For our usual February Winter Celebration, this year Deb and I headed up to Stowe, Vermont; a first time visit for both of us. Our plan had us first stop in Ludlow, Vermont, for a two day warm up at
Okemo. Then up to Stowe for a few days, where the conditions where just perfect, temperatures in the mid-twenties, and the skies a clear blue. From there we moved to the other side of Mount Mansfield, which is Vermont's highest peak, across the gap to Smuggler's Notch, (see my 2004 visit to Smuggs).
At Smuggs the mercury dropped substantially, we experienced sub zero temperatures each morning. On our first morning summit temperatures where 15 below zero. After our first morning run, Deb went inside to seek shelter, I went on another run. While attempting a third run, the "liftee's" basically refused me service and kicked me "in", seems I was developing frost-bite on my cheeks. Now in my life I have been kicked out of a place or two, but I do believe this was the first time I have ever been kicked "in". After 15 minutes of defrosting Nurse Deb deemed me fit to go back outside, and so it went for the rest of the day. A couple of runs and then back in for a good defrosting.
But the real story here was the great time we had at Stowe and what a wonderful mountain it is. We are already talking about heading back there again next year. Long cruising trails, spectacular views, black diamonds that truly earn the right to be called black diamonds, and wonderful folks met along the way. Hope these photos come close to doing justice to such a wonderful place.