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

BVtoTrappDH95

 

2018 Single-Day Tours

Camel’s Hump Nordic Skier Association (Backcountry Areas)
Intermediate/Advanced – Saturday, December 23
Volunteer-run Camel’s Hump Nordic Skiers Association (http://www.camelshumpskiers.org/) maintains a spectacular network of trails in Huntington, VT. Enjoy moderate to difficult backcountry skiing on trails such as the Cobble Hill, the Challenge Trail and Lion’s Ridge. Metal-edged Nordic skis required. This is not a skin-up type ski. Suggested donation: $10. Snow conditions may affect route, or require cancellation.
Contact: Terry Ryan, 802-434-3640, terryc_ryan@hotmail.com

Section 1: Harriman Dam to Route 100 (Readsboro)
Easy Introductory Tour – Saturday, January 6
A good introduction to the backcountry for novice skiers. It follows an easy 3 miles on a backcountry railroad grade along the Deerfield River. A 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 11: Patch Brook Road/Lake Ninevah to Tin Shanty (Plymouth)
Advanced Intermediate – Saturday, January 6
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, January 4.
Contact: Bill Michels, bill.michels@gmail.com

Ruschp Sterling Ridge Trail (skin up/ski down)
Intermediate/Advanced – Saturday, January 6
This tour is on the Ruschp Sterling Ridge Trail atop Sterling Valley, a winter access uphill route with descent ski lines. The specific descent will be determined based on snow conditions and group size. It could be considered an intro to “vertical” ski touring. Participants must have skis (or split board) with skins for uphill travel, and be comfortable skiing open trees in variable snow conditions. Sign-up by January 2. Group limit of 10 skiers.
Contact: Jeff Egan: wanderingchef.egan@gmail.com

Dutch Hill Tour Series (skin up/ski down)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, January 7
Introduction to Dutch Hill Tour Series – Come see what DHASH is doing at Dutch Hill, and see the potential for the future. Join us as we skin up and ski down some of the historic ski trails of Dutch Hill in Readsboro. This is not a beginner tour. Skiers and split-boarders will need climbing skins or good climbing skills and be able to control downhill speed. Typically a less-than-one-hour climb, then lunch at the top to enjoy the view. Tele-turning skills are useful but not required for the descent. We can do laps until your legs quit! Exact route will vary and depend on conditions and participants. See www.dhash4vt.org for more information on Dutch Hill Ski Area and the Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers.
Contact Sam Bartlett for more information sam@bart-tech.com(Put CTA in the subject line) or 413-624-0192.

Greendale Loop Excursion (Weston)
Easy Intermediate – Sunday, January 7
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. Sign up by Wednesday, January 3. Trip may be cancelled due to weather or lack of participants.
Contact: Shelley Lutz, shelley.lutz@gmail.com or 802-775-4867 before 8 pm

Camel’s Hump (Groomed Trails)
Beginner – Sunday, January 7
Volunteer-run Camel’s Hump Nordic Skiers Association (http://www.camelshumpskiers.org/) maintains an idyllic network of trails in Huntington, VT. Ski about 2 hours on groomed trails suitable for beginners. Suggested donation: $10. Snow conditions may affect route, or require cancellation.
Contact: Terry Ryan, 802-434-3640, terryc_ryan@hotmail.com

Section 24: Edson Hill (Stowe) to Ryder Brook Golf Course
Intermediate – Saturday, January 13 (back-up date Saturday, February 17)
The first 6.8 miles of this section, through Sterling Forest, includes some of the most beautiful miles on the Catamount Trail. After Mud City Loop Road, the trail continues 5.2 miles through farm fields to Ryder Brook Golf Course. Optional dinner in Stowe afterwards.
Contact: Julie Higgins, jthrunner@amcvolunteers.org, Co-leader Michael O’Connor

Rikert Nordic Center area loop – (Goshen)
Easy/Intermediate Introductory Tour – Saturday, January 20
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

