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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: Agathe Bernard.

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
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