The 2018 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, the innkeeper shuttles 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 on Monday night – check out Robert Frost’s snowshoes hanging above the fireplace in the taproom. After breakfast Tuesday morning, the innkeeper will help you shuttle your car to Blueberry Hill, and then uses his car to drop you off at Chatfield at Bread Loaf (or Widow’s Clearing if you prefer a shorter distance). From the trailhead you’ve chosen, you will ski the Catamount Trail to the door of Blueberry Hill Inn, where you’ll again spend a fine evening around a relaxed farm-to-table bistro dinner [8 miles for the day]. Wednesday, 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 on to another memorable dinner and comfortable overnight, this time at Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden. The third backcountry day (Thursday) is spent on the ungroomed portions of the Mountain Top touring system which overlap the Catamount Trail east of the reservoir, and/or the groomed portions surrounding the inn. (We no longer use the challenging Puss and Kill segment of the Catamount which required a long pre-breakfast car shuttle, required climbing skins, and offered no bail out opportunity). On the three-night package, the tour ends after skiing Mountain Top on Thursday. On the four-night package, drive on to settle in for dinner and a deserved rest at wonderful October Country Inn, and end your tour after breakfast on Friday with optional skiing by day pass at a proximate touring center (either Mountain Meadows in Mendon or Mount Tom / Mt Peg in Woodstock) before departure if your schedule allows.
The Wild Cat includes relaxed 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; 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 using them for any part of your tour.
The Wild Cat is offered in January and February only, and only as a Monday through Thursday or Monday through Friday tour.
Cost for Winter 2018:
4 NIGHTS (arrive Monday; depart Friday): $995 per person double occupancy / $1990 per couple / $1295 per person single occupancy (private room) or
3 NIGHT PACKAGE (arrive Monday; depart Thursday): $795 per person double occupancy / $1590 per couple / $1020 per person single occupancy (private room)