The Catamount Trail Association and Bolton Valley are teaming up to provide an entire month of backcountry instruction. Our goal is to help interested individuals develop the skills and confidence necessary to safely explore the winter wilderness here in Vermont and beyond!
This year we’ve decided to move away from the single-day/little-bit-of-everything style of event to a series of highly focused classes, or tracks. Each track is designed to teach a very specific set of skills and competencies and will set you up for whatever your next step is on the pathway to becoming a fully fledged backcountry skier.
These instructional tracks are just one aspect of a larger process. Over the last couple of seasons we’ve taken a hard look at how one builds the skills and confidence to start exploring the woods on their own and we’ve been slowly trying to fill in the gaps. This year with the introduction of this instructional series we think we are pretty close. So, please remember that the pathway to becoming a self-sufficient backcountry skier doesn’t stop after a single day of instruction, and that no matter how far along the pathway you are… the Catamount Trail Association can help you with those next steps!
Tracks Offered – not all tracks will be offered on all weeks
Introduction To Backcountry Skiing
This Intro to BC Skiing Track is aimed at the brand new backcountry skier and will emphasize skill demonstration, practice, evaluation and feedback. A likely participant might have never been on skis before, but will probably have some skiing experience and is now interested in getting off the beaten path. This class will take place near the Bolton Valley Nordic Center and will spend most of it’s time on the surrounding groomed trails. We will cover the different equipment types, layering strategies, efficient forward movement, stopping/speed control, turning, and basic uphill technique. The goal of this track is to introduce and reinforce the basic skills required to participate in an easy tour on gently rolling terrain. Once comfortable with the skills presented during this track you will be ready for the Intermediate Backcountry Skiing Track.
Intermediate Backcountry Skiing
The Intermediate Backcountry Skiing Track takes the form of a teaching tour where the group will explore easier backcountry trails in search of teachable moments. The emphasis during this track is on learning by doing. Topics similar to those in the intro track will be covered – layering strategies, what to pack, efficient travel, stopping, speed control, turning, downhill strategies, etc… – however you will be practicing these skills and putting them to use under slightly more challenging conditions. Upon completion of this track, if comfortable with the skills presented, the student will be ready to participate in one of our Introductory Day Tours.
The Telemark Turn
This track is for experienced skiers who are looking to tackle more challenging terrain, or just want to spice up tours by being able to take better advantage of skiable downhill areas. This course will take place on easy downhill terrain (discounted lift access available) and will emphasize skill demonstration, practice and technique evaluation. At the end of this course we cannot promise that you will be an expert telemark skier. Our goal is to teach you how to practice well so that you can fully enjoy the next downhill you encounter. This is an introductory level class. If you are looking for more advanced telemark instruction please contact the North American Telemark Organization (NATO).
Introduction to Alpine Touring (AT)
This track is intended for expert level skiers that are new to exploring the backcountry. The expectation is that you are comfortable in the trees on black diamond trails or harder, but don’t have a lot of backcountry experience. Maybe you just purchased your first set of AT equipment and are looking for some guidance on using it and being a responsible member of the backcountry community. This course will take the form of an instructional tour. We will cover layering strategies, what it means to be prepared, navigation, efficient touring and uphill techniques, etc… We will NOT be teaching downhill ski technique. At end of this course you should be more comfortable using your equipment and making the transition from ski-to-hike, or hike-to-ski. You should also be more prepared to safely spend a full day in the backcountry.
Bolton Valley Nordic Center in Bolton Valley, VT | Map
Dates & Times
Sunday, February 1, 2014 | Intro/Int | 10:00am to 2:00pm
Sunday, February 8, 2014 | Int/Tele/AT | 10:00am to 2:00pm
Sunday, February 15, 2014 | Intro/Int | 10:00am to 2:00pm
Sunday, February 22, 2014 | Int/Tele/AT | 10:00am to 2:00pm
9:15am – Check-In at Bolton Valley Nordic Center, demo equipment available
9:45am – Introduction & Welcome
10:00am – Instruction Begins
2:00pm – Instruction Ends
Equipment & Rentals
Backcountry ski equipment is recommended for all festival participants. Equipment is available on site at the Bolton Valley Nordic Center. They can be reached at (877)-926-5866.
Or, contact our office at (802) 864-5794 and we can help you locate a local retailer where you can rent the appropriate equipment.
For lodging in the Bolton/Richmond area please click here.
CTA Members: $55.00 / Non-members: $75.00
Non-member price includes complimentary 1 year CTA membership
Registration will close the Friday before each session.
Registration is not yet open. Stay tuned for more info. Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All registrations are considered final with no refunds. If the event is cancelled due to weather or conditions, a full refund minus $20 will be provided to all participants.