Getting Uphill Is Easier With A Lift Or A Ride. Then Gravity Takes Over.

[Editor Note: XCSkiResorts.com Publisher Roger Lohr provided this article from his publication on where you can get a lift or shuttle ride to cross-country ski.]  

Great Glen Snowcoach shuttle drops skiers at the trail head.
Credit: XCSKiResorts.com

When it comes to cross country (XC) skiing, the theory of what goes up must come down may be going out of style. Nowadays, many people really enjoy the fun of just going downhill on XC skis, but they’d prefer avoiding the need to laboriously trudge uphill to earn that fun. Ski areas that provide lifts and shuttles can help older cross country skiers go further, stay outdoors longer, and save their energy.

Lifts

At Bretton Woods in New Hampshire’s White Mountains there is a $31 High Country lift ticket that gets you up near the summit to the Mountain Road by way of a chair lift, for a seven kilometer ski back down. The trail is easy enough and skiers can ski in the groomed tracks or on the flat skate lane.

New for 2013-14 season: 3-5km Nordic Terrain on Mt. Stickney

The Bretton Woods lift ticket provides one ride on the high speed detachable quad (which slows down upon egress) and unlimited use of a T-bar, just down the trail. The T-bar provides access to upper elevations of Mount Stickney and the Stickney Cabin, which has snacks, beverages and a place to hang out with indoor seating or outside by a stone fireplace. Skiing back to the Mountain Road offers some choices including a groomed trail or skiing through the glades (trees) with options for different levels of difficulty. The Mountain Road is one of the most fun trails to be had on XC skis in New England!

At 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort, WA,  there is a lift-served XC ski trail that is accessed near the top of Chewelah Peak. It descends and winds around the mountain for 12 km. On a clear day one can see all the way to Montana.

Other XC ski trails that are accessed by chair lifts can be found at Giants Ridge ,MN, with a free lift ride when you purchase a trail pass. Boyne Mountain, MI, has the Cold Springs Downhill trail. Royal Gorge, CA, has two surface ski lifts for practicing downhill turns and also having accelerated fun.

Shuttles

At Garnet Hill Lodge, North River, NY, there’s a shuttle ride from the bottom of a long downhill back to the lodge that has been offered since the early eighties. It originated when the lodge owner picked up skiers in his car and was then upgraded to a van and now it’s a mini-bus.  Shuttles are offered daily and three to five times a day on weekends and holidays.

The Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, Gorham, NH, is adjacent to the Mt. Washington Auto Road and offers an uphill ride to achieve “treeline status” in the SnowCoach, a tracked van. The comfortable heated tour takes folks to the 4,000 foot elevation up Mount Washington where the views are breathtaking. Intermediate and advanced skiers can handle skiing down this road, a thrilling four mile decent back to the base lodge. There are various price options for the SnowCoach.

Craftsbury Outdoor Center, VT, has a free shuttle on the weekends that delivers skiers to the Highland Lodge for a 20 km return trek. There’s a net drop of about 300 meters on the groomed trail, which traverses hill top pastures, farmsteads, and quaint Vermont villages. A shorter five km shuttled ride brings skiers back to the lodge from Craftsbury Village at the general store and deli.

At Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky, MT, there’s the Upper Trail Shuttle that takes you a couple of miles away from the facility and leaves you with a mostly downhill ski back to the lodge for about 10 km.

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