Wilmington
Intermediate – Saturday, January 20
Ski 8 miles on easy to intermediate terrain on private trails. Some trails are partially groomed. Several great views with occasional exhilarating short downhills.
Contact – Alan Binnick, anbin@myfairpoint.net or 802-464-3917

Section 11B: Out and back, up and over Burnt Mountain from Old Plymouth Road (Plymouth)
Advanced Intermediate – Saturday, January 20
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

Dutch Hill Tour Series (skin up/ski down)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, January 21
Introduction to Dutch Hill Tour Series – Come see what DHASH is doing at Dutch Hill, and see the potential for the future. Join us as we skin up and ski down some of the historic ski trails of Dutch Hill in Readsboro. This is not a beginner tour. Skiers and split-boarders will need climbing skins or good climbing skills and be able to control downhill speed. Typically a less-than-one-hour climb, then lunch at the top to enjoy the view. Tele-turning skills are useful but not required for the descent. We can do laps until your legs quit! Exact route will vary and depend on conditions and participants. See www.dhash4vt.org for more information on Dutch Hill Ski Area and the Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers.
Contact Sam Bartlett for more information sam@bart-tech.com(Put CTA in the subject line) or 413-624-0192.

Women’s Day on Skis in Thetford, Vermont
Easy/Intermediate – Sunday, January 21
Join us for a women’s only ski in Thetford, Vermont, followed by a late lunch across the river in New Hampshire. Mimi’s Trail offers a gradual climb to the top of Houghton Hill, where we’ll take some time to enjoy the view before heading back down. The trail is wide and may be groomed, although there are a few steep, sharp switchbacks at the top. The tour is 5.2 miles long.
contact: Karen Heinzmann, karen.heinzmann@thet.net

Skin up, Ski down the Tear Drop Trail
Most difficult – Friday, January 26
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 or change location in the same general area. 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

Catamount Trail Express – Section 22 Shuttle
Saturday, January 27

Grout Pond Side Trails
Intermediate – Saturday January 27
We will ski 8 miles on the mostly flat East Trail around Grout Pond where there are expansive beaver ponds. Return on the moderately hilly West Trail with a stop at beautiful Somerset Reservoir.
Contact – Alan Binnick, anbin@myfairpoint.net or 802-464-3917

Section 16: Widow’s Clearing to Rikert Nordic Center (Ripton)
Easy – Saturday, January 27
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 insufficient sign-up by Thursday, January 25.
Contact: Amy Otten amyotten@netscape.com or 802-878-4070

Brandon Gap Backcountry Area Ski and Splitboard Tour (skin up/ski down)
Intermediate to Advanced, Saturday, January 27
The Brandon Gap Backcountry Area has over 15,000 vertical feet of skiing in 4 four separate zones. We split into groups based on ability and desire to sample the gap and get the most out of the day. Climbing 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 AT skis, telemark skis or a splitboard, lunch, plenty to drink and 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. Participation will be limited to 40 skiers and riders.

Section 3: Route 9 to Somerset Reservoir
Introductory Tour – Friday, February 2 (back-up date: Saturday, February 10)
This remote, back-country section of the CT offers varied terrain and scenic views of the Deerfield River, Mt. Snow, and Searsburg Reservoir. The 7.4-mile section is un-groomed and generally flat. However, there are a few steep ascents and descents and numerous small stream crossings. It is very remote with only one intermediate access point. Our pace will accommodate the slowest skier. This tour can be combined with the section 2 tour on Saturday for those who want to make a weekend of it!
Contact: Tim Marr, hauptmarr@comcast.net or 802-442-3469

Catamount Trail Express – Section 22 Shuttle
Saturday, February 3

Section 2: Harriman Dam to Route 9 (Wilmington)
Easy/Intermediate – Saturday, February 3
This tour is 10 miles of fairly flat and easy skiing. The first 8 miles is wilderness with no bailout points. Our pace will accommodate the slowest skier in the group.
Contact: Sam Bartlett, sam@bart-tech.com (Put CTA in subject line to get past filters) or 413-624-0192

Chittenden Brook Recreation Area (Chittenden)
Intermediate – Saturday, February 3​
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

