Vermont's Gateway To Backcountry Skiing And Riding

Single-Day Tours

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CTA’s guided ski tours are a great way to discover new sections of the Catamount Trail, other places to ski and make new ski friends. SDTs are FREE and open to both CTA members and non-members.  View maps of each trail section before you sign up for a tour on the Catamount Trail to learn if your skill level matches the tour difficulty level.  

 

Registering for a Single-Day Tour:

To sign-up for a single-day tour contact the tour leader at least a few days in advance. Don’t wait until the night before! The leader will provide information on the meeting place and time and other details. All CTA Tour Leaders are volunteers. Please visit our calendar for additional details about each tour and leader contact information.

 Some guidelines to participate in a CTA tour:

  • Have the skills and physical conditioning necessary to complete the trip.
  • Bring sufficient food and water for a full day and an extra layer of clothing.
  • Stay with the group.
  • When leaving the trail, tell someone or leave a pack.
  • At the end of the tour check out with the leader before leaving, otherwise the leader may go back to look for you when you are already on your way home.
  • Leave your dog at home unless specifically allowed by the tour leader.

All tour participants must read the following information before signing up for a SDT.

Skier Responsibilities
Recommended Equipment List
Skills and Fitness Guidelines

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2017 Single-Day Tours

Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area (Backcountry Areas – Huntington)
Intermediate to Advanced, Monday, December 26
This volunteer-run area maintains a spectacular network of nordic trails. Enjoy moderate to difficult backcountry skiing on trails such as the Challenge Trail and Lion’s Bridge. Metal-edged skis required. Suggested donation: $10.
Contact: Terry Ryan, terryc_ryan@hotmailcom or 802-434-3640

Section 1: Harriman Dam to Route 100 (Readsboro)
Easy Introductory Tour – Saturday, January 7
A good introduction to the backcountry for novice skiers. It follows an easy 3 miles on a slightly downhill backcountry railroad grade along the Deerfield River. An early short, steep section can easily be walked. Our pace will accommodate the slowest skier.
Contact: Sam Bartlett, sam@bart-tech.com (Put CTA in subject line to get past filters) or 413-624-0192

Section 24: Edson Hill (Stowe) to Mud City Loop Road (Morristown)
Intermediate – Saturday, January 7
Ski some of the most beautiful miles on the Catamount Trail, between Edson Hill Manor and Mud City.  For those not ready to bite off a whole section, this section through Sterling forest is beautiful, providing just enough turns for some great practice, without being too intimidating for those honing their skills. 6.8 miles with longer possibility for the entire 12-mile section. Dinner option for those interested. Folks can make it a weekend and ski Section 25 on Sunday.
Contact: Karen Heinzmann, karen.heinzmann@thet.net or 802-333-9772.

Section 25: Ryder Brook Golf Club (Morrisville) to Route 15 (Wolcott)
Advanced Intermediate – Sunday, January 8
A long 14 miles with intermediate and advanced terrain. We start fairly level then climb up, around and down the shoulder of Elmore Mountain. Cookies & hot chocolate at the Elmore Country Store precede our descent on a snowmobile trail to the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. Climbing skins recommended. Trip cancels if insufficient sign-up by Friday 6 p.m. Optional back-to-back trip with Section 24 on Saturday.
Contact: Jill Aspinall, happy.jill.aspinall@gmail.com

Greendale Loop Excursion (Weston)
Easy Intermediate – Sunday, January 8
This is a 4-mile tour of 3 to 4 hours on a southern portion of the Trail with a long but gradual uphill climb and a very rewarding downhill. Respond before January 5 or trip may be cancelled.
Contact: Shelley Lutz, shelley.lutz@gmail.com or 802-775-4867 before 8 pm

Camel’s Hump (Groomed Trails – Huntington)
Beginner – Sunday, January 8
Volunteer-run Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area maintains an idyllic network of nordic trails.  Ski about 2 hours on groomed trails suitable for beginners. Suggested donation: $10.
Contact: Terry Ryan, terryc_ryan@hotmailcom or 802-434-3640

Reading the Winter Landscape (Ripton)
Easy Intermediate – Sunday, January 15
Join Middlebury College students, alumni & faculty to explore geological, biological & cultural landscapes with an emphasis on the role that winter plays. Our route will visit the Robert Frost cabin; we’ll then explore the Catamount & other trails. 5 to 6 miles. New & experienced skiers welcome.
Contact: Bill Hegman, bhegman@middlebury.edu or 802-734-6459

