Up here in the Eastern north country, we've had slow, on again, off again, start to winter. The unseasonable temperatures and lack of frozen precipitation allowed much time for cool weather road-biking, crisp and endless trail runs, as well as countless laps in the YMCA swimming pool. Alas, the trusty Mojo 66 had fallen into an extended solemn silence lonely in the hallway. After some base building wet snowfalls, some thaw and freeze, and a dusting here and there, we've finally gained some ground on an early season snowpack.
And I love early season in Vermont. When just enough snow exists to cover the medieval sapling spears and stout boulders, our terrain is at it's steepest and features abound with every turn. Today was a good day.
Homebrewing festivities precluded a fashionably late 11 o'clock start to the day. Andrew and I met up in Jeffersonville, tooled around in a maze of confusing back roads while searching for the trailhead, and finally entered our passage to Butternut Mountain in a truly classic disorganized fashion. Our mile and a half skin in proceeded calmly with playful antics, life philosophizing, some bitching and moaning, and moderate perspiration. It left us set up in the slight shadows and easy access of Laraway and Butternut Mountains. Our first series of ascent and descent was a dismal but enjoyable failure providing little more than 5 or six memorable snowboard turns. But after a quick lunch of peanut butter and bagel sandwich, sugary hot black tea, and a number on the hash pipe, we got ours in the sunshine. Here are a few photos.