Tag Archives: catamount trail bc challenge

Event Report: Get Out and Ski Backcountry Festival

As alpine lift ticket and equipment prices continue to rise, more and more skiers are looking to the backcountry to satisfy their sense of adventure while gaining positive health benefits.  The Catamount Trail Association offers opportunities for those new to the backcountry to try new equipment, practice new techniques, and learn about other strategies and accessories that help set the stage for positive and safe excursions.

photo credit: Sheri Larsen

The Catamount Trail Association hosted its 2nd Annual Get Out and Backcountry Ski Festival at Bolton Valley Nordic Center Sunday January 24th.  Sixty-six enthusiastic skiers from throughout New England experienced a perfect day of backcountry skiing on some of the best terrain in Vermont.

Designed for skiers who had previous cross-country ski experience,

Full ski rack!

this all day event focused on the basic techniques needed to feel comfortable in the backcountry. Numerous companies including Rossignol, the Ski Rack, the Outdoor Gear Exchange, and TSL Snowshoes were on hand with demos, giving participants the opportunity to experience first hand the various types of backcountry gear.

Under the sunny skies and powder conditions, expert instructors led groups of skiers through Bolton Valley’s backcountry trail network. Lessons on ungroomed backcountry trails and in powder filled glades covered basic balance and edge-control, climbing and descending techniques, and the classic telemark turn.  Many skiers were captured on video and were able to review their technique as an additional learning opportunity at the après ski social.

While the perfect day of backcountry skiing came to an end,  Amy Kelsey, Catamount Trail’s Management and Protection Director, gave an informative talk about being prepared for the unexpected in the backcountry and what accessories one might carry to meet those needs. Jim Fredericks, Catamount Trail’s Executive Director followed with a talk about matching the proper equipment to the personal needs of the individual.

The Catamount Trail Association will also host the 3rd Annual Backcountry Challenge Race and Tour on March 14th. This 17km race or tour starts at the Trapp Family Nordic Center and ends at the Bolton Valley Nordic Center. For more information, go to www.catamounttrail.org or call 802-864-5794.

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Catamount Trail Tours and Events at Bolton Nordic

A happy group of skiers in front of Bryant Cabin.

We have heard from several people interested in skiing with other folks on the Bolton Backcountry Trails… these tours and events are perfect way to explore and meet others interested in BC skiing.

Please visit www.catamounttrail.org for detailed event descriptions and for registration/sign-up information.

Exploring the Bolton Backcountry

Part 1 – Strong Intermediate

Friday, January 22

2nd Annual Get Out and Backcountry Ski Festival

Sunday, January 24

Bolton Valley to Nebraska Valley Road

Advanced

Saturday, January 30

Exploring the Bolton Backcountry

Part 2 – Strong Intermediate

Sunday, January 31

3rd Annual Catamount Trail Challenge

Trapp to Bolton Backcountry Race and Tour

Sunday, March 14

Event Report: Catamount Trail BC Challenge

Sunday March 1
Results:
Women's Race
Place  Bib #  First Name   Last Name    Finish Time
1       11      JoAnn       Hanowski     2:16:45
2       14      Betsy       Richert      2:19:14
3       10      Carrie      Nourjian     2:36:40

Men's Race
Place Bib #  First Name    Last Name    Finish Time
1        1      Eric        Tremble       1:35:46
2        18     Marc        Gilbertson    1:36:50
3        16     Chris       Rodgers       1:48:22

Full results online:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pVe5Lbo_qswpiN3t0znMAEg

WCAX News Story about the Catamount Trail BC Challenge click here

Race Report From NWVT Skier Eric Tremble

I’ve been looking forward to the Catamount Trail Trapps to Bolton race for quite some time, pretty much since I crossed the finish line last year. It’s an awesome event; difficult race, unknown conditions and tons of variables, great prizes, free food, good cause, etc.

The race starts with a couple of k’s on the groomed trails at Trapps before dropping down Old Country Rd into the Nebraska valley. Then after two road sections where you need to take your skis off and run, you hit the main obstacle on the course, a long grinding climb up over the ridge, topping out at over 3000 feet. Once you’re over the climb, you have to navigate a technical decent down to the Bolton nordic center.

In the weeks leading up to the event, I was doing a bunch of testing and going back and forth between two pairs of skis, one with a metal edge (for control), and one without (for climbing speed). With the nasty rain, tiny bit of snow, and cold that we got Friday into Saturday, I was back to square one with no idea what I’d use. Luckily, I had time on Saturday to go out and test both the climb (from the Nebraska valley), and the decent into Bolton. I realized that the decent was going to be nasty no matter what skis I had, but the climb was going to be next to impossible on fish scales alone. There just wasn’t enough new snow on top of the boilerplate ice, so the scales had nothing to grab onto. I made a last minute decision to borrow a pair of kicker skins and use the lighter skis without edges.

As we lined up to start the race, I sized up the competition (Marc Gilbertson). He had similar skis, but no skins so I knew he would open a gap on me while I was putting on the skins, but I hoped I would be able to make it up on the long climb. Another wild card was Eric Carter from UVM. He was going to give it a go on waxless race classic skis. He’d definitely be fast on the groomed part, but I was pretty sure I’d see him suffering on the climb.

Out of the start I settled into 3rd behind Eric and Marc. Eric was quickly out of site on his fast race skis, and Marc opened a gap on me pretty quickly too. Jake Hollenbach was cheering at the top of the groomed trails, and he said Eric was 1 minute ahead and Marc was about 15 seconds ahead.

