Late Thursday night, my friend Anthony Heary messaged me on Facebook that he wanted to drive up from Massachusetts to ski Burke Mountain the next morning. Just like myself, Anthony started skiing a year ago and for his second day (and my third day) of skiing, he came up to session Burke with me last January. That day, as beginners, we conquered the Dippers, Warrens Way, the Whilloughbys and Jester.
Needless to say, I was really excited to ski with him again at Burke and take him to my favorite trails and glades. I was also hoping to hit some glades that I haven’t had a chance to ski yet by myself. Anthony had purchased the Champlain Valley Ski and Ride Card that I used last season. Burke is one of the mountains on it, and that is why he decided to make his way up on his day off.
A Glades and Natural Terrain Kind of Day
We met up at the base lodge at 9am to begin our day. We decided we would mostly ski glades and natural terrain today. For our first run we hit Upper Powerline, to Wilderness, to Powderhorn and then made our way into the Caveman Glades, which I had yet to ski this season. The amount of snow in the glades was unreal and Anthony did have some minor issues with getting stuck in powder on his all mountain skis. However, I was amazed at how good he has gotten in the past year, he was just ripping through the trees.
I Almost Ran Over a Squirrel!!!
Our next run took us to The Shoot, where I had a very close call with a squirrel. It ran out in front of me and I thought I hit it, but after reviewing the footage, I am happy to say I didn’t. We took a look at the Scooby Doo Glade, but the way in looked a little sketchy with exposed rocks, so we decided to hold off and check out Y-Knot Glades instead. Again, just like Caveman, they were full of perfect powder, making for super fun turns.
First Time in Dixieland and Revisiting Doug’s Drop
We were having so much fun in the trees, that I knew we had to go to Dixieland next. Dixieland is a double black glade that I have never hit before. It goes down almost the entire length of mountain from Wilderness. These glades had seen a lot less traffic, then the others we had been in, and you could make fresh tracks all over the place. What made this glade a double black is it has some steeper terrain, but the trees are still spaced pretty nicely, so it’s not too gnarly.
Next on the agenda was Lift Line to Doug’s Drop. I hit a dip on lift line that I didn’t see and it boosted me so far that I thought I was toast, but I somehow saved myself last minute. Doug’s Drop is a fun mogul run that really will put a smile on your face.
Another First – Scooby Doo
Back on the top of the mountain, we decided to give Scooby Doo another chance. Again, this is a glade that I’ve never done before and from the entrance it looks a little intense. There were large exposed rocks to get into the entrance of the glade, but you could bypass them by dropping over a water pipe. Once we actually made into the glades, its beauty and immaculate lines blew me away. We had a super fun time in there and it might now be one of my favorites.
At this point our muscles were getting really sore, so we decided we would end our day on Re-Run, which would be Anthony’s first lift run. Every time I take the lift up at Burke, I get really excited about skiing it at some point during the day. It looks much challenging then it really is, but it is so much fun and never disappoints.
Sike! One More Run, Into the Birches (Another First…)
Once at the bottom, we decided to do one more run down Willoughby and then break off at Binney Lane for a mellow wind down run back to the base lodge. Well, that idea quickly changed to hitting The Birches Glades, which I had hit for the first time earlier this week by myself. I can safely say, it was a whole lot more fun to ski with someone else. From Birches we ended up in Wayne’s World Glade and then to the Jester mountain bike trail, all the way back to the base lodge.
What an Awesome Day!
Having Anthony come out and ski with me really made Friday one of the best ski days I’ve had all season. Skiing alone is fun and all, but I really enjoy skiing with someone else, especially in trees. I also really enjoy giving my friends a tour of Burke and showing them all it’s glory. Anthony was blown away by Burke’s terrain and stated, that these were the best glades he ever skied in.
We were supper lucky to be able to ski before the storm and warmer temperatures came in that caused some significant melting on the mountain. In fact the upper mountain was closed all weekend because of wind hold. This weeks forecast, however, looks positive and I expect to be back on the mountain as soon as tomorrow.
- Check out Stoked! Jan’s Ski Blog for more of his skating off-season adventures.
- Visit skiburke.com for more information.
- You can also follow Burke Mountain on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Follow Jan Welch and Anthony Heary on Instagram.
About “Stoked! Jan’s Ski Blog”
I’ve spent my entire life living in cities, where I was able to urban, distance and aggressive skate all year long. In December of 2017 I moved to rural Vermont and found myself in the dead of winter, with snow all around me. Winters in Vermont are long and harsh, making skating nearly impossible 4-5 months out of the year. I live 2.5 hours from the nearest city and an hour from the nearest trails, making skating even in the summer much less frequent then I was used to.
Something needed to supplement my skating during the off season, so I took up skiing on January 2nd of 2019. From the moment I put on skis, I was hooked! Skiing gives me the exact same feeling I get from urban skating. Through skiing I am able to replicate the feel of carving around on city streets and playing on whatever obstacles catch your eye. This blog chronicles my stoke on skiing during my skating off season.
– Jan Eric Welch (Founder of bigwheelblading.com)
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