Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Skiing is Believing

      Night time temps are approaching 0 degrees-ideal if you are a resort owner.  Your man made snow can be added to all night long.  A bit of snow fell overnight around the basin, maybe 6"-8" total.  This is enough to paint the slopes white for the coming holiday.  This past Sunday, the NY TImes devoted its Travel Section to those ski resorts often overlooked by outdoorsmen.  Let's look.
     Northern Michigan?  You must be kidding.  NO, people ski there.  Actually, lots of folks go to northern Michigan just to ski.  Boyne Highlands is the name of one resort with powder snow and good access.   This area is also called "the Up North".  Another nearby resort is located at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, about 30 miles south of Traverse City.   There are 58 runs here and 29 are lit for night skiing.   Hmmm.  Would you?
      Another sleeper is the Green Mountain area of Vermont.  THe US Forest Service has designated the area as a locale for backcountry skiing.   Making trail is the byword here and many entusiasts embrace the opportunity to make a fresh trail in the wilderness setting.  The trails are well planned by the USFS and the layout is easily followed.   Nearby state New Hampshire has its own version of backcountry skiing at Granite Mountain.  An advantage in New Hampshire are high mountains in the Presidential Mountains.  However, they are not accompanied by trail networks as those in Vermont.
     Say you would like some off season skiing.  Let's go down south, waaaaay down south.  Patagonia, that remote region of southern Argentina once noted for its sheep and gauchos.   The area is now more accessible than ever, with flights from Buenos Aries to the Andes Mountains via San Martin de los Andes and Bariloche to the south.   Nearby San Martin is the resort town of Chapelco, 11 miles from the town.  Here one can enjoy skiing among the trees on well groomed trails.
     One great spot in the US is often forgotten by skiers, thinking that Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a summer esort(good for fishing and hiking.  But it also has a great winter season with Rocky Mountain powder and lots of it.   There's quite a bit of action focused in the 'hood, much of it centered on watering holes for after ski.
     Check out the entire Sunday Travel Section(nytimes/travel.com).

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