Snow & Mud

What a wonderful feeling. Yours truly, Martha and Sarah skiing in the rain, just skiing in the rain. We had a delightful morning of skiing in southern Vermont at Mount Snow.
What a wonderful feeling. Yours truly, Martha and Sarah skiing in the rain, just skiing in the rain. We had a delightful morning of skiing in southern Vermont at Mount Snow.

Amy Patenaude

 Spring skiing at Mount Snow, Dover, Vermont
Spring skiing at Mount Snow, Dover, Vermont

by Amy Patenaude
Outdoor/Ski Writer

We have been enjoying a mix of beautiful spring and wild winter weather this March.
Sap buckets are hanging on the Maple trees. Bicycles have come out of storage. Skiers and snowboarders are still having fun at the ski areas. I used my snowshoes last weekend again—just north of Errol.
The roads are posted 6 Tons for a reason and hiking and biking trails should be avoided if they are muddy. The frost will be leaving the ground sooner than later. But don’t be surprised if Winter decides he really doesn’t want to leave us without gifting us with a big dump of snow or a stinging cold snap.
Ski areas are hanging in there thanks to man-made snow and there are plenty of reasons you should get out and have some fun. Discounted lift tickets, pond skimming and good snow conditions are just few good reasons.
Spring skiing is fun especially when it is done in the sun. I made some great turns at Mount Sunapee. The snow was nice and soft and there was plenty of it. From the top of the mountain the view was terrific all the way to White Mountains and just down below I could see that there was still ice on the Lake.

A lovely morning at Mount Sunapee.  There is snow on the slopes---go get it!
A lovely morning at Mount Sunapee. There is snow on the slopes—go get it!

Over at Mount Snow in Vermont their trails were in good shape. I was skiing with friends in the rain. Yes, in the rain. We were in the lift line just as the lifts opened. We checked out the Carinthia Parks and took a few runs down the farm and wood-themed terrain parks. I skipped jumping the horse trailer and I didn’t stomp a tree, but the talented athletes from the Mount Snow Academy sure were ripping it up. The snow was good and we zigged and zagged down most of the trails. A new Carinthia Base Lodge will begin construction this summer and continued snowmaking upgrades from a newly built pond are in the works.
We stopped for lunch at 1900 Burger, located at the resort’s base. The specialty burger and comfort food restaurant really hit the spot. Lots of yummy options whipped up from ingredients provided by local farms.
We lingered a long time at our table. The decision to call it quits for the day was easily rationalized because we skied all morning and putting back on our wet coats didn’t seem like a good idea. We made a promise to come back another day!

Bryan Cuddihee and Zach Porter finishing up a loop over a few of Northern New Hampshire’s 3,000 foot peaks.
Bryan Cuddihee and Zach Porter finishing up a loop over a few of Northern New Hampshire’s 3,000 foot peaks.

Bryan, Zach and I made another trip to New Hampshire’s North Country to hike a few more 3,000 foot peaks this winter. Just north of Errol, we drove up Corser Brook Road for 9 miles, it was a frozen hard muddy logging road and I was thankful I didn’t knock off any car parts. We walked a mile up a snowmobile trail and then we put on our snowshoes before we began bushwhacking to the summits of South Crystal, North Crystal and West Tucker.
The temperature hit 50 degrees and even with snowshoes we punched down through the snow a couple feet. This sinking snowshoeing was tiring work. We had better luck staying up on the top of the snow when we stayed in the shade of the trees. I had a hard time believing we found so much snow up there.
We were successful and we had hiked a big 12 mile loop. Back at the car we could see that the mud had thawed. My all wheel rig used its all-wheel-drive to push and pull us through deep mud on top of frost. We passed a big pickup truck towing a snowmobile trailer and even with chains on its truck tires the rig was barely making forward progress. I kept my car splashing and sliding through the mud fearing if I stopped we’d be stuck for good.
We all breathed a sigh of relief when we made it back to paved main road.
On Monday morning the guys at work were impressed with my mud covered car.
Have fun!

Amy Patenaude is an avid skier/outdoor enthusiast from Henniker, N.H. Readers are welcome to send comments or suggestions to her at: amy@weirs.com.