. As the day went on, the lines got a little better as more lifts opened up, thank goodness. Shortly after 12pm it started snowing and we were treated to snow, which just increased the beauty and amazing conditions on the mountain!

After a several runs we went inside to grab a quick lunch and then head right back out there. Since the Gondola had opened, we decided to ski over there and WOW, was it worth it! Once I skied onto the trail it looked as if I was literally skiing through a Christmas card. The pine trees were encrusted in snow and there was fresh fluffy powder everywhere you looked: absolute perfection.

Rob and Paulina Skiing down Nose Dive

The snow was actually so fresh that I had a hard time maneuvering in it. After a few frustrating attempts near the top of the trail, I finally eased into a pace and got into a groove, but wow did my thighs burn, Oww! After two runs off the Gondola, I was toast, so I called it quits and head into the midway lounge to join friends for an Apres ski party. I have to say, I do enjoy that drinking beers after sweating profusely and pushing my body to the limit is actually encouraged in the sport of skiing. Perhaps this is something we can bring to running on a larger scale, Apres Run anyone?! After everyone filtered in around 4:30pm, we all enjoyed a beer together and then made our way to our lodging for the night, the “Winter Cottage” (my friendly nickname for my brother and sister in law’s abode.)

After a great night of sleep and we all woke up and feasted on a fantastic breakfast over at the Gables Inn. After we rolled out of breakfast we all went over to the Nordic Barn on Mountain Road to rent some snow shoes, poles and snow boots. We went to this rental shop on Saturday per my sister in law’s suggestion, but I do have to say that it was by far one of the best experiences we’ve had in terms of service and atmosphere. So when we brought up the idea of snow shoeing, we made sure to head back and give them our business! The man working was great and not only got us all up to speed and demonstrated how to properly put them on, but he gave us maps and suggestions on where to go “shoein'”. Thank you Nordic Barn!

Rob and Greg Snow Shoeing

The best review and suggestion we received from the man at the Nordic Barn was for Wiesner’s Woods, a reservation land that is popular with cross country skiers and snow shoe’ers alike. We went over and had fun hiking around the snow covered trails! While snow shoeing is very different from running or skiing, it is a nice change to get outside and go for a hike and enjoy the weather. I even worked up quite the sweat when we came upon a few hilly areas of the trail. It wasn’t the most thrilling experience, but it definitely felt great to get up and get another chance to get outside. Though, afterwards I did feel a pang of jealousy when I looked through @ShredSnow’s Flickr photos of their Sunday snowboarding adventures!

Scenic Overlook from Wiesner's Woods

All in all, it was a great weekend. It was a chance to get out on some great snow and ski and snow shoe with some good friends. When I called my mother and told her about my fantastic weekend I could tell she was in disbelief. Her exact words were, “Where is Swimmykimy, and what have you done with her?!”. I told her, “Well, it’s a long winter and I’ve found a way to make it a little easier to deal with :)” I’m hoping to make it up to VT a few more times before the winter is over, but for now, I’m focusing on my impending trip to Colorado! Next post, how I’m prepping for powder in my gym work outs!