Vermont's Gateway To Backcountry Skiing And Riding

Northern 4-Day Tour #1 – FULL: Registration Closed

Friday to Monday January 13th-16th
Sections 16 to 19 – Widow’s Clearing Trail to Camel’s Hump Road 

Skiers are welcome to sign up for as many days as they wish, even one. Register below or contact the CTA Office at 802-864-5794. To ask specific questions about the tour contact the Tour Coordinator.


Greetings From Your Tour Coordinators

Michael and Rick have been on many skiing and hiking adventures together over the last few years, and are excited to be co-organizing this tour. The tour starts in Ripton and becomes progressively more difficult each day as we travel north . Sections 16 (9 miles) and 17 (12.3 miles) are nice lead off days for an early-season tour, especially if we have not had much snow. It will help us assess the snow conditions and our individual conditioning and capabilities for 2 of the most difficult and beautiful sections of the Catamount Trail, Sections 18 (11.3 miles) and 19 (9.9 miles) ending in Huntington Center.  Let us hope for a nice base and 8 inches of fluff. We are looking forward to skiing with many old and new friends we have yet to meet.


Tour Coordinators

Rick Biddle  |  |  802-785-4508 

R_BiddleRick is an avid backcountry skier.  Most of his skiing is off trail, following animal tracks or finding sweet runs in the woods local to Thetford, Vt.  He is an undocumented end-to-ender working on his 2nd time around. The rest of the year Rick swims, sails, hikes, kayaks, grows food, makes things,  or otherwise fixes things so that they will never work again.


Michael O’Leary  |  |  603-469-3233

M_OLearyMichael is on the CTA Board of Directors, a member of the Tours Team and the Trail Committee. Michael and his wife Gretchen Cherington became End To Enders in 2012 and they are also working on skiing the trail for a second time. This will be the third CTA ski tour that Michael has co-led. When he is not skiing you might find him hiking or playing golf….that is, if Rick hasn’t called asking for help fixing something that he broke!



Section Descriptions

Section 16: Widow’s Clearing Trail to the Bridges Trail – January 13th
This varied section begins on an un-groomed trail within the Green Mountain National Forest, traverses the groomed trails of Middlebury College’s Rikert Nordic Center, then follows a new back country route through National Forest before finishing on a snowmobile corridor trail.

Section 17: The Bridges Trail to Lincoln Gap – January 14th
This section is a mix of back-country trails with a few short, steep climbs and descents; a partially plowed road; wide, groomed snowmobile trails; and an ungroomed, unplowed forest road to the top of Lincoln gap. There are wonderful views of the Breadloaf Wilderness along the way. A 1.2-mile road walk along South Lincoln Rd. can sometimes be skied.

Section 18: Lincoln Gap to Route 17 – January 15th
This section includes a fun and challenging traverse and descent from Lincoln Gap, an open traverse of the rolling Sugarbush Golf Course with beautiful views, and a meander through the woods of the Mad River Valley.

Section 19: Route 17 to Camel’s Hump Road – January 16th
This is a challenging, remote, back-country section through Phenn Basin, over Huntington Gap, and then through the wilds of Camel’s Hump State Park to Camel’s Hump Rd. in Huntington. Approximately two miles of trail are collocated on a snowmobile corridor.



Recommended Gear for the Trail

Choose equipment and clothing that is appropriate for your outing.  Portions of the CT that follow groomed ski touring center trails or snowmobile trails can be comfortably skied with regular touring skis and boots.  Most other sections are best skied with wider, metal-edged, back-country skis. For these sections you should have boots, bindings, and poles designed for back-country terrain. For long, steep climbs or descents you will probably want climbing skins even if you have wax-less skis. These sections are listed as “Advanced Intermediate” or “Expert”.  An easy, fun tour can turn into an ordeal when your equipment breaks. Be sure your equipment is in good working order before you start your tour.   Skins may be useful on any section but are recommended for all sections labeled “advanced intermediate” or “advanced”.

You will need to bring a pack to carry your extra clothing including a wind breaker, fleece, mittens, and a hat; lunch and snacks; water; head lamp or flashlight; and extra gloves.  Be prepared to keep warm even if you must stop for an extended period of time.  We will stop for water and food often as each stop will be brief.   Avoid cotton clothing as you will not be warm and dry. Visit our Gear for the Trail page for more information.



Lodging/Food Options along the Trail

Please email your Tour Coordinator for more information about lodging and food accommodations along the trail near this tour.  You can also visit the section pages for each section of the tour for a list of lodging options. 



Important Documents – Participants Must Read Before Registering For Tour

MDT Waiver Form
Skier Responsibilities
Skill & Fitness Guidelines
Recommended Equipment List



Trail Section Shuttle Directions

Shuttle Directions Section 16
Shuttle Directions Section 17
Shuttle Direction Section 18
Shuttle Directions Section 19



Additional Participant Resources

Once you’ve registered for a tour you will be contacted by one of our Tour Coordinators at which time they will share with you the password for the Additional Participant Resources webpage. Here you will find information that will help ensure you have a great tour experience. 

Go to the Additional Participant Resources Webpage



Registration – Closed 

To begin registration for a multi-day tour please fill out and submit the Online Tour Registration Form (step 1), then Make An Appropriate Donation Via NEON (step 2). You can also call the office at 802-864-5794 and register via phone. Please note that participants are not fully registered for a tour until:

  1. They have spoken to the tour coordinator and are screened regarding skill level. 
  2. All parts of the online registration form have been completed, including acknowledging having read the MDT Waiver and all required documents.  
  3. A non-refundable donation has been paid to the CTA to hold a position on the tour… $25 for 1-2 days or$50 for 3 or more days
  4. The Tour Leader confirms that there is space on the tour dates requested to ski.