At the first road crossing, I struggled to get my skis off and by the time we got to the base of the climb after the second road crossing Marc was out of site. I put on my skins as fast as possible, but it still seemed to take forever and I almost got caught by the next racers. Once I started climbing I was making pretty good time, and sure enough I quickly caught up to Eric Carter. He must have had no kick at all because he was trying to run up the trail carrying his skis.

A while later I passed Sam von Trapp who was doing the tour, and he said Marc was 4 minutes (!) ahead. I thought he was joking. I was sure I was making up ground, but 4 minutes was a lot. I thought it might be over, but I kept on and with only a few switch backs remaining before the top, I finally caught and passed Marc. I tried to get out of site as fast as possible, but I was starting to bonk so it wasn’t easy. Finally I got to the end of the ridge, ripped off the skins and headed down.

The first few turns were tough due to the icy snow and my shaking legs, but after a few falls I got the hang of it and cruised the rest of the way down to the Nordic center to take the win.

Just finishing this race is a real accomplishment. Congrats to all participants and thanks to Catamount Trail Org, Trapps and Bolton for making this a great event.

More info and full report available at http://www.catamounttrail.org

Results and Story- Catamount Trail BC Challenge

Thanks Racers- we had a very successful 2008 Trapps to Bolton Backcountry race in some challenging conditions and weather last Saturday. Link here for full results!

trapps to bolton race- start

Photo Credit: Jim Fredericks

Catamount Trail BC Challenge Race —  Trying to discourage all but the hardiest backcountry skiers, the race poster read ”No Wimps Allowed”. This didn’t discourage fourteen hardy souls who signed up to take the challenge and when it came to race day, twelve racers stepped up to the starting line.

Socked in by dense fog and threatening rain, the racers sprinted out of the start on the groomed trails at the Trapp Family Touring Center. After three kilometers, they made a sharp turn onto the Old County Road and the ungroomed Catamount Trail. Another couple of kilometers, the racers were greeted by the Stowe Mountain and Rescue Squad at the beginning of a seven kilometer grueling climb to the highest point on the Catamount Trail at 2420 ft. At that point Eric Tremble led the charge at a blistering pace with Justin Beckwith in hot pursuit 30 seconds behind. The other competitors were more spread out as they paced themselves for the long climb ahead. Racers using lighter weight racing poles with small baskets punched through the top layer of crusty snow causing more difficulty in the climb. About 45 minutes into the race the going got even tougher for the competitors as a cold rain created an icy coating on the course and harder climbing conditions for all those except racers with kicker skins.

The finish arena was a welcome site for the competitors at the Bolton Valley Touring Center with professional race course fencing, pop up tents, and a enthusiastic group of spectators. First over the line was Eric Tremble of Jericho, VT who maintained his lead throughout the race and nailed down a lightning time of 1:42:39. Tremble crossed the finish line displaying a big smile and a trace of souvenir blood on his face caused by a crash in his daredevil descent. Justin Beckwith of Waitsfield, VT never backed off his pursuit of Tremble and crossed the finish line soon after in 1:44:40. Third place went to Chris Rodgers of Westford in 1:56:11. In the women’s category Sarah Moore from Waitsfield, VT overtook Betsy Richert of Keene, NY on the descent to take top honors in the women’s category in 2:23:48. Unable to detach her kicker skins, Richert lost valuable time in the downhill and finished 1 minute and fourteen seconds off the pace. Competitors used a wide range of equipment from no-wax touring skis and boots to heavy backcountry equipment and plastic boots. The winner, Eric Tremble used no-wax touring skis, light touring NNN boots, and BC telescoping poles.
Beckwith raced with light metal edged BC skis outfitted with NNN racing bindings and a combi boot. His Swix Universal klister worked extremely well throughout the race but he said his race poles with smaller baskets hindered his climbing ability.

Following the race, all competitors and volunteers were treated to a much appreciated pasta buffet at the BV Nordic Center. A great array of prizes were donated by by Karhu USA, Trapp Family Lodge, Rossignol, Bolton Valley, and the Catamount Trail Association. When the day came to an end, all the racers had a great time and vowed to return for the next years 2nd Annual BC Challenge. The profits from the race will be donated to the Catamount Trail Association.

Article by Jim Fredericks, CTA

Link here for full results!

Catamount Trail BC Challenge Race–

It was challenging day for a race, but everyone had a great time.

start

Racers getting last minute instructions from Jim Fredericks of Catamount Trail Org.

and they are off

And the racers are off– skiing out the Teaching Track Trail at Trapps before getting on to the Catamount Trail South towards Bolton Valley.

talking about the downhill

Eric Tremble (1st place) and Justin Beckwith (2nd Place)– discuss the race just after coming across the finish line.

Today’s Results

Women:

1. Sarah Moore
2. Betsy Richert

Men:

1. Eric Tremble
2. Justin Beckwith
3. Chris Rodgers

Catamount Trail BC Challenge Race

Regestration Deadline Extended– Registration closes Friday March 7th at 5pm.  With new snow in the forecast this should be an exciting event.  More info on our events page.

register online at skireg.com

Prizes include:

Solomon Backcountry Skis

Karhu Backcountry Skis

08 Entry for the Jay Challenge

Rossignol Backpacks

Bolton Nordic Center Season’s Pass and 2 packs of day tickets

and MANY More . . .

skis

Win these Salomon BC Skis Donated by Trapps.