The 2017 Wild Cat
Our original Vermont skiing vacation is for hale and hardy purists, and will challenge and reward you with spruce and birch forests, mountain brooks, panoramic vistas, beaver ponds, and secluded lakes. The Catamount Trail, which runs the length of Vermont’s Green Mountains, offers the avid skier excellent terrain for a unique inn to inn skiing experience. Our Vermont Wild Cat is self-guided and is suggested for experienced skiers only; novice or intermediate skiers will enjoy the Touring Cat format. Each day on the Wild Cat, skiers enjoy 8 to 13 miles of bracing backcountry skiing, often breaking new trail, always making new memories. On the Wild Cat format, we shuttle your luggage and car ahead with you in the mornings, and you ski either from the door, to the door, or both each day.
The Wild Cat starts with a country gourmet dinner at Chipman Inn the first night – check out Robert Frost’s snowshoes hanging above the fireplace in the taproom. After breakfast the next morning, we’ll shuttle your car to Blueberry Hill and drop you off at Chatfield at Bread Loaf. From there, you will ski the Catamount Trail to the door of Blueberry Hill Inn, where you’ll again spend a fine evening around a centerpiece farm-to-table dinner [8 miles for the day]. The next day, start out the door for a 10 mile ski on a side trail past a hidden mountain lake down to a trailhead from which you’ll drive a short distance to a Vermont in-village classic, The Inn on Park Street, and another memorable dinner. The third backcountry day is the challenging Puss and Kill segment of the Catamount: after a pre-breakfast car shuttle to spot your car at trail’s end, we’ll return you to the inn for breakfast, and then we’ll drop you off at Brandon Gap, from which you’ll make your way to Mountain Top in Chittenden [12.8 miles]. Climbing skins are required for the skiing today, and there is no bail-out opportunity. There is an opportunity to decide that two days in the backcountry were sufficient, and you can instead take a day pass to Mountain Top today. Settle in for dinner and a deserved rest at wonderful Fox Creek Inn or October Country Inn (based on availability), and end your tour after breakfast on the final day with optional skiing by day pass at a proximate touring center before departure if your schedule allows.
The Wild Cat includes three-course dinner at the inn each evening; comfortable private-bath classic country inn accommodations (Queen bed; a limited number of rooms with two beds are available if preferred); a full, served country breakfast; brown-bag skier’s trail lunch to take with you on-trail; a multi-page detailed daily itinerary with trail descriptions, mileposts, and topographic maps; housekeeping and waitstaff gratuities; Vermont meals and rooms tax (9% or 10% depending on the town); and daily assistance with logistics as described to enable a one-way ski each day. Out of pocket expenses are limited to alcohol and equipment rentals if not bringing your own skis; generally we are able to rent metal-edged backcountry skis/boots/poles from Blueberry Hill for the tour, as they will allow the equipment to be taken off-site for the full tour. Do note that no one will rent climbing skins because of the wear and tear, so anticipate bringing your own climbing skins if contemplating the Puss and Kill trail on the third day.
The Wild Cat is offered in January and February only.
Cost for Winter 2017: 4 NIGHTS: $995 per person double occupancy / $1990 per couple or
3 NIGHT PACKAGE: $795 per person double occupancy / $1590 per couple