Tag Archives: Get out and Backcountry Ski Festival

3rd Annual Get Out and Backcountry Festival

A hearty crew joined us last Sunday for the Get Out and Backcountry Festival!

Temperatures hovering near 0˚ F didn’t deter over 70 participants from sharpening their backcountry skills at the 3rd Annual Get Out And Backcountry Ski Festival held at Bolton Valley on Jan 23, 2011.  The sold out event, organized by the Catamount Trail Association (CTA), attracted skiers from 25 to 65 years old with three primary goals: to try out some of the latest in backcountry ski equipment, to learn skills to be safe and proficient skiing in a wilderness setting, and to have fun.

With over a 100 km of backcountry trails and an abundance of new powder, Bolton Valley Resort provided an ideal setting for the 3rd Annual Get Out and Backcountry Ski Festival. The enthusiastic skiers were broken up into groups based on ability and matched with instructors who shared and practiced skills appropriate for each group.  From simple wedge and stem turns in powder to linked telemark turns on steep wooded terrain, everyone was able to boost their proficiency and confidence throughout the day. While the outdoor sessions were the main attraction, the workshop also included indoor talks on dressing and packing for backcountry excursions, and selecting proper backcountry ski equipment for one’s individual skiing goals.  Culminating a perfect day, skiers were treated to a social gathering with beverages, Cabot cheese, Vermont Smoke and Cure Products, and an abundance of raffle prizes. A special thanks goes out to the SkiRack for providing demos and raffle prizes. We also want to thank Darn Tough Socks and the Outdoor Gear Exchange for providing raffle prizes as well.

According to Snowsports Industries America (SIA) backcountry skiing is the fastest growing winter sliding sport.   In their March 2010 Executive Market Summary, the SIA reports Nordic ski sales were up 18% in 2009/2010 over the previous year, and Randonee/AT sales were up 16%. This recent growth can be attributed to modern equipment and the numerous opportunities to explore backcountry throughout the country. Vermont’s own Catamount Trail is a natural and recreational asset that attracts thousands of skiers from the Eastern US and beyond. The 300-mile trail meanders the length of Vermont from the Massachusetts border to Quebec, offering a diversity of terrain from the gentle rolling hills of southern Vermont to the steeper hardwood forests of the northern Green Mountains. The CTA is at the forefront of backcountry skiing in Vermont and offers many Nordic skiing events including over 50 free, guided tours each winter.

We hope you can join us on the trail soon!

Jim Fredericks and CTA Staff

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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.

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: Get Out and Backcountry Ski Festival

Registration area with lots of great info from CTA and Bolton.

Registration area with lots of great info from CTA and Bolton.

Perfect powder, excited participants and great volunteers were the hilights of the 1st Annual Get out and Backcountry Ski Festival at Bolton Nordic.  Early morning temps in the single digits didn’t deter about 50 people from getting out to Bolton yesterday for a great day of backcountry tours and clinics sponsored by Catamount Trail Organization.

Morning action included Telemark Skills Clinic on the Tele Practice Slope, a mini tour up Bryant Trail to Bryant Cabin, then down Gardners Lane, Cliffhanger.

The festival group.

The festival group.

Amy Diller from the CTA opened up her pack to share what she brings out on a backcountry ski.  Check out her blue helmet.

Amy Diller from the CTA opened up her pack to share what she brings out on a backcountry ski. Check out her blue helmet.

Lunch was busy with talks about How to pack backpack for a day of skiing and a discussion of skis, boots and poles for backcountry.  Just before heading back outside for the afternooon sessions the group was tested on CTA, U.S. Skiing and Bolton trivia… prizes included great stuff from the CTA  gift vault.

Jim from the CTA and Morgan from Rossignol answer questions about backcountry gear.

Jim from the CTA and Morgan from Rossignol answer questions about backcountry gear.

The afternoon session included longer tours to Georges George, Bryant, JJs and Holden’s Hollow.  At the end of the afternoon everyone was tired and happy after a great day outside.