Skiing the Catamount Trail: Bolton Valley to Trapp Family Lodge - 12/Feb/2000

By David Metsky

This was a perfect snow weekend. I took Friday off from work and drove up to my friends' house in Vermont on Thursday night. Friday I skied at Burke Mountain and had a great time on all the wonderful tree runs. About a foot of snow fell, and Kathy and I wanted to do a trip neither of us had ever done but had been thinking about for years, the Catamount Trail section between Bolton Valley Ski Area and the Trapp Family Lodge. The logistics are a bit tough, we drove over in two cars, parking one on the Nebraska Valley Road where the trail crosses, then drove to Bolton, which is 45 minutes away. We started at Bolton because the trailhead is higher and we wanted the long, slightly easier downhill.

For this trip, we both used our backcountry gear since there is a lot of up and down, or at least some. We bought our ski passes for the Bolton Valley X-C trails and started up. Conditions were spectacular, very easy trip with wax, not skins. The first part of the trip is on groomed trails, getting us up to the Bolton backcountry. Then we took a wrong turn, on some wonderful Bolton trails that we've skied before. It took us up to a great view point where we had a comfy lunch. But then we consulted the map, and concluded that we weren't where we thought we were. We had to drop down on a black diamond (lots of fun on my backcountry gear) and rehook up with the Catamount Trail.

From there it was back to up. We climbed and climbed, then hit the ridge top and did a bit of up and down. It was difficult because the deep snow made climbing a chore, but the short intense downhills made up for it. We came to this wonderful view at around 2:30, a great place for a rest, some food, and prepare ourselves for the real descent. From there on out it was back into the trees and pretty much downhill the rest of the way. Lots of opportunities to use the space in the trees on either side of the trail, since the woods were quite open. Eventually the terrain flattens out and the last mile or two is a gentle slope that required some double polling. We made it out to the car around 3:30, then drove back to Bolton to pick up the other car, and back to Kathy's house for dinner. The next day I headed up to the Gulf of Slides for more adventure.

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