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A Ski Tour At The Legendary Resort Winds Up With Craft Beer.

Northern VT mountain-scape on the way to the Slayton Pasture Cabin. Credit: Tamsin Venn

One of our favorite things to do at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT, is to ski up to Slayton Pasture Cabin, a three-mile steady climb.

The rewards are a screaming yippee-inducing downhill and a cozy cabin with a roaring fire, friendly fellow skiers, and hot chocolate, soup, and sandwiches.

The pasture is named after the farming family that once owned this hill-top acreage, a corner of the gorgeous 2,600 acres of rolling hills and meadows owned by the Trapp Family Lodge.

On a recent crisp mid-February day with new snowfall, nature presented a perfect Vermont day, sun shining through the trees, and impeccably groomed tracks. Every senior who likes to Nordic ski should do this trip.

Sam von Trapp, scion of the famous singing family, leads the tour up to Slayton Pasture Cabin. Credit: Tamsin Venn

Our guide was Sam von Trapp, son of Johannes, youngest of the singing family’s siblings. Sam exudes enthusiasm—for the trails, his family’s business, land, guests, Nordic guides, and epic ski races. He actually waited for us to catch up, then told entertaining stories while we caught our breath.

It was Johannes armed with a masters’ degree from the Yale Forestry School and, with the aide of a Norwegian XC director from Oslo who cut the lovely rolling loops through the woods and fields, created the first commercial Nordic center in the country in 1968.

We reached the cabin via Yerrick’s Yodel to the newly named Hissy Fit trail to Chris’ Run. The sign that marks the half way point to the cabin has been removed for motivational reasons. The official record time from the Outdoor Center to the cabin is 17 minutes 11 seconds, according to von Trapp.

On the way down, follow Haul Road, Chute Bypass, Triple Bypass, cross Luce Hill Road, to Luce Trail, to Lager Lane, and you have arrived. At the Bierhall!

Here the spacious setting offers Austrian fare for lunch and dinner. Dishes like the chicken schnitzel and the Johannesburger, made from the Trapps’ own grass-fed beef await. We sampled the new Berliner Weissbier “test batch,” just out of the brewery. It’s going to market later this month.

Sam and Johannes at the brewery. Beer and XC skiing make a natural combo. Credit: Tamsin Venn

Ever the visionary, Johannes started the brewery in 2010, when the craft beer movement was gaining froth. The goal was to brew crisp, clean craft lagers like the ones the family tasted on trips back to Austria. First opened in a retro-fitted bakery on the property, the brand new 36,000-square-foot brewery that you see today followed, so positive was the response.

A shuttle will take you back to the Outdoor Center. Just ask the host at the Bierhall to request the ride. If you still have some energy left snowshoe the red trail up to the Stone Chapel that Werner von Trapp built. Snowshoeing is increasingly popular here with dedicated trails, another favorite thing.

The facts: 100 km of XC, snowshoe, and backcountry trails on more than 2,500 acres. 36 miles are groomed,

Passes: Senior day $20. Senior Ski Season (65 plus) $185. Senior couples $300.

If you energy to spare, snow shoe over to the Stone Chapel, built by Werner von Trapp. Credit: Tamsin Venn

 

 

 

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