Killington Ski Trip!

This past weekend I got to use my new skis again up at Killington Mountain Ski Resort in Vermont!! We got 22 people together in one house for a really good friend’s birthday. Her husband organized the weekend and told her it was just going to be a few friends and surprise, there were 22 of us ha!

The house we stayed in was unreal. It had its own location on instagram, The Cabin at Bridgewater. It sleeps 25 and is right down the street from Long Trail Brewery, no more than 20 minutes from Killington. The house had a hot tub out on a porch, a grill, a huge fire pit that I didn’t even really see until the snow melted and get this…..it had a teepee with a fire circle in it too. Crazy. The fireplace at the house was well used as well as the enormous bean bags- perfect for lounging! If it wasn’t so close to my shower, I am sure Jon and I would have found them for our registry!

Now this has not been the greatest year for snow up here, but hats off to the Killington snow makers and groomers, the trails were in pretty good shape! It was a little icy in some spots, and as the day progressed, the huge piles of snow started form as the snow got pushed around. Its a huge mountain though, biggest that I have skied at. My fiancé, Jon, had never been either. It was super easy to sorta get lost and end up somewhere on the mountain by mistake ha.

On the way up to Killington, we stopped at LA Burdick Chocolates in Walpole NH for some unreal hot cocoa and macarons, and then we hit up the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham, not the Weston one. Then we stopped at Long Trail Brewery before heading to the house.

I have fallen in love with LA Burdick Chocolates and can’t wait to visit their locations in Cambridge/Boston!

Here’s some pics from the Vermont Country Store

On our way home from Vermont on Sunday, we stopped at Seven Barrel Brewing in Lebanon NH and then Flying Goose Pub in New London NH. I liked both places, but Flying Goose had a large selection of beers to try, probably close to 20 of their own beers. It was amazing. As we left the cabin, I took this pic from the car. You can see how much the snow has melted.

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It’s been a weird winter here. I would definitely love to explore Vermont more! Maybe go back to Killington? Maybe try Stowe next year?? Who’s with me??

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Ski Day at Gunstock & Valentine’s Day!

Happy Presidents’ Day!! Today we celebrate George Washington’s birthday which is on February 22nd AND Abraham Lincoln’s birthday which is on February 12th. The official holiday name is actually still Washington’s Birthday though.

This past weekend, we braved the cold to ski at Gunstock on Saturday. It was cold, but we were dressed for it- no exposed skin at all. We skied from 8:30 AM to 1 PM, did about 13 runs. My new skis were awesome. They are Rossignol Temptation 77’s and they definitely made me look like a better skier than I actually am. They turn so easily and really are no work at all. I am used to using rentals and sometimes really having to bend my knees and push to turn, my new skis are very little effort at all. I got an awesome deal on them too because ski places are trying to get rid of inventory and the snow is a little late this year. I got a great deal on my Nordica boots too!

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Beautiful view
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Me and Jon bundled up! Look at the beautiful backdrop we have!
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End of the day as the worse weather was rolling in….

The views from Gunstock of Lake Winnipesaukee are breathtaking. All of the trails are awesome, but my favorite is Stonebar. I usually try to do that one a couple times. Saturday, we all ended on Stonebar which was awesome. It was just starting to get really windy and the sun went in behind snow clouds when we were leaving, perfect!

Sunday’s Valentine’s Day was an extremely cold day, thank goodness we skied on Saturday. Jon got me a Lindt dark chocolate & pomegranate bar and the Harding Lane mountain hat I mentioned here! He does read the blog!! Woo!! It was the perfect gift. Jon loves his Yeti koozie, and put the Miller High Life tshirt I got him right in the laundry to wear this coming weekend. We made a delicious dinner with heart shaped steaks, roasted kale, and wheat rice pilaf. I made little chocolate heart cupcakes too! We chose the Southern Tier Choklate stout to go with our meal, so good!

I honestly don’t know if we will ever go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day because we have such a good time planning a nice meal and dessert. We save so much money too!! Tomorrow I am off to Florida for a few days, and my new hat will be coming with. It will be in the 70s, which is cold now to my parents, but will be soooo warm for me! I wish Jon could come but he sadly has to work. February vacation is a definite perk of being a teacher. I hope that you all had a lovely weekend and enjoyed Valentine’s Day no matter who you spent it with!

