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My First Alpine Ski Tour

Jan 25, 2021 5:12:33 AM

Tara (left) joins Zoe (right) on her first uphill ski tour at Bolton Valley, Vermont. Photo Credit: Sierra Martin.

I always thought the idea of skiing uphill was silly, absurd even. That’s what chairlifts are for, right? Who would subject themselves to that level of torture, right?

I have never thought of myself as particularly “active,” at least in the physical realm. I love being outside; a nice day hike in the summer and fall? Sure! Shredding down the Green trails in the winter? Sign me up! I guess I would have always considered myself an outdoor leisure enthusiast. Nothing stressful, nothing too physically involved, a nice dose of fresh air to keep the mind sharp.

Then the pandemic hit and it seemed as though all of my leisure activities slowed down - too much for even my liking. My daily walks throughout March and April were necessary, but not enough. A trip to the grocery store felt a little too riveting for what it should be. Throughout the spring and summer I craved a type of stimulation that would make the days pass by a little faster. Finding a swimming hole or hanging out on Lake Champlain was great, usually my favorite parts of summer - but it wasn’t enough to replace how I found stimulation in other ways, like grabbing a drink with my friends, walking up to campus for my classes, seeing my family on a more regular basis, traveling, etc.

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Comments | Posted in Downhill Skiing By Zoe Spett

How to Layer for Cold Weather

Jan 13, 2021 5:01:31 AM

The following layering tips should help you pick out each piece, understand how they'll work together, and set yourself up for a successful day. Photo Credit: Mary Mcintyre.

Aside from how rewarding those first human-powered turns felt, the thing I remember most from my first time alpine touring is that I was hot -- ripping off layers and unzipping vents at a pace much higher than I had expected -- and then I was cold -- really, really, finger-freezingly, bone-chillingly cold.

After that first time out, I thought that maybe skinning just wasn't for me. I couldn't handle the swing from high-output climbing, to standing dead still, to zipping downhill in temps capable of frostbiting cheeks or a nose in just a few minutes. Fortunately, I found it in myself to take the plunge into the backcountry a couple more times. Over the course of a couple more tours, I found out that it was not that I was simply not cut out for alpine touring, but rather that I didn't really know how to properly layer my clothes for such a wide range of needs and experiences.

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Comments | Posted in News Bicycling Downhill Skiing Running Hiking By Patagonia Burlington

Treeline Film Screening at Patagonia Burlington Thursday November 16

Join us for Treeline, a film celebrating the forests on which our species has always depended, and around which some skiers and snowboarders have based their entire lives.

Follow a group of snow-seekers, scientists and healers as they explore the birch forests of Japan, the red cedars of British Columbia and the bristlecone pines of Nevada, delving deeper into the rich environments they call home.

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Comments | Posted in News Events Downhill Skiing By Patagonia Burlington

How to Raise Fun-Hogs

Jun 13, 2018 8:00:00 AM

How to Raise Fun-Hogs

When kids grow up in an active home, they become active adults. When their parents embrace the outdoors, they will as well. Taken to extremes, the kids turn into fun-hogs. They live to play outdoors in many different ways. They plan their time around the need to “get after it”.

I have had the pleasure of watching our three children turn into such creatures. They all embraced skiing at an early age, with the youngest, Molly, on skis at 18 months old. All three learned the basics. They took lessons, then progressed to racing. The oldest, RJ, found the woods, park and pipe more to his liking. The girls raced through high school and beyond. All three eventually became instructors or coaches as young adults. As a coach and instructor for over 25 years, I was glad to see that some things resonated with them.

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Comments | Posted in News Meet Our Staff Downhill Skiing By Jim Cournoyer
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