Keeping My Resolution – Stowe Mountain, Eastman Cross-Country & Tenney Mountain

Sharon and Amy at Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont just below Mount Mansfield’s Nose and at the top of the Nose Dive Trail. Part of keeping my New Year’s Resolution requires me to go places that I don’t normally get a chance to ski. Skiing with good friends is twice the fun.

by Amy Patenaude
Outdoor/Ski Writer

Last night as we drove by the lit up slopes of Whaleback, I asked Sharon if she wanted to stop and ski some more and we both laughed. We were on our way home from a fantastic day of skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont and we were toast. There wasn’t another run left in our legs.
Since the New Year began I have been working hard to keep my New Year’s resolution—making it a fun winter. I picked a resolution that is easy for me to want to keep because I love winter.
Our day started early, driving in the dark to reach the resort before the lifts started spinning. We picked up our friend, Amy, in West Lebanon and we zoomed up I-89.
Mid-week skiing is great because the slopes are uncrowded, but this Thursday was even better because there was 3 to 5 inches of “sneaky snow” waiting for us on the slopes. Sneaky snow is snow that mountains produce in the middle of the night and was not predicted in the weather forecast.
The three of us happily pounced on Spruce Mountain and made first tracks on Upper Sterling. The day was cloudy but it improved during the day. After five runs on Spruce we headed over to the Four Runner quad lift just above the Mansfield Lodge.
Nose Dive, Hayride and Lord had good snow and they were making more snow on some of the other trails. People were in and out of the glades but we stayed on the trails. Seriously, we hit the jackpot for snow conditions.
We didn’t quite make it until closing; at 3 o’clock we decided we’d had our fill. Especially after Amy and I decided to bounce and be tossed by Chin Clip’s moguls for our last run of the day.
But I was tempted to stop in for a little night skiing at Whaleback. I am lucky my friends have more sense than I do.

At the Eastman Cross Country Center on Wednesday afternoons area youngsters are learning to cross country ski better! Here’s Charlie with his group of elementary school students from Grantham. Helping others to learn to ski and to ski better is good winter fun for everyone.

On Wednesday afternoon Charlie and I volunteered to teach cross country ski lessons at the Eastman Cross Country Center in Grantham, it is just a short ways from I-89 exit 13.
After last year’s nearly snowless winter these youngsters were fired up. This was their first lesson of the season for the students from Grantham. Skis, boots and poles were flying out the door in the arms of the kids.
The pent-up energy exploded and there was no slowing them down. They were kicking and gliding, double poling and laughing as they lead us to where they wanted to ski. On a groomed track we went up one snow covered fairway and down another making a big loop.
We worked on edging and turning by practicing tip and tail star turns—spinning around in place making a star design in the snow. We went up and down a small hill a dozen times practicing edging, snowplowing and turning.
After almost an hour and half outside our focus turned back to the cross-country center where everyone knew hot chocolate would be served to all.
We bet the students will be as eager to return next Wednesday as Charlie and I are for their next lesson.

From the summit of Tenney Mountain there is a fine view of Mount Moosilauke well beyond the nearby wind turbines. Not only were we rewarded with a fun glide down the slopes we enjoyed the grand wintery mountain vista.
Becca heading up Tenney Mountain using skins on her split-board. A split-board is a snowboard that can be split into two ski like pieces for ascending with skins and then be locked back together to become a snowboard for the descent. Earning your turns by getting to top using only your own power is fun.
From Mount Osceola we had a good view of the Waterville Valley Ski Resort’s slopes and on the left side is their new Green Peak. Waterville is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this season!

Becca and I met at Tenney Mountain ski area. It isn’t exactly open yet, but there were ski and snowboard tracks marking up the snow on the trails above the parking area.
On this late Sunday afternoon, I put my skins on my skis and Becca put her skins on her split-snowboard. We clicked into our equipment and started up the well-used uphill track to the summit. We shuffled our way up and enjoyed the grand vista. Tenney has a big wide view from the Southeast to the North. The view of Mount Moosilauke is grand! The Franconia Ridge, Tecumseh and Sandwich Mountain feel close.
I recalled liking skiing here over the years.
As we neared the top of the chairlift we could hear the whop, whop, whop sounds made by the wind turbines on the ridge. On the top we had a good view of the spinning blades.
We ripped off our skins and readied ourselves for a fun glide back down to our cars. I attempted to take my skins off while my skis were still attached to my feet but I didn’t succeed—I’ll keep trying, I’ve done it before.
Oh what fun it is to glide through soft fresh snow. We didn’t make first tracks that afternoon, but I am sure we were the last to make tracks as the sun set.
From an old trail map we learned we skied the trails named Morning Glory and Roller Coaster. I hope we can do this again soon. I hope Mother Nature keeps being generous with the snow.
The snowshoeing in our White Mountains has been excellent with all the snow. My friends are summiting many of the 4,000-footers and some are off to a good start for completing the AMC 4k list in a single winter. Last week I visited the summits of Mount Jackson and the Osceola Peaks.

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Oh yeah my team returned to Pats Peak on Monday night for the first of many fun nights of racing this winter. There is a good chance you can still join the league at your favorite ski area, some teams need to fill some slots.
Thanks for reading this! I have to go outside, Have Fun.