Category Archives: Craftsbury Outdoor Center

Winter Jumps

After a long cloudy day, the sun came out and the kids started jumping off the mini-mountain of manmade snow at the Craftsbury, VT, Outdoor Center last weekend. The guy on the bottom started out facing the other direction and in this series is en route to a 360.

Also posted in cross-country skiing, Vermont, Winter Tagged , , , |

Ski Orienteering World Cup

If cross country ski racing is a niche sport, then ski orienteering is a niche within a niche. It involves racing on cross-country skis and finding your way to a series of checkpoints scattered around the woods on trails you have never seen before, using a map you only receive 15 seconds before the race starts. It means getting around the route as fast as you can and still hitting the checkpoints in the right order. You can ski, run or walk and take any route you want. In the week-long International Orienteering Federation races at Craftsbury, VT, Outdoor Center last week, competitors from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Estonia, Bulgaria, the US and Canada, among other nations, flew down wide XC trails and narrow, bumpy snowshoe paths.  Often they just made their own trails, taking off through the trees. It is impressive to watch a skier speeding downhill while reading a map.  Above, the eventual middle distance winner, Sweden’s Tove Alexandersson. Below, a checkpoint crash, a Swiss racer reading while driving, and a near crash when two racers arrived at a checkpoint at the same time. It was also the world masters championships, so there were older competitors (bottom).  You can see a full gallery by clicking here. Click on a photo and use the arrows to see the images faster than the slide show runs. 

Info on USA and International orienteering is here and here.

And click here for a great video by Donatas Lazauskas.

Also posted in cross country ski racing, International Orienteering Federation, ski o, ski orienteereing Tagged , |

Ski Race Photos at Craftsbury Outdoor Center


If you happen to get to the Craftsbury, VT, Outdoor Center any time this winter, take a look at the photos in the touring center (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, all winter). I have an exhibit of 22 16-x-24-inch color prints from some of the racing coverage I did in 2016 and 2017. The photos range from local racers in New England Nordic Ski Association races at Craftsbury to skiers at the world championships last February and March in Lahti, Finland. I tried to capture the action, color and beauty of gliding on snow as well as the emotional and personal side of the sport. Above, the Canadian Women’s relay team after a strong finish in Lahti. Below, US Paralympic sit-skier Andy Soule prepares for a race; Norway’s Marit Bjorgen celebrates after her team won the women’s world championship relay; and Chris Young of Jay, VT, helps his son, Jack, with pole straps before a NENSA race at Craftsbury.
Click here for more information from the Craftsbury web site.

Also posted in 2017 Lahti World Championships, cross country ski racing, Finland, Vermont

Eastern Cup #1

The New England Nordic Ski Association held its first Eastern Cup of the 2016-17 season at Craftsbury Outdoor Center Saturday and Sunday. Hundreds of skiers from New England and eastern Canada raced, in heavy snow on Saturday, rain and freezing rain on Sunday. If you want to see more, click here for a gallery. (If the gallery slideshow is too slow for you, click on the right arrow to speed things up.)

Also posted in cross country ski racing, Snow, Vermont, Winter

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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Also posted in climate, cross country ski racing, Uncategorized, Vermont, Winter

SuperTour x 2

2015 SuperTour FS Sprint, Craftsbury VT Outdoor Center

The USSA SuperTour and the Dartmouth Winter Carnival brought high-level cross-country ski racing back to Craftsbury Outdoor Center over the weekend. Top, Johnson’s Jennie Bender leads a freestyle (skate) sprint heat Friday. Below, the women’s 10-k started in falling snow on Sunday; Hans Halvorsen of Williams College in the freestyle (skate) sprint Friday; volunteer Carol Van Dyke trying to stay warm; Rebecca Rorabaugh of Alaska Pacific University after winning the 10-k; a Dartmouth skier with the traditional Dartmouth Winter Carnival look. Click here for a full gallery.

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2015 SuperTour FS Sprint, Craftsbury VT Outdoor Center

Also posted in cross country ski racing, Vermont