It’s hard to believe that winter officially started yesterday. The studded snow tires were put on my Subaru weeks ago, and my yard in Burlington has already been covered in a foot of snow. But that’s the reality of living in Vermont. By the time the solstice rolls around, winter feels well underway.
Not that I’m complaining. I love this time of year when the mountains and valleys are blanketed in fresh snow. Seeing snow-covered ski trails in December at Stratton, Sugarbush, Bromley, Okemo, and Stowe is always a thrill, too. It’s easy to feel drawn to those mountains whenever they’re in sight, as if you’re missing something truly great.
Still, even as a (mostly) lifelong skier, I’m also drawn to the Vermont mountains without ski trails – especially Mount Equinox, Camels Hump, Mount Abraham, Dorset Peak, and Mount Hor.
In the winter, those quiet peaks take a backseat to the mountain resorts. But they’re just as beautiful. The snow highlights contours, cliffs, ridgelines, and boulders you wouldn’t necessarily notice any other time of year.
While driving on Route 7 yesterday, I had to concentrate to keep my eyes on the road rather than study the jagged rocks of a random mountainside somewhere near Wallingford. It felt as if I was seeing the hidden parts of the mountain exposed for the very first time, and all I wanted to do was strap on my snowshoes and head into the woods.
Hello, winter. It’s good to have you back.