Senior photo season is almost over but we had one last hurrah in Waterbury. Kelly and I met up on a day that was originally forecast to be rainy and cold. Instead, we got nice high clouds mixed with sun and comfortable temps with a warm wind.
We walked around some of the roads that she runs, meandering through farmer’s fields and down past a small river. Every time I visit the Mad River Valley I’m reminded that it’s one of the most beautiful places in Vermont.
It was a lovely day with great company. You’re going to go places, Kelly! Best of luck on the rest of your senior year and in college.
A few weeks ago my family and I went blueberry picking at Adam’s Berry Farm in their new Charlotte location. With the crazy weather we’ve had in Vermont over the last few years, they were forced to leave their 11 year home in the Burlington Intervale. Well, they found a beautiful spot on a hill in Charlotte. The barn looks gorgeous, and the berries are as delicious as always.
Along the ridge of the hill is a band of wildflowers that are a perfect addition to the farm.
What do you think, do you like the photo with or without the motion blur?
I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda and Chris last summer when we connected up for some engagement photos. It was an unusually warm summer day but we had a great time walking around Stowe and the Trapp Family Lodge. Their wedding day was similar – warm temperatures, bright sunshine, and relaxed attitudes. In Amanda’s final email to me before her wedding she said “As crazy as it sounds, despite the fact it’s my wedding day… My plans are pretty low key and it’s just a day of relaxing!”
I thought that was a lofty goal given how most wedding days run, but they pulled it off. When I arrived, Chris was relaxing in a room with the other guys.
Before they headed down to the ceremony, all of the guys toasted Chris, and maybe helped take that last little bit of nervousness away, too.
Meanwhile, Amanda was getting ready in a gorgeous suite.
After some final touches of hairspray, we headed down to get the two of them married!
I love her father’s expression here. It screams “proud daddy” to me.
They guys appreciated the moment as well.
With Mount Mansfield in the background and the trails of Stowe punctuating the hillside, vows were read, rings exchanged, and two became one.
This couple looks ready to take on the world.
On out way home, I had to stop to take a photo of the big dipper over Mt. Mansfield. That little glow just below the ridge line? That’s the party at Stowe Mountain Resort.
This past Friday, Tawny and I headed over to New Hampshire for a trip up Mt. Washington into Tuckerman Ravine. On Wednesday and Thursday the weather report wasn’t looking so optimistic. They had snow and cold temps with high winds. But, knowing that Mt. Washington has rapid weather changes, we decided to risk it and head over anyway.
Boy am I glad we did. We awoke to temps in the 30’s in Pinkham Notch with only a light wind. We headed over for breakfast and to take a look at the daily avalanche report. It hadn’t been updated before or after breakfast, but we decided that there would be something good and stable to ski on so we packed up our gear and waited for our friends to arrive.
About 9:00, the rest of our crowd showed up. Conveniently, the avy report had been updated and things looked good. Low risk in most areas with a moderate risk in the middle part of the bowl. We made some last minute gear adjustments and started up the trail with a few dozen other folks around us. The lower part of the Tuckerman Ravine trail had snow on it, but we all remained on foot for a while with the expectation that we would encounter enough rocky areas that skinning wouldn’t be a good option yet. That proved to be a good call, but after about 45 minutes of hiking two of our members switched over to skins.
Our first views of the ravine were beautiful. It looked almost devoid of people, but plenty of folks were hiking up Hillman’s highway. While snacking, we discussed our options. Hillmans was obviously a popular choice, but more and more people were headed into the ravine so we decided to head up as well to see how things looked in person.
Yep, that’ll do. It’s pretty obvious which snow was expected to be stable and which was considered a moderate risk.
First run: We headed up right gully following a crowd of folks that were headed up to the upper snowfields by way of a bushwhack. We didn’t wand to head up that high, so we kicked off a shelf and started to transition. Did I mention that only two of our group had skied here before? You forget what it’s like to make your first steep slope transition until you do it with a group of people who have never done it before.
The ride down was beautiful. The new snow was thick without being grabby. The old snow was corning up perfectly.
Second run: The left side of center bowl was al old snow and had a good boot pack up it, so we gave it a shot. Most folks were staying out of the new snow in center bowl, but a few had made some big turns and long traverses and it appeared stable. Still, we mostly stuck to the corn off to lookers left of the boot ladder.
Third run, we hiked part way back up right gully for a few final turns before heading down. It was hard to leave on such a perfect day.
The Sherburne trail was well covered at the top. We skied down to turn 5, according to the guide that was putting up the rope, and even that required a little grass skiing.
All in all, it was about as perfect an experience as you can have on Mt. Washington. Great weather, great snow and great company.
Here are a few quick photos from a backcountry excursion with Tawny. For those that aren’t in the area, Vermont just got crushed with our first big storm of the year. This isn’t to say we haven’t had snow, but 18″ in Burlington had been hard to come by this year. There were a couple good days of skiing Thursday and Friday and then the temperatures rose into the 30’s which gave us some mixed precipitation on Saturday. At higher elevations it may have all been snow, but below 2,000 feet or so it definitely included some rain. We decided to head out and see what the snow was like anyway.
Picking a spot that had a quick approach and easy exit should the snow prove to be too crusty, we were happy to see 3-5″ of new snow on the ground. We followed a group of five in from the trail head but were happy when their tracks peeled off right where we wanted to go left. Up we went weaving in and out of a skin track laid down on Friday or Saturday. At times the old skin track was helpful and at times the icy crust made for difficult travel so we broke trail in fresh snow.
The wind was brisk and while the sun was out, it still wasn’t all that warm. We quickly changed over (well, as quickly as you can with a split board) and headed down hill. The new snow skied beautifully, but you had to stay on top of things to prevent getting thrown by the crusty, thick snow below.
It was a great day skiing made even better by the fact that I could spend it with my wife.