by Jack and Andy
(email readers… remember to click through to the web version to see all the photos!)
[Jack] An early morning brought new challenges and new delights to be found for this crew of 13 skiers who chose to brave the rather mellow elements as well as a lack of sleep in order to find snow in the hills and hallows of Northern Vermont. With the same van and several new members of the JNT, we set off to meet destiny out on the trails.
From a 7:30 start, the roads were clear and the sun shone brightly onto the rolling landscape as a vehicle filled with gear became stuffed with chatter. New members conversed with old, and bonds of friendship formed over cresting hills and taking corners. This is where we were meant to be: sailing again on familiar stretches of pavement, looking for snow, and finding new topics while on new travels. This was the JNT at its finest.
Finally, with our trusty coach Dennis guiding Gertruuude, we made it to the large lodge of Craftsbury and the excited chatter of many skiers happy to be back on snow with a race not far in the future. After setting up shop, we grabbed skate skis, took a deep breath, and pushed off onto the beautiful white carpet. It was glorious, every moment of it. From the familiar points of balance to the new feeling of longer skis, from the rush of the downhill to the aches after sprinting up, it was almost as if nothing had changed, that summer had never come.
[Andy] After an invigorating skate ski we began the process of klistering our classic skis. We heated the sticky substance before smearing it with our thumbs along our skis. Then we began our next adventure with first classic ski of the year. As we began to ski around the tiny loop that Craftsbury had made, we began to feel the joy that was classic skiing. Feeling the snow under our skis was one of the most refreshing feelings we had ever felt. The rush of the downhill and the burn of the climb; we felt a new energy in the group.
[Jack] After the brief soirée on the snow, we returned to pack up the gear and have some lunch as the van made its way South. The van was filled once more with noise as jokes were told, games were played, and dares were taken. And at that, we leave our tale as the van still continues to sail along rivers and valleys at the time of this writing.
Thanks to Emily for driving gear and taking the pics!