Climbing Mount Mansfield

On Friday 2 August, I set out on a long-anticipated trip to Vermont. Saturday was the App Gap Challenge, a 7.2 kilometer roller ski race heading west on Vermont Route 17, past Mad River Glen to, you guessed it, Appalachian Gap. Sunday, I planned to climb Mount Mansfield.

Notch view Mount Mansfield trail

For many years my wife and I had gone in on a February house share in Waitsfield. The group that organized it gradually drifted apart. Age, work, kids, you get the idea. Two years ago, I’d raced App Gap, but immediately following the race, I had to get our daughter to sleep away camp in Massachusetts. This would be my first opportunity to hang out in this part of the world in a long time.

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Upper Body Workout for Skiing

In addition to leg strength, you need upper body strength to get down the mountain. Developing your upper half will help you master your turns, dodge trees and other skiers, and reduce the risk of injuries — shoulders, back, arms — that result from falling. This piece goes through a simple upper body workout for skiing.

A wise man once said: “You’ll look a whole lot better coming down the slopes if your arms aren’t flailing and your skis aren’t controlling you.”

And for cross-country skiers, upper body strength is calculated to be half of what gets you up a hill.

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Lyon Mountain Hike

During my hike up Lyon Mountain, I felt like I could almost touch the sky.

Whether it was the open feel of the forest — not as thick as the woods of the High Peaks — or the intense sunshine shafting down to light the trail, I don’t know. I could stand on my tiptoes, reach out, and it was there.

Lyon Mountain fire tower
Lyon Mountain fire tower

I chose Lyon for two reasons. On Saturday night, I went to the Executive Disorder concert for the release of their new record, Forever War. (If you like thrash metal, you need to own this record.) I was staying near Plattsburgh instead of Lake Placid, and I was determined to find something I hadn’t hiked before. Lyon stands alone in that part of the northern Adirondacks.

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