Biking and Boating ~ a Vermont Idyll

Biking and Boating ~ a Vermont Idyll

4th of July Weekend Report

by Patricia Costa-Giomi

 

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It was my first time at the lodge during the summer, and I took my road bike and my kayak with me with the hopes of putting them to good use. The trip did not disappoint me, the weather was so beautiful, the lodge is so comfortable, and the Miramartians are so nice that it could not have been any better.

On Saturday I joined a group of three guests determined to do a hike that was not a “walk in the park.” Indeed the nine mile, 4000 feet elevation Camel’s Hump trail was definitely a challenging hike, but well worth the effort. The views from the top were stunning, despite the strong winds. In addition, we came across the wing of the B-27J Bomber plane that crashed into the side of the mountain near the summit in a training mission in October 1944 during World War II.

After the invigorating hike, I noticed the sun was still shining on the Mad River on my way back to the lodge, so I skipped Happy Hour, to favor delicious ice-cream from the Sweet Spot while lying on the rocky beach bathed by the end of the day sun.

On Sunday, Rose led the Burlington bike path ride which departed from Local Motion in downtown Burlington right on the bike path at the shore of Lake Champlain. We took the bike path to the end and then continued in the Colchester causeway, a narrow strip of land that takes bikers to South Hero in a Lake Champlain island. An opening in the strip of land allows boats to go through and bikers are able to cross it by means of a cute “bike ferry” that transports you and your bike across the short cut in the strip leading to the island.

Once on the island, Rose directed us to a beach with tables under the trees were we had lunch and some of us went for a swim in the unexpectedly warm, calm and clean waters of Lake Champlain. The water felt delicious after the long ride and the hot sun.

We rode back to the cars and the lodge while everyone in the town of Burlington was getting ready for the largest display of 4th of July fireworks in the state of Vermont (or so they say). I opted to leave Burlington behind and drove directly to Blueberry Lake for a sunset paddle.

Cars were leaving as I put the kayak on the calm waters of the small lake and the peaceful sunset paddle followed by a swim to an island in the middle of the lake was worth missing dinner at the lodge. I managed to put the kayak on the car before it got completely dark, and I did get a chance to have a drink at the lodge upon my return, a fitting end to an awesome day.

On Monday, 4th of July, I decided to celebrate Independence Day with a paddle at Waterbury Reservoir. I used the Blush Hill Boating access to the reservoir, there is just parking and a ramp at this site. The parking lot is small fills quickly, but cars also park on both sides of the road leading to the reservoir.

The weather was picture perfect and by 10:30 am, I was in the water. The reservoir is large, with an area for water skiing and, at that hour, was not very busy with motor boats.  I paddled for a while and settled on a small beach to swim and read. Finally, around 1:30, I reluctantly concluded the time had come to pack up and face the drive home to Summit, NJ. The ride back was cheered, however, with the prospect of a repeat Waitsfield respite come next Fourth of July, though I might try a paddle at Blueberry Lake this October.  I’m told it is surrounded by gorgeous autumn leaved hills in the fall.

Nosediving

Nosediving

My skier friends are very familiar with a trail at Stowe, VT’s Mt Mansfield called Nosedive. It’s not the biggest baddest trail on the hill but it does present a challenge. The top section has the reputation of being icy and generally more difficult than the rest of the trail. It is rated a Black Diamond (expert) trail just because of the top section. The 95% that follows is pure Blue (intermediate) skiing. I generally ski it when I’m at Stowe and most of the time do so without incident. But last Sunday was noteworthy.

I had already been on Ridgeview, Sunrise, North Slope, Lord, T-Line and felt hat the conditions were pretty good on every trail I sampled today. Some ice but more snow (or groomed machine made snow anyway). I spoke to another skier who offered that Nosedive was pretty good today. So I headed there immediately because it could get skied off and may not be so good later in the day.

The approach to Nosedive was as good as everything else I had been on so I made the right turn with sufficient confidence and began the steep descent of the first pitch, the hardest part.

Whooooooooaaaaaaa!!!!! PLOP!!! I don’t know what happened but I was instantly aware of a few things. I had fallen, I was sliding, and I was picking up speed heading down this completely icy slope head first on my stomach. This was NOT the plan!

The view of Nosedive from the top of the Gondola.

The view of Nosedive from the top of the Gondola.

