MOUNTAIN LIFE - Ontario | Winter 2016 - page 40

Aswehikebackout to themaingondola
along thehushed, snowed-in road, forested
slopes risingsteeplyoneither side, it feels
likeaperfectly remoteeasternNorthAmerican
Our next stop is Stowe Mountain Resort, about an hour and a half
north on Highway 89. With the same base-heavy but powder-light
conditions, we head straight off Bypass and into the well-spaced Nose
Dive glades, which are not quite skied out, and then hike over to
skier’s left of Chin Cup. Here, after cautiously funnelling through some
nasty chutes and cliff bands, we find pristine and deep glades of silver
birch and hemlock that eventually lead us down to Smugglers’ Notch
Pass, a mountain road (closed in winter) cut betweenMount Mansfield
and Spruce Peak. (The equally epic Smugglers’ Notch Resort is just
a fewmiles up this road.) As we hike back out to the main gondola
along this hushed, snowed-in road, forested slopes rising steeply on
either side, it feels like a perfectly remote eastern NorthAmerican
mountain experience. But 20minutes later, we’re back in the epicentre
of Gondola Base, ready to do it all over again.
We stay in Stowe Mountain Lodge, spitting distance from the Over
Easy Transfer Gondola. This calibre of ski-in-ski-out accommodation is
scarcely to be believed, and every member of our group has his own
palatial room. We feel like crown princes in the centre of a benevolent
civilization dedicated to snowsports. We never want to leave.
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