The Ski Capital of The East

Ahhh…3 day weekend, we meet again. This Friday Foxy and I are putting up our Out of Office replies and getting an early start to the weekend in VT. Why the vacation day? We are heading up to Stowe & Jay Peak to visit my brother and sister in law. My bro and sis in law are luck enough to live in the adorable town of Stowe, VT, and are nice enough to let us stay with them during ski season 🙂 We’re looking forward to a great weekend of skiing, though we will undoubtedly get our butts handed to us on the slopes by my ski bunny brother and sister in law.

The mountain is absolutely beautiful, and perhaps I’m biased, but I think it’s the best mountain in all of New England.

The town is also absolutely adorable, full of cute shops, pubs, gorgeous churches and covered bridges…

And of course, they do get a ton of snow, so it makes for great skiing. This will probably be our last ski trip of the 2011 season, so we have to go out with a bang!

I’m hoping to ski all three days, which will definitely make me extremely sore. I say, BRING IT ON! In addition, I’m hoping to squeeze in a quick run (or two) while I’m there so I don’t fall too far behind on the 100 Miles in March Challenge. Stowe is extremely hilly, so I figure it’s never too early to start prepping my legs for a little race I signed up for in July 😉

What are you up to this weekend?

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!

Getting in Tune with MN (Mother Nature)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w7sVSMbjyM]

My sister in law shared the sheer brilliance of this “Cross Country Snow Boarding” clip with my boyfriend and I sometime this past summer. It never fails to put a smile on my face and fill the room with my obnoxiously loud laughter.

While I don’t have the patience, nor the desire to master regular snow boarding, not to mention that of the cross country variety, I have however, been tearing up the slopes quite a bit this winter!

My first trip of the winter was to Stowe, VT, which is the idealic and picturesque definition of a ski town if I’ve ever seen one before! My boyfriend and I went up for the weekend to visit my brother and sister in law as well as get some quality time in on one of the most prestigious and beautiful mountains on the east coast.

My brother, KC & I on the top of Spruce Peak


We got an early start and for the first time in my life I skied “corduroy” (for those who aren’t skiers, it refers to shallow, closely-spaced parallel grooves in the snow made by grooming machines.) We started easy, but with the help of my brother, quickly moved onto more difficult and steeper terrain. We had a fantastic day, but by the end of it my legs were shaking uncontrollably! OWWW!

Foxy enjoying a walk through the notch with some pups

Our next trip was to Sunday River with some friends for a day of good skiing, good music and of course good times. Rob and I were still sore from hard work outs earlier in the week and some late nights so we made the decision early on to stick to easier trails and stress the social aspect of the weekend rather than pushing our skiing ability. Great weekend all around. I really feel like both of us are really getting the hang of skiing and hopefully will be really ready to challenge ourselves during our next ski trip!

Kate and Jeff Enjoying a Break on the Deck of the Foggy Goggle


Tired after a long day, but happy 🙂