We aren’t talking about a great distance but flying downhill on your belly towards an even steeper drop can perhaps distort ones senses a bit. It seemed like I had gone far and I knew what was ahead and I wanted no part of it.

I lost one ski up top and one pole but managed to use the remaining pole as an ice pick and jammed it into the icy trail. This caused me to pivot around the pole and now slide feet first as snow accumulated inside my jacket acting as a plow as I moved along. It also slowed me down and I eventually stopped sliding. Phew!!!

The first thing I did was inform those watching this epic fail that I was indeed OK. Nothing seemed to be damaged. One kind dude picked up my lost ski and delivered it to me. I reached up to get the ski from his hand and then…

As soon as I released the pole that had stopped my slide to grab the ski he was handing me, I once again resumed the downward journey! As luck would have it the route that gravity chose was across the tips of the skis of my delivery friend. My added weight essentially flattened out his skis and he lost the grip and now we were both sliding toward the “end” of this slope. Because we were now aided by finely waxed skis we were moving towards the edge even faster!

Luckily not for long because he fell on top of me and once off his skis we managed to stop laughing long enough to terminate the skid.

By this time we had attracted a fair number of spectators, mostly because the yard sale had more or less blocked the trail. Several rescuers surrounded us this time and assembled all the pieces much like Humpty Dumpty but with a much happier ending. Besides noting that snow and ice had worked its way into my underwear, I was fine and resumed my ski day with wetness but without further incident.

2016 Big Trip to Cortina d’Ampezzo and Venice, Italy

2016 Big Trip to Cortina d’Ampezzo and Venice, Italy

We came, skied, dined and danced on a fantastic trip led by Len Frank and Sharron Lieberman. In Cortina the weather gods cooperated, with two powder dumps, two days of flurries, two bluebird days, and for many the unforgettable 55km Sella Ronda tour. The weather in Venice was sketchier but, ever resourceful, the Miramartians started a new black-bag fashion trend and everyone managed to stayed dryish. [Click on an image to enlarge, then use the L and R arrows on your keyboard to go forward or back at your own pace.] Photo credits: Ruth Yashpan, David Wallenstein, Susan Weintraub, Colleen Curry, David Martz, Richard Carey.

Miramar Brings Home the Metal!

The Miramar Race Team came away with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the MET NY Ski Council Races at Pico. Here are the results:

Intermediate Event

Super Elite Women
Karen McFarlane: GS-Silver, Slalom-Gold, Combined-Silver

Elite Women
Susan Weintraub: GS-Gold, Slalom-Gold, Combined-Gold

Senior Women
Colleen Curry: GS-Gold, Slalom-Gold, Combined-Gold

Veteran Men
Chip Martin: GS-Silver, Slalom-Bronze, Combined-Bronze

Intermediate Team

Miramar Ski Club – Silver

Cross–Country Skiing with Miramar

Cross–Country Skiing with Miramar

Cross-country skiers are welcome on Miramar’s weekly ski bus trips to our lodge in Vermont. Depending on which downhill area we visit the day’s snow and weather conditions, the usual XC destinations are Ole’s in the Mad River Valley, The Trapp Family Lodge, or the Stowe XC Center.

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Ole’s , Warren Vermont — http://www.olesxc.com/

The closest cross country ski facility to our lodge in Waitsfield, Ole’s was opened by a legendary Norwegian cross-country skier. Still locally owned, Ole’s features rolling trails through the woods and fields and  past local barns. Beginner, intermediate and some challenging trails for more experienced skiers are offered. Helpful staff, excellent lessons for skiers of every level and a bright welcoming sky-light lit lounge with soup and sandwich offerings round out the experience. Occasional acoustic music jams occur at lunchtime as well as a memorable local distillery tasting.

Mansfield/Stowe Cross County in Stowe, Vermont — http://www.trappfamily.com/

Where skiing began before they invented the ski  lift. Enterprising cross country skiers unearthed the old trail maps of Stowe Ski Resort  and recreated the original trails. Just down the mountain from the Stowe Alpine Resort, Mansfield offers some challenging black runs with serious downhill stretches in addition to a multitude of beginner and intermediate trails. Facilities include a warming hut along the trail serving hot chocolate,and a yurt by the lodge to relax in. Trails connect to the Toll Road trail at the downhill resort where gravity’s pull can be experienced to its fullest. High quality instruction and rentals are available. A connection to the nearby Trapp Cabin is available for hearty souls willing to head uphill approximately four kilometers, A fireplace, soups sandwiches, hot apple cider and cookies are served. Of course after heading uphill you get to race back downhill when you have finished your destination dining experience in the woods.

Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont — http://www.stowe.com/ski-ride/xc/

A true  resort in addition to  an excellent cross-country ski venue, Trapp Family Lodge offers an on site brew-pub  an Austrian bakery as well as the Trapp Cabin. A well groomed and extensive trail system provides trails for racers as well as expert, intermediate and beginner skiers. Yes, this venue  was opened and run by the Trapp family of Sound of Music fame and the hills are alive and the trails are exceptionally well groomed.

Spend New Years Eve with Miramar

Spend New Years Eve with Miramar

Even if the weather outside is frightful, the weather inside Miramar’s lodge is smokin’ — and you won’t need your long-johns to be warm!

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Not sure what to give that special someone this year, or maybe you need to treat yourself to a holiday break?

Even though the weather is frightfully unseasonable (thanks a lot, El Nino!), if you haven’t locked in your New Year’s plans our lodge in Waitsfield, Vermont is the place to be. 

Powder shots after breakfast may not be on the menu this month, but Stowe has 21 trails open and Sugarbush 8, so there’s that. And the venerable Single Chair Weather Blog just posted about the likelihood of a “Madden-Julian Oscillation” occurring and its “capability of re-dealing the cards” on the weather. Hey, if there’s a chance it’ll work you can set me up with two shots of MJO right now, please!

But even better than shots of MJO is New Years weekend in Vermont with Miramar. Great people, great meals, great dancing, and maybe a few ski runs, too So step right up, click one of the buttons below, and buckle your seat belts for a great time!

Find out more and Sign Up for the New Years Weekend Bus Trip

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Liftlines – Summer-Fall 2017

Liftlines – Summer-Fall 2017

From work weekends to the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and fall leaf-peeping on Columbus Day, there’s always something going on at the lodge in Waitsfield, Add bike rides, kayak trips, and the odd tavern Tuesday in the city and you’ve got enough stories and pictures to fill the Summer-Fall 2017 edition of Liftlines. Thanks to all the writers and photographers for their contribution, and to Paul Banks for pulling it all together!

Liftlines Fall 2017 T3P2.1

Magic Mountain Ski Council Discount!

Magic Mountain Ski Council Discount!

Flash your valid membership card and save money at Magic Mountain.

——– Original message ——–

From: [email protected]
Date: 10/09/2017 1:00 PM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: Magic Mountain Council days

Below are the Council days given to us by Magic Mountain, Vermont.

December:
17 th and 18th: $44
27,28,29: $49.00

January:
5,6,7,27,28:$49.00

February:
20,21,22,23: $49.00

March:
16,17,18:$49.00

April: 6,7,8: $39.00
Cheers!

Kerry Mara
Ski Magic, LLC
Cell: 802-353-3055

2017-18 Winter Trip Schedule

2017-18 Winter Trip Schedule

Early season your thing? Vermont for the holidays? Maybe club racing, mid-winter freshies, or spring corn snow are more your style?
Whatever you’re craving we’ve got it all this year, so pick your dates and mark your schedules now!
Additional information and registration links will be posted in our calendar approximately 30 days before the departure date for each trip.
Miramar 2017-18 Winter Trips
2016-17 Starts Big and Ends Strong!

2016-17 Starts Big and Ends Strong!

In the hot-off-the-digital-press new edition of Liftlines, Phil Caracci reports, “…Snow started falling early in November, and the resorts all opened up by Thanksgiving Day. The Nov-Dec snowfall will likely exceed all of last season. But lots of things were the same. Ray picked us up in The Hampton Jitney on West 23rd St. Alena baked brownies for the bus. Carolyn had hot cider waiting for us in the lodge when we arrived, and Saturday night featured a loud disco dance party. Yet some things were different. Nate was missing from the kitchen staff; the Bernsteins started their own ski club, and The Golden Corral was not on the menu. We’ll cover all that, but the big story of the trip, and the reason it was near capacity, was the snow…”

Read all the details in the Winter 2016-17 edition of Liftlines

Head for the Hills!

Head for the Hills!


