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