Maine Woods group adding to the family
The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Maine Woods lodge-to-lodge ski trail network is growing, with Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins set to open Jan. 27 in the Moosehead Lakes region.
The off-the-grid solar-powered lodge that was once a Maine sporting camp built in 1867 sits on Long Pond in the 100-Mile Wilderness and becomes the fourth AMC lodge along a rolling network of groomed but untracked trails through the forest and by lakes and mountains.
“At Gorman Chairback there is the lodge-to-lodge ski trail but there is also a stacked loop trail system where you can ski and snowshoe to get out and explore,’’ said AMC spokesman Rob Burbank.
Burbank said there’s a mixture of routes, with some on existing roads that had been used for logging and others on newly cut trails. Located in about 66,000 acres of conservation land outside Greenville, there are approximately 70 miles of hiking trails and skiing routes.
Skiers can trek among the remote full-service backcountry lodges: Medawisla, West Branch Pond Camps, Little Lyford, and now Gorman Chairback. The four-lodge ski is approximately 37 miles long, but could be as long as 43 miles depending on the route. There is more information at www.outdoors.org.
Options include having gear shuttled from lodge-to-lodge and traveling among the camps by dogsled. The area is popular with mushers and hosts the 100-Mile Wilderness Sled Dog Race Feb. 5.
“We feel that is significant since we’re helping to keep the Maine sporting camp tradition alive and protecting public access to a wonderful piece of the Maine Woods,’’ said Burbank.
Jacobellis milestone Lindsey Jacobellis of Stratton, Vt., won her third World Snowboard Championship gold medal in snowboardcross Tuesday in La Molina, Spain. The victory ties her with the late Karine Ruby of France for the most World Championship wins.
“It’s definitely a great accomplishment to be marked there with Karine,’’ Jacobellis said. “She was definitely someone known in the sport of snowboarding, so it’s good to give her that recognition as well.’’
Maine’s Seth Wescott rode to silver on the men’s side, followed by US teammate Nate Holland. Australian Alex Pullin was the victor. Jonathan Cheever of Saugus finished a respectable eighth. For the fourth time the US won half of the snowboardcross medals at the championships.
Yesterday, Austria’s Benjamin Karl and Russia’s Alena Zavarzina were awarded the parallel giant slalom crowns. The halfpipe finals are today.
Scholarships available Seven snowboarders will receive a total of $11,500 in scholarship funds from the Kelly Clark Foundation to attend mountain schools in pursuit of a snowboarding career.
“Our goal is to break down some of the financial barriers in the expensive sport of snowboarding,’’ said Clark.
Beneficiaries attend Okemo Mountain School, Stratton Mountain School, Mount Snow Academy, Carrabassett Valley Academy, and Steamboat Ski and Snowboard School. Information is available at www.kellyclarkfoundation.org.
The way to go? Southern New Hampshire’s Pats Peak has Saturday bus service from Boston to the Henniker ski area.
There are morning and afternoon options to the ski hill, which has night skiing.
The morning bus picks up between 6:30 and 7:30 from Braintree’s South Shore Plaza, Commonwealth Avenue’s Warren Towers, and the Ruggles T Station Roundabout.
The afternoon bus departs from the same locations between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Buses leave Pats Peak at 4:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Cost including lift ticket is $59 (www.patspeak.com).
Pair one of a kind Trapp Family Lodge hosts a pair of unique Nordic races in Vermont this weekend, with a discounted entry for skiers who participate in both events. The XCriterium Freestyle Saturday will feature men’s and women’s heats that will last approximately 40 minutes each, with two internal sprints announced by a bell at 20 minutes and 30 minutes into the race. Laps will be approximately 1.2 kilometers, and racers will be pulled from the course if they are lapped by the field. Sunday’s 3-mile race to local landmark Slayton Pasture Cabin will be followed by a barbecue. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and each day’s race goes off at 10 a.m. It’s $35 to enter individual races or $50 for both.
Try your luck It’s quite possibly the country’s only snow sports championship that could be won by racers with very little experience in the discipline, and the Jan. 28 deadline is looming for the 2011 National Toboggan Championships at Camden Snow Bowl in Maine. The Feb. 11-13 competition at Maine’s only toboggan run will feature teams from 2-4 people competing in contests of both speed and creativity, and past events have lured overflow crowds. Register at www.camdensnowbowl.com.
Positively primitive Wood-frame snowshoes and muzzle-loaded muskets will be blazing at the Smugglers’ Notch Primitive Biathlon Jan. 29-30 at Sterling Ridge Inn in Jeffersonville, Vt.
In a throwback test of back-country athletics, racers (some dressed in historic garb) combine trail racing and target shooting over a 2-mile wooded course using old-fashioned equipment and firearms.
Newcomers are invited to participate or watch. Go to www.primitivebiathlon.com for details.
Eating this up An uphill/downhill evening ski tour combined with a social dinner will be a new addition to this year’s Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race, a weekend-long benefit at Cranmore Mountain Resort for New England Ski Museum. The inaugural Nachtspektakel (“night spectacle’’) March 11 begins with a 5 p.m. un-timed climb to the summit using Alpine touring or telemark gear. After skiing back down to the base, participants will be greeted with a Tyrolean dinner buffet. Cost is $75, and entrants must have their own skis, skins, and headlamp.
Runs through ‘River’ Sunday River has “Go50’’ midweek specials and programs this Monday-Friday aimed at skiers over 50 . . . At Whaleback this Tuesday, seniors (60 and up) get free afternoon lift tickets . . . If you print a Jiminy Peak e-coupon, you can get a $30 twilight or 8-hour ticket this Monday-Thursday . . . Shawnee Peak has a telemark demo day Jan. 29 . . . Tuesdays and Thursdays in January at Okemo mean half-price skiing for US military veterans, fire, police, and ambulance personnel with ID.