Section 11B: Out and back, up and over Burnt Mountain from Old Plymouth Road (Plymouth)
Advanced Intermediate – Saturday, January 21
Recent multi-day tours have detoured around this entirely backcountry route because of logging activity or lack of snow. Burnt Mountain has relatively challenging skiing on both sides, including a notable glade on the south side, with many possible off-piste lines if the group is willing. Total distance is about 7 miles. This includes a snack stop (BYO) at John’s View near the summit of Burnt Mountain.
Contact: Lynn Fisher, fisher.lynn@gmail.com

Rikert Nordic Center area loop – (Goshen)
Easy/Intermediate Introductory Tour – Saturday, January 21
A fairly easy tour of 6.5 miles on rolling terrain.  This is a good tour for cross country skiers who are comfortable with moderate climbing and descending, and want to try a backcountry outing.  The tour begins near the Rikert Ski Center and follows the Catamount Trail for 5 miles and then loops back along a snowmobile trail to the start.
Contact: Phil Kivlin, redsled@shoreham.net or 802-897-8031

Section 17: Lincoln Gap to The Bridges Trail – (Lincoln & Ripton)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, January 22
Section 17 has rolling terrain and will be skied from North to South. The top of French Settlement Road could be interesting!  The “bridges section” is always fun and pretty! This tour of 12.3 miles will be limited to 10 skiers.
Contact: Dean Bloch, dtbloch@gmail.com or 802-899-5127

Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area (Backcountry Areas – Huntington)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, January 22
This volunteer-run area maintains a spectacular network of nordic trails. Enjoy moderate to difficult backcountry skiing on trails such as the Challenge Trail and Lion’s Bridge. Metal-edged skis required. Suggested donation: $10.
Contact: Terry Ryan, terryc_ryan@hotmailcom or 802-434-3640

Grout Pond Area Tour (Stratton)
Beginner – Saturday, January 28
Approximately 5-mile ski primarily on the East Trail around Grout Pond. We will loop on a beautiful flat trail with several large beaver ponds, returning on the east side of Grout Pond via the Catamount Trail. Excellent for anyone’s first backcountry ski!  Metal edges are not required.
Contact: Alan Binnick, anbin@myfairpoint.net or 802-464-3917

Portion of Section 16: Widow’s Clearing to Rikert Nordic Center (Ripton)
Easy – Saturday, January 28
Mostly flat, easy intro to the Catamount Trail, ending at Rikert Nordic (with facilities). Option to add trails on Water Tower Hill or Rikert (groomed).  Leader will cancel if no sign-ups by Thursday night.
Contact: Amy Otten amyotten@netscape.com or 802-878-4070

Mount Cushman and Rochester Mountain (Randolph)
Advanced Intermediate – Sunday, January 29 (back-up date Sunday, February 19)
From Rochester 4 Corners we will climb moderately for 1.5 miles to the ridge line and Randolph Gap,  centered between the summits of Mount Cushman and Rochester Mountain. Each is 1.5 miles away and offers nice views. We’ll hit one or possibly both and return. Most of the trail is on packed snowmobile trails and, in difficult conditions, may be icy.  9 miles and generally 3 -4 hours.
Contact: Tom and Sue Burgos, tburgos@nationallife.com or 802-234-9650

Section 5: Kelley Stand Road to Kendall Farm Road (Stratton)
Intermediate – Sunday, January 29
This back-country section in the Green Mountain National Forest leads to beautiful Stratton Pond and then to Little Pond, another pristine, isolated pond. The first 9 miles are fairly gentle. The last mile is a steep but wide downhill run on an old logging road (Pony Hill) with 3 new bronco-busting switchbacks to tame the ride. Even this can be avoided by detouring onto the I.P. Rd. (former CT), adding 2 miles to the ski. 10.4 miles via Pony Hill.
Contact: Andrew Harper, ap_harper@hotmail.com or 802-824-3139

Section 2:  Harriman Dam to Route 9 (Wilmington)
Easy/Intermediate – Saturday, February 4
This tour is 10 miles of fairly flat and easy skiing. The first 8 miles are wilderness with no bailout points. Our pace will accommodate the slowest skier.
Contact: Sam Bartlett, sam@bart-tech.com (Put CTA in subject line to get past filters) or 413-624-0192

