Groomer

Colette Foster takes delivery of Stowe Nordic’s new groomer from Doug Wilson.

The ski conditions on the Stowe Recreation Path should see a big improvement in the new year thanks to Stowe Nordic’s recent purchase of a groomer.

The Stowe Nordic ski club, which grooms the recreation path, is a membership-based organization whose purpose is to promote the passion and pursuit of cross-country skiing as a lifetime winter sport in Stowe and surrounding communities.

To that end, the club just purchased a new Tidd-Tech 4-foot groomer. Why just 4-foot wide? Because that is how wide the bridges are.

Powder snow is the easiest to ski and groom, but everyone knows that for real world conditions there is low snow, old snow, deep snow and ice. For all those conditions the new groomer will be able to: provide a better set of tracks for classic skiing and a more consistent level area for skate skiing, as well as snowshoeing or walking; break up frozen granular, aka ice; to ease the workload of the human groomer.

Stowe Nordic’s head groomer is Colette Foster and she has 12 years of experience. Her philosophy toward grooming is to stay in the moment, stop to watch the horses, wave to sleigh riders and appreciate the simple beauty of good snow groomed perfectly. When not grooming, she is on the math faculty at Northern Vermont University in Johnson, skis — both cross country and alpine — and plays hockey with the Stowe women.

The club’s goal in grooming the rec path is to provide a place in the community where people can ski on flat terrain, whether as an introduction to the sport or for those wanting a quick and easy outing. Grooming occurs as needed, which is usually two to three times a week or after any significant snowfall. Check stowenordic.org/ski-conditions for grooming updates.

The groomed rec path adds to Stowe’s cross-country centers at Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe Mountain Resort and Edson Hill that all offer beneficial amenities like rental equipment, professional instruction, daily grooming, extensive trail networks and a warm spot to gather. The iconic Catamount Trail, which runs from Massachusetts to Canada, shares a section of the rec path and there are kilometers of backcountry skiing beyond to be explored. (Check out stowenordic.org/ski.)

As a multi-use path, Stowe Nordic reminds walkers to walk on the smooth groomed snow and not on the grooved tracks.

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