Northern 4-Day Tour #1
Friday to Monday, January 26-29, 2018
Sections 28 to 31 – Craftsbury Outdoor Center to Canadian Border
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.
Meet Your Tour Coordinators
Sam and Marie Bartlett have been Catamount Trail skiers for many decades, and have extensive backcountry experience skiing on almost every section of the CT. They are responsible for maintaining the two southernmost sections of the CT from the Massachusetts border to VT Route 9, and frequently lead tours on the southern and central sections. They have skied the northernmost sections several times and say that “they are beautiful (in the right conditions!)”
For Sam’s personal webpage dedicated to the tour, go here.
To contact Sam, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the acronym “MDT” in the subject line.
This tour crosses the Lowell Mountains and travels through many open farm fields, utilizing the historic Bayley-Hazen Rd. for much of the way. There are many wonderful views. The route is part groomed cross-country ski trail (15%), part snowmobile trail (50%), and part un-groomed back-country (35%) trail.
From Lowell Village the Trail crosses the Missisquoi River on a snowmobile trail but then leaves the snowmobile trail to gradually climb to Hazen’s Notch where in rejoins the snowmobile trail. The Trail traverses a mix of hardwood stands and open fields and then the unplowed portion of Rte. 58. Through the Notch the CT shares Rte. 58 with snowmobiles but it is groomed and wide so snowmobiles can be easily avoided. From the top of the Notch here is a long and fun descent to the beginning of plowing on Rte. 58 on the west side of the Notch.
This section offers a variety of conditions and terrain from nearly level groomed snowmobile trail and logging roads, to steep, narrow, twisting trail. Snow is usually reliably deep due to a northwest exposure. The ridge below Buchanan Mountain offers fine views of Jay Peak to the north and Burnt Mountain to the south. Possible bailout points are to Fisher Road and Rte. 242 to the west.
The first half of this section is a 1000-foot descent through the woods between Jay Pass and Jay Village. It is north facing and generally accumulates great snow (early/late season skiing). The second half is a mix of snowmobile and backcountry trails on flat, open terrain from Jay village to the Canadian border.
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
Trail Section Shuttle Directions
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:
- They have spoken to the tour coordinator and are screened regarding skill level.
- All parts of the online registration form have been completed, including acknowledging having read the MDT Waiver and all required documents.
- 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
- The Tour Leader confirms that there is space on the tour dates requested to ski.