Almost Spring in the Northeast Kingdom

DSCF7880_1WSpring is on the move in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, in this case in Albany and on the ski/bike trails at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. You be the judge about the wind turbines.DSCF7974_2WDSCF7782_1WDSCF7814_1W

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Posted in mountain biking, Northeast Kingdom, Spring, Vermont

April in VT

DSCF7611_1WThe April you want is not always the April you get. Especially in this state. From my favorite viewpoint on the North Branch of the Winooski River, Montpelier, VT.DSCF7606_2WDSCF7621_1W

 

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Posted in April, Snow, Spring, Vermont

New Haven Ledges Race

New Haven River Race, VTNew Haven River Race, VTIt was warm and sunny for the annual whitewater race on the New Haven River in Bristol, VT, yesterday. Because it was such a low-snow winter, the river was lower and rockier than usual but the turnout was higher for the event, which is run by the Vermont Paddlers Club. Click here for a gallery/slideshow.New Haven River Race, VTNew Haven River Race, VT

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Posted in kayaking, rivers, Vermont, whitewater

Evelyn Glennie Makes Music

DSC_6143copyWDame Evelyn Glennie, renowned Scottish percussionist, performed at an open rehearsal at the Barre, VT, Opera House Friday night. Glennie, who has been deaf since the age of 12, is perhaps best known for her performance in the opening ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics and her TED Talk How to Truly Listen (click here). The intimate, informal open rehearsal format allowed for questions from the audience, particularly from the children. Glennie performs in concert with conductor Paul Gambill and strings this afternoon at the Opera House and Monday at the Flynn Center Main Stage in Burlington. Her performances benefit the Community Engagement Lab (click here for more on the concerts and the organization, which works to foster creativity and community involvement in local schools.)DSC_6471copy_1WDSC_6213copy_2WDSC_6404copy_1WDSC_6227copy_1WDSC_6309WDSC_6195copy_2WDSC_6193copyW

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Posted in Uncategorized

Making Skiing by Making Snow

It’s a sad commentary on the weather, but the Craftsbury, VT, Outdoor Center had to continue making skiing out of nothing last week when it held the Super Tour Finals and national distance championship cross-country ski races, virtually all of it without natural (real) snow. They did it with a three-story pile of manmade snow, an excavator, 500 dump-truck loads, big ski groomers and the skilled workers and volunteers who spread the snow nearly two-feet thick along a 3.5-kilometer ribbon of winter winding through the otherwise snowless woods. It not only saved the event, but skiers said the conditions were excellent. Next winter? Who knows?

It takes a lot of energy to make and move the snow, although Craftsbury works to reduce the environmental impact as much as possible, including capturing heat from the big generator that powers the snowmaking equipment and using it to heat its buildings.

These photos show some of what it looked like, some of how Craftsbury did it and a bit of the racing. Click here for a very full gallery from all four days of racing.

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Posted in climate, Craftsbury Outdoor Center, cross country ski racing, Uncategorized, Vermont, Winter

Ski Tour Canada, Finale

dsc_3455copySkiers in a sprint heat on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City.

The color, energy and speed of Ski Tour Canada 2016 East, four days of World Cup cross-country ski racing in Quebec, is over, and the racers, coaches, wax techs and journalists are heading back to their home countries around the ski world.  Click here for a gallery from the Gatineau, Montreal and Quebec Coupe du Monde races.

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Posted in Canada, Coupe du Monde nordique, cross country ski racing, Quebec, World Cup

Quebec, Quebec

 

DSC_4349copyWAWalker, Quebec City. St. Lawrence River in the background below, not completely frozen and with a channel full of bobbing ice and swirling steam. Apparently it’s very unusual for the river to be more or less open in March, another example of how weird this winter has been. Below, the window I had to wedge my shoulders into to get the picture.

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Posted in Canada, Quebec, Winter

Ski Tour Canada #1

DSC_1924copyWsmA ski skater glides on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec while a freighter passes below on the icy St. Lawrence River.

The best nordic skiers in the world are in Canada for Ski Tour Canada, a week of World Cup cross country ski racing. Two Americans made history on day one when Simi Hamilton (Colorado) and Jessie Diggins (Minnesota), celebrating below, both finished third in the sprint in Gatineau, Quebec. Day two was a distance race in Montreal and today is a sprint in Quebec City. Will post a gallery when the eastern portion of the tour is over. More images on my Facebook page.DSC_0089copyWsmD7K_2158copyWsmDSC_2226copyWDSC_2254copyWDSC_5142copyW

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Posted in Canada, cross country ski racing, Winter

UVM Winter Carnival, Eastern Cup, Super Tour 2016

DSC_3674copyW**There’s still almost no snow in northern New England but the combined University of Vermont Winter Carnival collegiate, Eastern Cup and Super Tour races went off at Craftsbury Outdoor Center over the weekend, where they were moved after the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe lost its snow in last week’s rain. Competition was held on one of the few remaining snowy spots in northern Vermont, most of it on manmade snow. Snow has become precious enough (and reused enough) this winter that you have to wipe the dirt off your feet before entering (see photo below). For a gallery/slide show, click here. dsc_5068copyW* dsc_1994copy_1W*d7k_4027copyW*d7k_4152W*

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Posted in cross country ski racing, Vermont, Winter

Reflections on Water

DSCF5994copy_1WParkersburg, WVA, June, 2014

We tend to take clean water for granted, but — in case you missed it — read the NYT story at the link here. It takes place in and around Parkersburg. Below, reflections in the North Branch of the Winooski River, Montpelier, VT, this past December, a month that broke records in Vermont for warm temperatures and lack of snow. Looks like I did something horrible to it in PhotoShop, but I didn’t. Just a reflection in water, turned upside down.

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Posted in reflections, Vermont, water, West Virginia