Out and back in the Waterbury backcountry

Blue skies and lots of untracked snow.

It's been a great season for snow in Vermont. Long stretches of cold weather and persistent snowfalls have left many feet of snow in the glades and bowls along the ridgelines, it's great for exploring, although backcountry rescue teams have been kept busy by lost skiers calling 911.

So even though I have a pass at a Nordic center the siren call of the untracked glades has been calling me. In my old age I find it much more satisfying to pick a route through some trail-less patch of land than it is to do laps on prepared trails wondering if my wax is right or if my heart rate is in the right training zone. I guess I am something of an anarchist at heart.

Last Saturday I made a long out and back journey on the Woodard Mountain trail. Snow conditions were awesome and the morning was brilliantly sunny with clear blue skies -- though by afternoon it had clouded up and another snowfall was beginning.

I have been here before.

Here is the GPS track of the trip in Google Earth. I wanted to ski a particular glade that is just about at the halfway point of the trail -- ie, it's quite hard to get to. I'm not spilling any secrets by posting this -- it's a marked, blazed trail, and someone had tagged a route in the glade with fluorescent orange tape.

Who tagged this glade? And for what purpose? It's a long way from anywhere, and there are no logging operations around. Shame on whoever did this (and they used a lot of tape, like every 100 ft or so). People like this carry cell phones into the backcountry, get lost, and call 911 wanting to be rescued.

(May not work in MS Explorer, tested OK in Firefox and Chrome)

Lots and lots of climbing: About 2700 feet of elevation gain.

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