Dutch Hill Tour Series (skin up/ski down)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, February 4
Introduction to Dutch Hill Tour Series – Come see what DHASH is doing at Dutch Hill, and see the potential for the future. Join us as we skin up and ski down some of the historic ski trails of Dutch Hill in Readsboro. This is not a beginner tour. Skiers and split-boarders will need climbing skins or good climbing skills and be able to control downhill speed. Typically a less-than-one-hour climb, then lunch at the top to enjoy the view. Tele-turning skills are useful but not required for the descent. We can do laps until your legs quit! Exact route will vary and depend on conditions and participants. See www.dhash4vt.org for more information on Dutch Hill Ski Area and the Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers.
Contact Sam Bartlett for more information sam@bart-tech.com(Put CTA in the subject line) or 413-624-0192.

Camel’s Hump Nordic Skier Association (Backcountry Areas)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, February 4
Volunteer run Camel’s Hump Nordic Skiers Association (http://www.camelshumpskiers.org/) maintains a spectacular network of trails in Huntington, VT. Enjoy moderate to difficult backcountry skiing on trails such as Cobble Hill, Chimera, and Woodchuck Ramble. Metal-edged Nordic skis required. This is not a skin-up type ski. Suggested donation: $10. Snow conditions may affect route, or require cancellation.
Contact: Terry Ryan, 802-434-3640, terryc_ryan@hotmail.com

Rikert Nordic Center to Chipman Inn, Ripton
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

Catamount Trail Express – Section 22 Shuttle
Saturday, February 10

Section 17: Lincoln Gap to The Bridges Trail – (Lincoln & Ripton)
Intermediate to Advanced – Saturday, February 10
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

Catamount Trail Express – Section 22 Shuttle
Saturday, February 17

Dutch Hill Tour Series (skin up/ski down)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, February 18
Introduction to Dutch Hill Tour Series – Come see what DHASH is doing at Dutch Hill, and see the potential for the future. Join us as we skin up and ski down some of the historic ski trails of Dutch Hill in Readsboro. This is not a beginner tour. Skiers and split-boarders will need climbing skins or good climbing skills and be able to control downhill speed. Typically a less-than-one-hour climb, then lunch at the top to enjoy the view. Tele-turning skills are useful but not required for the descent. We can do laps until your legs quit! Exact route will vary and depend on conditions and participants. See www.dhash4vt.org for more information on Dutch Hill Ski Area and the Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers.
Contact Sam Bartlett for more information sam@bart-tech.com(Put CTA in the subject line) or 413-624-0192.

12th Annual Beaver Meadow Loop (Morristown)
Intermediate – Sunday, February 18
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

Skin up, Ski down the Tear Drop Trail
Most difficult – Friday, February 23
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 or change location in the same general area. 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

Mount Cushman and Braintree Mountain (skin up/ski down)
Advanced Intermediate – Saturday, February 24
The trail starts at Rochester 4 Corners and climbs moderately for 1 ½ miles to the Randolph Gap. We will ski northward on the ridgeline for 3-4 miles to Mount Cushman and then to Braintree Mountain. Both offer nice views. Some of the trail is on packed snowmobile trails and, in difficult conditions, may be icy. Some of the ridgeline will require bushwhacking and breaking trail. There are some steep ups and downs where skins are highly recommended. We will descend through the Braintree Mountain Forest. We need to shuttle between the start and the finish. This is a 7-8 mile trip that takes 4-5 hours, depending on breaks. The group will be limited to a maximum of 10.
Contact: Tom Burgos, tburgos@nationallife.com or 802-234-9650 or Paul Kendall pkendallb@gmail.com or 802-728-3726

Brandon Gap Backcountry Area Ski and Splitboard Tour (skin up/ski down)
Intermediate to Advanced, Saturday, February 24
The Brandon Gap Backcountry Area has over 15,000 vertical feet of skiing in 4 four separate zones. We split into groups based on ability and desire to sample the gap and get the most out of the day. Climbing 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 AT skis, telemark skis or a splitboard, lunch, plenty to drink and 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. Participation will be limited to 40 skiers and riders.

