On the news this week, I learned that Lake Champlain is officially completely frozen over! This is something that doesn’t happen every winter. In fact this is the first time since 2015 that this has happened. Last time, I was pretty bummed that I didn’t take the opportunity to walk out in the middle of the frozen lake. So, to avoid that same regret this time around, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and walk onto the ice near Oakledge Park in Burlington, VT.
There were a number of other groups on the ice as well. People were taking pictures, going for bike rides, catching fish, and overall enjoying the spectacle of the State’s largest lake being frozen. My favorite thought was remembering summer days spent swimming at Oakledge, and comparing that mental image to how far from shore we had walked. Luckily, we were able to take some pictures and videos all while staying quite dry.
Lake Champlain certainly seems locked in the icy grip of winter, but surely that wont last for TOO much longer. Spring will come soon!
While I am still working on putting together the video for the last ski day in Colorado, my roommate Rob and I got in some beautiful skiing at Stowe this past weekend! I think this is the first season in recent memory where we have had so many sunny and beautiful winter ski days. Usually, 9 out of 10 ski days in Vermont seem to be overcast and dark, but this season it seems like every other trip has been beautiful blue skies. Just check out this earlier blog entry! I’m not complaining, and it certainly makes for some much nicer looking GoPro footage. Enjoy!
After spending the day at Arapahoe Basin earlier in the week, Marley and I decided to spend a couple days together a little further away from Longmont. After she got out of work Wednesday, we packed up the car and drove the 2 hours through the mountains on I-70 to Beaver Creek. Luckily, the driving was far less stressful than my trip to Arapahoe Basin! We checked into our AirBnB and spent the rest of the night planning our ski adventure for the following day.
We woke up early Thursday morning, just in time to get to the front of the ski rental line, picking up Marley’s skis. We hopped onto the Riverside gondola, picked up lift tickets and began our day. The sun was shining and trails were perfectly groomed. Even the temperature cooperated and warmed up nicely as the day progressed.
With Marley along, we stuck to mostly easier terrain, and enjoyed a relaxing day on the slopes. The fresh groomed snow was very fast, and easily carved. I really enjoyed skiing as fast as I wanted with no worry about losing an edge to icy conditions. I think Marley enjoyed the amazing views that the ski trails offered. Check out some of the skiing action in the YouTube Video posted below!
Its been a couple weeks since I’ve gotten back from Colorado and I’ve been meaning to get some posts together about the experience. This will be the first in a short series for my Colorado adventures!
On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to go skiing at Arapahoe Basin. As we have since found out, A-Basin will not be on the Epic Pass next year, so I was glad to be able to check out this amazing mountain while my season pass still worked for it! I woke up Tuesday morning before the sun rose, and drove the two hours from Longmont, CO to A-Basin. The drive was a breeze until my GPS took me off the highway and began pointing me along the roads for “Loveland Pass”. The day before, there had been about 6 inches of snow, and these back roads seemed as though they still hadn’t been plowed. It would be one thing if the roads were JUST icy, but adding in hairpin turns as the road switch-backed all the way up into the mountains made for a very anxious approach to the ski area! When I reached the parking lot, I peeled my white knuckles off the steering wheel and quickly strapped on my ski gear. GoPro in hand, I crossed the street and headed straight for the lift.
The skiing was amazing. The previous day’s snow had softened up the trails beautifully and there were no signs of the east coast ice that I’m more accustomed to skiing. I spent a few runs speeding down the Montezuma Bowl before a run through the new Beavers area. It was really only as my day was winding down that I actually spent any time taking runs on the front side of the mountain!
Getting to ski above treeline was a treat that I had been hoping to do for a long time and it exceeded my expectations. The views from the top were amazing and I would say that they took my breath away… but I’m pretty sure it was the low oxygen at high elevation doing that!
I’m sorry that its been so long since my last post! This week I am in Colorado doing a bunch of sight seeing and skiing. I will have a larger recap post and video after I return to Vermont, but in the meantime I grabbed a clip to share of a fun run through Arapahoe Basin’s Montezuma Bowl trails. Enjoy!
Winter can be a tough time of year for the pursuit of outdoor hobbies. When days are so short, it can become very difficult if not impossible to get outside after finishing your workday. There is no way to change daylight hours. So, rather than simply waiting for spring, here are my favorite ways to still feel connected to the outdoors even when short days make that especially difficult.
Get Outside EVERY Winter Weekend
This might seem obvious, but when you cant get outside after work, make sure you get outside when you aren’t working. For me, this means every weekend I’m picking at least one day to go skiing, snowshoeing, or ice fishing and I make sure to actually get out and do it. Cold dark weekend mornings make it especially tempting to stay inside and sleep in, but make use of every daylight minute you have. If you get the winter blues like I do, this time in the sun is super important to your mental health. That Netflix binge can wait until the sun goes down!
Go Out at Night
A good headlamp can extend your outdoor hours if you are interested in exploring after dark too. I’ve found that hiking at night in the winter can result in some pretty spectacular stargazing on clear nights. Just be careful to not put yourself in a dangerous situation if the weather gets too cold, or if your light source stops working. This winter I’m hoping to try out some nighttime ice fishing and will probably put out a video on this at some point as well. Some ski areas also offer night skiing which can be a welcome change of pace after a long workday.
Gear Check and Inventory for Summer
During warmer months, my adventure style changes. Contrary to winter, I like to make my summer plans very last minute with a “Carpe Diem” mentality, perhaps deciding on a Friday at 4PM to spend the weekend camping in the woods. However, it isn’t safe to leave civilization behind without being sure you have all the necessary gear for your trip. One way to allow this last minute planning is to spend some winter evenings setting up adventure boxes with all your gear for different trips. Make sure everything in the boxes are inventoried with a proper packing list and if things are missing, replace them as soon as you can. The last thing you want to happen is to open the box the day of your trip and realize that something needs to be replenished or replaced. That way, you can just grab the box and get out there.
Plan a Larger Summer Trip
Small trips can happen with minimal planning in the summer, but one way to certainly beat your winter blues and cabin fever can be planning out a bigger trip. Organizing friends, mapping routes, finding campsites, permitting and shopping for new gear are all important factors in planning a bigger trip, and the cold winter months are the begin this process. Sometimes this can add to your sense of cabin fever if you’re really itching to get out there, so find out for yourself if this idea works for you.
Learn a New Skill
One of the amazing things about the internet is the wealth of information available in every imaginable subject. Specifically for outdoor adventurers, you can find blogs, videos and instruction articles on everything from skiing moguls to hand-tying fishing flies. Find something that interests you and learn something new. My own current inspiration has been camping skills taught by YouTube video creator Joe Robinet. Spend your winter months learning some new skills that will help to make the warmer months more adventurous!