Brandon Gap Backcountry Area Ski and Splitboard Tour (Rochester)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, February 5
This backcountry area has over 15,000 vertical feet of skiing in four separate zones. We will sample the Gap with room for all; grouping folks by desire and ability to get the most out of the day. Skins, some aerobic capacity, and the ability to climb and descend in open hardwood forest are required. The tour will last about 6 hours. Bring your touring skis, telemark skis, or a splitboard, lunch and plenty to drink. Wear weather appropriate clothing. Come explore these new backcountry zones, a joint project of the US Forest Service, RASTA, VTBC, and the Catamount Trail Association.
Contact: Karl Fjeld, karlfjld6@gmail.com or 802-236-8023

Huntington Ramble (Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Association on Bert White Road, Huntington)
Intermediate – Sunday, February 12
We will ski trails and backcountry on Section 20 of the Catamount Trail, Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area trails, and the Camel’s Hump Challenge Trail.  The exact route will depend on the ability of the group and snow conditions.  Skins and backcountry skis are required.
Contact:  Peter Cottrell, pcottrel@gmail.com or 802-879-0755

Marston Trail (Stowe)
Intermediate – Sunday, February 12
This tour will run along the Marston trail in Sterling Gorge area. It is mostly uphill for the first half to Edson Hill and then returns via the Catamount Trail. 3+ hour loop with options for a longer ski.
Contact: Bob Lindemann, rlindemann@pshift.com or 802-229-2062

Skin up, Ski down the Tear Drop Trail (West side of Mt. Mansfield, Underhill State Park, Underhill)
Most difficult – Friday, February 17 (backup date: Friday, February 24)
This is a classic down-mountain ski trail cut by the CCC in the 1930s.  The steep and winding 2000’ ascent is approximately 1.8 miles and requires climbing skins and some aerobic capacity.  The descent is a challenging, ever changing ride presenting sharp turns, steep drops, and double fall-lines.  If conditions are poor, we will only ski the lower half of the trail, change location in the same general area, or reschedule for Friday February 24th.  Post-ski lunch provided, next to a wood stove, a few minutes drive from the trailhead.
Contact: Amy Kelsey, akelsey@catamounttrail.org or 802-864-5794

Wild Trails Farm (Springfield)
Intermediate – Saturday, February 18
Groomed trails on private farm and forest land. 5+ mile guided tour, with a few steep hills, followed by refreshments and fire in the cider house. Trails will remain open for self-guided skiing for the rest of the day. Please sign up by Wednesday, February 15.
Contact: Jim Veltrop, jdv@wildtrailsfarm.com or at 802-875-2275

Mad River Valley Ramble (Waitsfield)
Easy to Intermediate – Sunday, February 19
This three-hour tour meanders through open and wooded terrain in the Mad River Valley, rolling gently up and down. There are a few challenging sections, especially if the snow is firm. Requires good control going downhill and climbing ability. We’ll start in the afternoon, and end with a visit to the pub at the Mad River Barn.
Contact: Lauren Slater, laurens@madriver.com or 802-498-4644

Rikert Nordic Center to Chipman Inn (Ripton)  
Intermediate – Sunday, February 19
Follow the CT on the east side of Rikert Nordic Center to Wagon Wheel Road, then follow the trails of Ripton to the Chipman Inn and their pub. 3 to 5 hours depending on the route. Wider back-country skis are NOT recommended.
Contact: Andy McIntosh, andymac@together.net or evenings 802-388-8376 or weekdays 802-236-2488

Exploring the Bolton Backcountry (Bolton Valley)
Strong Intermediate – Friday, February 24
This tour starts at the Bolton Valley Nordic Center. The valley provides access to wonderful backcountry skiing opportunities in the Mansfield State Forest. Spend the day skiing up many un-groomed trails and descending several in-bound glades. Trail fee required. 50% discount with CTA coupon.
Contact: Priscilla Kimberly, pkimberl@uvm.edu or 802-879-6153

Teardrop (Underhill State Park)
Beginner to Intermediate – Saturday, February 25  
Introduction to Splitboarding tour-  should be able to comfortably ride in glades at resorts. Up and down the classic Teardrop trail in Underhill state park, with the opportunity for yo-yoing in the surrounding glades. Roughly 4 miles round trip. A great intro to the world of splitboarding, plus a lot of fun for the more experienced to meet fellow riders in the area.
Contact: Aaron Descrochers, aaron.desrochers@gmail.com

