In a winter you get a handful of skis that make your mind, heart and muscles align into a beautiful dance.  Often these days are the result of excellent conditions and sharing your passion with a group of people who feel the same way about the adventure you are taking.  Yesterday was such a day.

Our rather unusual winter of 2012 has presented us with spring-like crust cruising in the month of January — not what we’ve come to expect, but something we might need to come to enjoy.

Our favorite Forrest Service road set up over the past few days to provide a surface as hard as pavement, yet as slippery as ice and when your skis glide on this medium you can’t help but smile.

Newer skiers can learn a lot from skiing on fast snow.  Here, Gracie Baker, from New Jersey gets her first taste of skiing on natures finest.  Just glide and step your way up the hill, cause what goes up must come down.

Isabelle Jamieson rowing on her poles and making it look fun.

This one is pretty special,  Anna Jamieson, poses with a smile as we stop for a water break.  Just behind, a good old friend and one of America’s best skiers, Jesse Gallagher, looks on — refinding the joys of striding and gliding in the woods of Vermont.  “Beechnuts, balsams, and moose tracks.”

Devlin got a chance to check out the Rainbow Field in rare condition during his warmup for intervals.  The Breadloaf Wilderness looms behind with a sky that promises more wintery goodness is on its way.

Our group gathers for some water and an M&M feed.
Added bonus points if you can nail the ski-tip-flick-to-mouth-catch!  Rob Williams, BKL Coach, and parent officiates the doling out of the goods!

These moments are great to share with new friends, Vermont, NJ, maybe your old dog JJ!

Somebody is excited to be out in the woods with fast snow and good friends.  Hip, hip, hooray for the Mad River BKL.

“So… when do we get to go downhill?”  After an hour or so hanging on the poles starts to feel a little better.

Snow inspection is an important part of loving the sport of cross-country skiing.  “What makes this stuff so cool?”

“Okay guys, its time to get going again.”  Every time the group seemed to need a break they got a boost of energy and before you know it they were out of sight and around the next bend.

New duds from NENSA.  Making the New England Bill Koch crowd well equipped and looking sharp for winters to come.

Watch Out!  The academy kids are coming through on their workout for the day.  Today it’s the mid season fav — 4×4 minutes at race pace.  Nothing like hammering on fast snow — go Dev and Ryley.

Shucks.

Double Shucks.

Shucks with flair.

“Is this thing on? Cause this is sweet!”

Mr. Dethier leading a telemark lesson.  It’s contagious out on the skis, on the upper reaches of the trail a thin layer of cream cheese graced the crust making edging and turning oh so fun.

A natural teacher.  On to film class.

Oh yeah, and technique just comes naturally after a few hours.  Hang on the pole, push the knee forward — and voila we’re off and running!

Kaitlin got in on the interval action too.  

Mr. Mascot or Mr. T?  Always a good time with Theron Williams!

Sweet! Now we get to go down.  After climbing for several miles of rolling terrain the way back down feels oh so good. Earn you miles and enjoy the ride.

Kate Willaims.   The Director of all things Mad River BKL.  
Jeremy (best workout of the day), Sally, and Silas (biggest smile of the day, even though you can’t see it cause I’m hiding in my polk under a sheepskin blanket) Gulley made the trek!

JJ Jamieson is eyeing up the long road home and wishing his paws had a little bit more P-tex.

Nice applied pressure there Anneka!

And the release of the glide.  Gracie getting a little V2 alternate going.

Heading home under the afternoon light, out of the woods and back to the comforts of home and the “food bags” in the van.  Sunday was one to remember and hopefully the start of many more long skis for this group of young skiers.

Special thanks to all for coming — if you missed this ski and it looks like fun to you — get in touch and join us for our next adventure.  You never know what tomorrow will bring.  If it’s like today it will hold a bit more snow.  If your winters has you down, you should come visit the East Side of the Greens.  The mountain’s shadow always has something to share.

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