Where: Catamount Trail Section 22 – Bolton To Trapps (well… to Nebraska Valley Road)
Date: February 9, 2014
Weather: Partly Cloudy, high teens to low 20’s, and very little wind
Conditions: Recent snow made for great conditions. The trail was soft in places, and completely free of ice. Coverage in the woods was ok… but you still had to be careful.
This past weekend my wife and a couple of friends decided to go spend some time outside and do one of the classic Catamount Trail tours… Section 22. Having only completed a few sections of the Catamount Trail I don’t really know how the awesomeness of this section compares to the others… but Section 22 is really awesome on its own!
The day started off beautifully with very little wind, sun and temps in the low 20’s at the Bolton Valley nordic center. Once we hit the trail it wasn’t long before we were stripping off layers and eventually everyone was down to just a base layer and still smiling. The conditions were quite good. The track up to Bryant Camp was well covered and totally ice free. The woods were filling in nicely, but you could still see some stumps and downed limbs and trunks… so you still had to be careful. Either way, it was nice to finally have some decent snow to go play on.
As we wound our way up the Bolton side the temps cooled off a bit and the snow got thicker and deeper. Eventually the trail narrowed in and the limbs of trees, loaded up with piles of snow, reached down trying to block our path. This made for a very cool and scenic tour through a slender, snowy tunnel of trees. Eventually we made it to Lunch Rocks. This is an area with no canopy above you and some great views. It’s a great place to grab a bite and take a break. After this point the trail starts making its way down into Nebraska Valley and once you get going it’s so much fun you won’t want to stop.
Be sure to maintain some level of caution. The trail continues to be quite narrow and twisty and there are a couple of sections that are much easier to navigate if you aren’t mach’ing down the trail. Please also consider that someone else might be coming up the trail. There is no cell phone coverage out here and if someone were to get injured you are still a long ways from getting help.
Eventually the trail will open up into some nice birch glades. At this point the Catamount Trail traverse the slope and makes a sort of zig-zag down the steeper bits. If you’re careful to keep your eye on the trail this is a great area to let’r rip and get some turns in the soft untouched snow in between the twists and turns of the trail. From here on it’s pretty much down all the way to Nebraska Valley Road. There is one short climb and a few places where you might need to do some shuffling, but for the most part if you carry a little speed this should be a pretty fun cruise. Definitely heed the few CAUTION signs. There precede sections with sharp dips or tight, tricky corners. If you don’t know, or can’t see what’s coming just be ready to put on the brakes.
This day was an awesome day on the trail and exactly what the Catamount Trail is all about. If you’re interested in skiing this section please be sure to check out our it’s Section Page where you will find a map, written description, and shuttle directions.