Section 5: Kelley Stand Road to Kendall Farm Road (Stratton)
Intermediate – Saturday, February 25
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. 10.4 miles via Pony Hill.
Contact: Andrew Harper, ap_harper@hotmail.com or 802-824-3139

Marston Trail (Stowe)
Intermediate – Sunday, February 25
This tour will run along the Marston trail in Sterling Gorge area and is a good introduction to the extensive winter and summer trail network in the 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

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. He will choose a suitable date and send 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

Section 31: Jay Pass to the Jay Country Store
Intermediate/Advanced – Saturday, March 3
This six-mile section of the CT features a 1000-foot descent from Jay Pass to the Jay Country Store. With some tricky descents and a few taxing climbs, it is best suited for intermediate and advanced skiers. The tour will be limited to 5 skiers. Sign up by Thursday, March 1.
Contact: Ferdinand Lauffer, flauffer@gmail.com or 802-933-4252 (home)

Dutch Hill Tour Series (skin up/ski down)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, March 4
Introduction to Dutch Hill Tour Series – Come see what DHASH is doing at Dutch Hill, and see the potential for the future. Join us as we skin up and ski down some of the historic ski trails of Dutch Hill in Readsboro. This is not a beginner tour. Skiers and split-boarders will need climbing skins or good climbing skills and be able to control downhill speed. Typically a less-than-one-hour climb, then lunch at the top to enjoy the view. Tele-turning skills are useful but not required for the descent. We can do laps until your legs quit! Exact route will vary and depend on conditions and participants. See www.dhash4vt.org for more information on Dutch Hill Ski Area and the Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers.
Contact Sam Bartlett for more information sam@bart-tech.com(Put CTA in the subject line) or 413-624-0192.

Wild Trails Farm (Springfield)
Intermediate – Saturday, March 10
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 Thursday, March 8.
Contact: Jim Veltrop, jdv@wildtrailsfarm.com or at 802-875-2275

Section 31: Jay Country Store to the Canadian Border
Beginner/Intermediate – Saturday, March 10
This tour of 5.3 miles on the northern half of section 31 features a mix of snowmobile and backcountry trails on flat, open terrain. Ideal for beginner and low intermediate skiers. Sign up by Thursday, March 8.
Contact: Ferdinand Lauffer, flauffer@gmail.com or 802-933-4252 (home)

Bridges Trail and Beyond, Ripton (CT Section 17 and vicinity)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, March 11
Follow back country 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

Dutch Hill Tour Series (skin up/ski down)
Intermediate to Advanced – Sunday, March 18
Introduction to Dutch Hill Tour Series – Come see what DHASH is doing at Dutch Hill, and see the potential for the future. Join us as we skin up and ski down some of the historic ski trails of Dutch Hill in Readsboro. This is not a beginner tour. Skiers and split-boarders will need climbing skins or good climbing skills and be able to control downhill speed. Typically a less-than-one-hour climb, then lunch at the top to enjoy the view. Tele-turning skills are useful but not required for the descent. We can do laps until your legs quit! Exact route will vary and depend on conditions and participants. See www.dhash4vt.org for more information on Dutch Hill Ski Area and the Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers.
Contact Sam Bartlett for more information sam@bart-tech.com(Put CTA in the subject line) or 413-624-0192.

Camel’s Hump Nordic Skier Association (Ungroomed Areas)
Intermediate – Sunday, March 18, 2018
Volunteer run Camel’s Hump Nordic Skiers Association (www.camelshumpskiers.org) maintains a spectacular network of trails in Huntington, VT. This time we will go up into the northern areas, which are relatively easy terrain but not groomed, such as Lost Farm and Echo Woods. Metal-edged Nordic skis required. This is not a skin-up type ski. Suggested donation: $10. Snow conditions may affect route, or require cancellation.
Contact: Terry Ryan, 802-434-3640, terryc_ryan@hotmail.com