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Dartmouth Outing Club & Mt. Moosilauke

I hope that you all had a good Thanksgiving and a great weekend!! I spent the weekend up in NH with my fiancé and his family. We celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday, and then his birthday on Saturday with an awesome hike to #optoutside on Friday in between.

I only have 7 hikes left to complete the NH 48 4000-footers…..but they are all pretty long. We wanted to be back, showered, and ready to go for dinner & drinks at Poor People’s Pub (good grub, cheap beer) Friday night, so we chose Mt. Moosilauke  for our hike. The trail we picked, the Gorge Brook Trail, had a book time of 5 hours. We did it in 4.5, but we had to add an hour because the gate to the access road was shut and locked so we had to walk another 1.5 miles in and out from the trail head. That happens in the fall/winter.

The Gorge Brook Trail, Al Merrill Loop, Ridge Trail, and Snapper Ski Trail all start near the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. The lodge and bunkhouses are owned by the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) from Dartmouth College in Hanover NH. The DOC is legendary in the White Mountains. Their love for outdoor activities, particularly winter sports has made the White Mountains what it is today, a region dotted with ski resorts, and home to cross country ski trails, snowshoeing trails, and backcountry skiing. Really  many of the first mountaineers in the Whites were from the DOC, some from Harvard too. These were the first mountaineers out west in many cases too. They were men that loved sport, competition, and endurance….and had the privilege and opportunity to travel and play in the mountains.

I have already hiked Mt. Moosilauke from a trail on the other side of the mountain, Glencliff, so this was my first time seeing the lodge. It’s really neat, bunkhouses named after different classes, a swimming hole for the class of 07, and the lodge itself is huge! They offer lodging to the public, students/alumni get a discount, and offer meals too. It’s also home to the trail crew, a group of students that maintain 17 cabins and ~50 miles of trails between the lodge and the campus in Hanover.

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Ivy league bunkhouses folks
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Walking up the main lodge, it’s huge!!
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Tried not to be too much a paparazzi, but I loved this bunkhouse. You can just barely see the screened in porch on the right with matching hunter green adirondack chairs
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The lawn of the lodge- I picture frisbee games, picnics, and stargazing out here

The hike itself was great, trail was not too rocky, lots of rock stairs, some ice towards the summit. The trails are very well marked by orange signs and very well taken care of. There are a couple re-routes which can be annoying, but are also signs of good trail stewardship. For this mountain, they have been moving the trails up and away from the riverside because of erosion and damage from hurricanes in the past.

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Mizpah is very attentive when we stop for a snack
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Selfie with Miz!

 

Dartmouth owns the Gorge Brook watershed, something like 4500 acres on Mt. Moosilauke and the surrounding area. It is named after C. Ross McKenney, an avid woodsman who oversaw the building of the main lodge in 1938. The lodge was saved after many years of disuse in the 50s by Al Merrill, the Director of Outdoor Programs and Ski Coach at the time.

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Memorial for Ross McKenney at the last sure water stop 

The summit of Moosilauke is above treeline. It can be extremely windy up there because its the furthest west of the 4000 footers and catches undeterred wind all the way from Vermont. There is a stone foundation up on the summit, the remains of an old hotel up there in 1860. It was first called the Prospect House, later called the Tip Top House. The Carriage Road Trail was originally used to reach the hotel. It was lovingly run by Dartmouth students from 1920 until it burned down in 1942. The hotel on Mt. Washington was also called the Tip Top House. I just couldn’t get a pic of it on this hike, the wind was gusting to ~50 mph. It was tough to stand up and walk at times.

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Freezing in the wind on the summit, couldn’t take too many pics
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Muddy paws and ears flapping in the wind

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I absolutely love the history in the White Mountains. All the old hotels, mountain huts & shelters from a time when the train was the only way to get up there. To see what it looked like up there in its hey day. Not all of it was good of course, the White Mountain National Forest was almost leveled for lumber and to create farmland. I definitely prefer it with the trees, but the glimpses of the past are much appreciated.

I would like to explore the lodge more when its open. They open in May and close November 1st. Don’t worry, my fiancé is doing the grid for the 48, so he has done Moosilauke in 3 months so far, 9 more to go!

What did you do to #optoutside on Friday? Have I inspired anyone to come to NH and see the Ivy League accommodations at the ravine lodge? Please say yes! 🙂

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