February 19, 2010

Powder Prospecting in VT

Vermont skiing has come full circle at Bennington, VT. Just 15 minutes from Bennington's main street business district, Prospect Mountain is the southern-most ski area in Vermont, and is actually located in the town of Woodford, VT. It operated for more than 50 years with surface lifts, but the operator shutdown the lifts around 1993 to focus on cross country skiing. I was an hour and a half ahead of schedule while passing through Bennington, so I made the sidetrip to Prospect.

It turned out that my foray coincided with Williams College winter carnival collegiate xc races at Prospect. It was a ski carnival atmosphere at the base with Bowdin, Colby, Dartmouth, Harvard, and other colleges set up with support tents and outdoor cooking. The racers were making laps on the lower trails, so the upper area seemed like the place to go.

Donning skins on my rugged touring/light telemarking skis (Fischer Outtabounds Waxbase), I followed a skin track up the lift fairway to the top of the area about 700 feet vertical above the parking area. The mid 20's F temperature and 6" of fresh snow provided fabulous telermarking on the low angle slopes. Had it not been for my midday appointment, I would have spent all day making laps and tracking it up!

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