If you’re a Miramar member, and our trip to Val d’Isère next winter is not your thing, you can bag four of the finest ski areas in the continental United States —Jay Peak, Snowmass, Lake Tahoe and Sunday River — on these 2018 New Jersey and Metropolitan New York ski and snowboard council trips.

Click the destination to find out more, then turn down the temp on your air conditioner and imagine you’re there!

 

You Had to Be There

You Had to Be There

The end of the season is always bitter-sweet, and some years the remaining snow melts away with a whimper. But not this year!

The party started on the bus before we reached the Lincoln Tunnel and continued until we arrived home from Vermont on Sunday evening, leaving everyone wanting more. And the weather played right along: dumping 10″ of snow at Stowe to give us mid-winter powder conditions all day Saturday, then delivering a blue-bird spring day on Sunday with bright skies, abundant powder at the summit and corn snow at lower elevations, with temperatures that peaked at 80(!) degrees in the sun. Did I mention Cathy’s impressive ski-yoga demonstration, Saturday night dance party, the herd of wild things hanging at Spruce Base Bar, or the truck full of Butternut Golden Retrievers?

As Phil Caracci wrote on his Facebook page, “Such a spectacular day at Stowe Mountain Resort! Sure the snow was great, the sun was great, the discounted tickets were great, the truckload of puppies was great…. but what’s really great is the people on the trip that you share all of this joy with.”

If you love skiing and boarding, making new friends, playing with puppies, and getting down on the dance floor, it doesn’t get better. Check out our calendar and join us at one of our social events, on the bike trial this summer, or at the Miramar lodge next season. You won’t regret it.

2016 Went Out with a Bang!

2016 Went Out with a Bang!

By Amy Sunshine

The third bus trip of the year was uneventful on the way up to Miramar’s lodge in Waitsfield, Vermont, until we were a few miles from the lodge. Turning on to Plunkton Road from Route 100, the bus hit a patch of black ice, fishtailed and ended up striking a rock wall. Everyone was a shocked, but fine. We even arrived at the lodge more or less at the normal time.

It turned out, though, that the door had been banged up enough that our driver Ray couldn’t open it. Members Paul and Rafael were already at the lodge and came out with crowbars to open the door for us. The next morning, Ray dropped the skiers off at Sugarbush and drove down to Stratton to get a new bus.

The new bus took the group to Stowe the next two days, though there were a few hardy folks who preferred to go to Sugarbush. One of those was Dennis, who took a bit of a fall on Spring Fling. He was helped by kind strangers and the ski patrol. It turned out that one of them was our cook’s chimney sweep, and he drove Dennis back to the lodge. Of course, he was invited to stay for cocktail hour.

Riding the Goat

On the slopes, conditions over the weekend rivaled, if not exceeded, the best of last year, and there were some significant skiing breakthroughs. Ruth, Renata, Sandy and guest Ron all skied Goat. It was Ruth’s first time, and she made it down without falling. In fact, the only one to fall was Sandy, who took a spill at the top. Ruth thanked Sandy for all she learned from him.

Earlier in the day, Virginia had made multiple trips down Morningstar with Renata and Sandy and was still glowing over Renata’s praise, “You look good!”

Maureen Cavanaugh made a triumphant return to downhill skiing after her bike accident, and you could not wipe the smile off of her face.

Off of the slopes, New Year’s Eve was also the last night of Chanukkah. Sharon brought her family menorah and had a bunch of the goys light the candles as the Jews sang the prayers and explained the meaning of the holiday, which turned into a debate that lasted well into the night.

Colleen Curry and Susan Weintraub were the before dinner bartenders and made excellent prosecco cocktails that were heartily enjoyed by all. Yours truly also donated a bottle of French absinthe to the bar, which many enjoyed that night, but not so much in the morning.

It being Miramar, there was an intense game of Left-Right-Center. In the end, it came down to Sandy and Liz. Liz prevailed.  She’d explained the game to everyone, but she swears she didn’t load the dice.

We were also treated to the unveiling of Robin’s commissioned painting of the back side of Sugarbush as seen from Bristol. The way the painter captured the Vermont light is truly amazing.

I’d like to add a personal thank you to Ray: You drive us up every weekend, often in awful conditions. This is the first time anything has happened. I don’t know that I trust you with my virtue, but I most definitely trust you with my life.