11th Annual Beaver Meadow Loop (Morristown)
Intermediate – Saturday, February 25 
This tour of 7 to 8 miles is a loop gradually up to Beaver Meadow where a rustic Long Trail shelter will be a nice snack break. We will return via the Burling trail. 820 foot elevation gain. Tailgate potluck at the end of the tour, conditions permitting.
Contact:  Kim Dunkley and Scott Meyer, 802-635-2418

Chittenden Brook Recreation Area (Chittenden)
Intermediate – Sunday, February 26
The 6.5-mile route climbs steadily along beautiful Chittenden Brook before becoming steeper to the height of land. It then descends to a rolling logging road, and follows the unplowed access road back to the start. BC equipment recommended.
Contact: Craig Hadden, cwhadden76@gmail.com or 802-234-5218

March Mystery Tour in the southern Green Mountains
Intermediate to Advanced – sometime in March
This will be a skin-up, ski-down tour somewhere in the Southern Green Mountains when the snow is good. Contact the tour leader if you are interested, and he will choose a suitable date and send out a message a few days ahead of time.
Contact: Sam Bartlett, sam@bart-tech.com (Put CTA in subject line to get past filters) or 413-624-0192

Backcountry Ski Tour from Mt. Mansfield Touring Center (Stowe)
Intermediate Backcountry – Saturday, March 4
Start on touring center trails and then ski in the backcountry on a loop up Dewey Trail, across Underhill Trail and down Burt Trail. Total elevation gain about 1000 feet. Backcountry skis and skins required,  Expect 3 1/2 hours or so of skiing. Must pay trail fee.  Respond by March 2 or trip can be canceled.
Contact:  Sheri Larsen, larsen007@aol.com or 802-878-6828


Mt. Garfield Ski
Advanced Intermediate – Sunday,  March 5
Ski to the shoulder of Mt. Garfield, 12 miles round trip.  Mt. Garfield is one of the 48 4,000 footers in NH and is on the edge of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. In addition to the ski, there is a possible .5 mile, round trip hike to the summit.  Summit trip is dependent on the group’s interest and abilities as well as the weather.  Mt Garfield is tour number 8 in David Goodman’s book, Best Back Country Skiing in the Northeast. Respond before March 3, or trip can be canceled for lack of interest.
Contact:  Julie Higgins, jthrunner@verizon.net


Section 19  Route 17 (Battleground Apartments) to Camel’s Hump Road (Huntington)
Advanced – Saturday, March 11
Volunteer crews have been working to trim branches, widen trails, and install bridges this fall and Section 19 is in the best condition ever. 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. This 10.5-mile ski includes some long climbs and descents. Please bring your steel-edged skis, climbing skins, sufficient food and water for what is often a long but exhilarating day. The leader will cancel for lack of interest if there are insufficient sign-ups by March 8.
Contact:  Paul Demers, demers.paul6@gmail.com or 802-793-0888

Section 11: Patch Brook Road/Lake Ninevah to Tin Shanty (Plymouth)
Advanced Intermediate – Sunday, March 12
This is a mostly wilderness section of the CT running over Round Top and Burnt Mountains through hardwood forest. There are several short difficult stretches which are steep and narrow. Bring climbing skins, especially for the ascent (and possibly descent) of Burnt Mountain and Round Top. The leader will cancel if there are insufficient sign-ups by Thursday, March 9.
Contact: Bill Michels, bill.michels@gmail.com

Bridges Trail and Beyond (Section 17 and vicinity, Ripton)  
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, March 12   
Follow backcountry trails in vicinity of Cobb Hill in Ripton and return via CT Section 17 and Bridges Trail. 3 to 5 hours depending on the route. Backcountry touring skis recommended.  
Contact: Andy McIntosh, andymac@together.net or evenings 802-388-8376 or weekdays 802-236-2488

Side Trail Ramble (Huntington)
Intermediate – Sunday, March 19
Come explore the Catamount Trail in sections 19 and 20.  This 8 to 10-mile tour will follow the CT to several ungroomed trails in the Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area, including the famous Lion’s Ridge trail – a high elevation remote loop trail that holds its snow late in the year.   Based on time and interest, we may explore parts of the trail around Camel’s Hump.
Contact: Bill Hegman, 802-434-4759 or bhegman@gmavt.net