First Turns of the Season in Snowtober

Trick or treat Vermont!

The end of this October, Southern Vermont was dressed up like December. It took a lot for me to control my enthusiasm last week as the anticipation leading up to this storm was driving me batty! My good friend Gary was fueling the stoke as well. He is really passionate about skiing. He was telling me over the phone Thursday morning that is was dumping snow on the mountain, and he was going to get after it when he was done with work. It was just raining down here in the valley, but I thought it might be snowing up higher, so I took the dog for a run up Ball Mountain in a search for flakes.

When I got out of work Thursday night it was snowing pretty heavily in Dorset, and there was a couple inches of wet, heavy snow on the ground. When I got home, I put all my ski stuff together including my junk skis. If your a snowboarder, you might not want to read the next couple of lines. I took an old snowboard and cut it down the middle, slapped some tele bindings on and wallah! JUNK SKIS! (I have to give credit to Gary for introducing this technology to me.)

Friday morning, I was out the door at 7 and headed to Stratton. It was a beautiful bluebird day! When I arrived at Stratton it was full on winter! I strapped my skis to my pack and started hiking up the ski trails to the summit. I met up with Gary just below mid-mountain, he had gotten first tracks (of the season?) and said it was really good. The cold temps overnight and that morning really dried the snow out so it was pretty light and powdery. There was a solid 6 inches at the summit with some deep drifts. We put our skis on and headed down the ski trail Standard. I was surprised how well the junkers skied. I was glad to have them because I bottomed out a few times on some rocks. I ended up taking around four short runs.

I’m sure some of you are wondering why with only 6 inches of snow, and no base, someone would be doing this? I look at it this way: I was able to be outside on a perfect day in one of the most awesome states in the union. I was able to hike up a really cool mountain with a fellow outdoor enthusiast,  I earned my turns and in the process got a really good workout. We only saw two other people who were snowshoeing. So if it’s an inch or a foot, get out there and enjoy it!


Greg Rems

Avid Vermont enthusiast, be it telemarking, cycling, running, hiking, or anything outside. Chef de Cuisine the Inn at West View Farm in Dorset, Vt. Living in Arlington.