Winter in Summer: Stowe, VT Part 2

Hike

For the trip we were about to take on day 2, we sure did not wake up early enough. Mike, Justin and myself were late to bed seeing the night before was New Years and consequently we were late to rise. Once we did get ourselves up, it was for a quick breakfast before we piled into the jeep and hit the icy road. The destination of our drive I am still not allowed to speak of, but it is a local spot that has graced the cover of Easter Edge.

Justin Mullen
-Justin in the morning

We were hiking in from a new location that Pat said would shave about an hour off the hike and avoid the mean attack of a junkyard dog. The snow was about a foot deep and the hike was long but after two and half hours we arrived at the summit. I dug a quick pit to test the stability of the snow while Mike cut off some of the cornice and sent large amount of sluff down the slope. Last time I was here we had an avalanche so we played it on the safe side and avoided our original slope for one with a more mellow angle.

See you at the bottom

Pat went first, but we each took a ride down to the bottom. It was a steep and fun ride. Once at the bottom I set up my camera while the guys took a hike back to the top. This was Mikes first time riding deep powder and he did very well. Hooked on the pow, he hiked more then anyone and bagged a bunch of shots. Unfortunately our late morning was catching up to us as bad weather and the evening started approaching. We knew it was a long hike out so we ended the session early and started out. Arriving at the jeep in total darkness we each shared a beer and headed back to Pat’s house.

Mike Bennett
-Mikey B Natural Pow Rider

I had secured us passes to Stowe Mountain Resort and we spent the next two whole days riding on and off the resort on the Mount Mansfeild side. With lift access and fresh powder up to waist deep in some spots, these two days were probably the highlight of the trip. Pat’s guiding knowledge really shines at Stowe and he lead us to all the goods. Each line was untracked and he knew where all the cliffs, drops, gaps, and exits were.

Mike Bennett
-Mike Bennett in the Stowe Gondola

Eager to get some lines for myself and seeing I was at my favorite mountain on the east I road the whole first day without a camera. The second day we got to work and everyone snagged good photos on each run.

Justin Mullen
-Justin Mullen blast off a cliff in a cloud of powder

Pat Walsh
-Pat Walsh demonstrates how it’s done

Justin Mullen
-Justin leans back into a heel side

Justin, Mike, and myself were sad to leave but Mike had to get back to work and Justin and myself had to get ready for Tahoe. Stowe will always remain as one of my favorite mountain in the east coast. If you have the chance to go there you should take advantage of it. With early seasons that always have the pow its a great place to visit over that christmas break/new years break. A huge thanks to Pat. Without him this trip would not have been possible. Leave me a message if you would like to get Pat’s email for guiding trips with your own group.

Group
L-R Pat Walsh, Justin Mullen, Mike Bennett

Don’t forget part one.
http://www.benbirk.com/blog/2010/07/09/winter-in-summer-stowe-vt/.

Justin recorded video and made an edit from the trip.
http://www.benbirk.com/blog/2010/01/05/stowe-vermont/

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