Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Ski in the Trees

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Ski in the Trees

Article excerpt

There is something magical about skiing in the trees. It's quiet, away from the crowds and usually has better snow, especially after a good snowstorm.

Some winters, snow is sparse so tree skiing is not possible, but this season it's been good even though the weather has been a little volatile. In Vermont, resorts from Smugglers Notch to Stratton Mountain to Mount Snow have received enough snow to open up the trees. Smugglers Notch in northern Vermont claims 200 inches this season, while Stratton and Mount Snow in southern Vermont are closer to the 100-inch mark. When skiing the trees there should be a good base, enough to cover tree stumps, rocks and other obstacles.

Thanks to major snow earlier this month, I was able to do more skiing in the trees than I have in a while. My tour started on Feb. 6 at Smugglers Notch, which has a great mix of glades from intermediate to expert.

My guide took us into mostly blue-rated glades including Knight's Revenge, a terrain park in the woods with natural features for added fun. The snow was light and fluffy, making it easy to negotiate around the trees, finding paths with plenty of curves and bumps to absorb. The Shire was a long tree trail leading back to the village offering an interesting alternative to a basic connector run.

A few days later, I stopped in at Mount Snow and tried several glades with fresh powder from storm No. 2 that week. The area has expanded its tree skiing on the lower mountain the last couple of years.

"The glades are getting more popular year after year as more people get more adventurous," said Jamie Storrs, communications manager. "People are welcome to venture into the woods as they please, but in doing so they should know that they could encounter unmarked obstacles," he said, adding that woods trails are unnamed at Mount Snow.

Fresh snow in the glades off of Eagle Alley made it easy to maneuver down the particularly long stretch with a medium pitch keeping the snow soft and plentiful. …

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