"Cross-country trains you physically, mentally and spiritually," said Sam Von Trapp of the Trapp Family Lodge.
Some off the most scenic vistas of Green Mountains can be found nestled in the Nordic trails surrounding the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.
"My dad started the first commercial cross-country ski resort in the Americas back here in 1968. It makes me proud that we are still on the cutting edge and people still want to ski here," Von Trapp said.
For more than four decades, cross-country enthusiasts have trekked along these trails.
"I just love the simplicity of it. You put your skis on; you go. There's no lifts. You can go on a trail or you can go off. You can go backcountry," instructor Ryan Kerrigan said.
"It's a really good workout," Nordic skier Isabel Mroczkowski said. "When the rhythm is right and you've got it all together, it's wonderful. It's just a great feeling."
Like their downhill counterparts, cross-country ski areas across the state have struggled with this reluctant winter season. The Trapp Family Lodge is one of handful of Nordic resorts around the state to use snowmaking to supplement the natural snowfall.
"There's no doubt in my mind that without the snowmaking this season would have been a lot different for us," Von Trapp said.
The Trapp Family Lodge has about 60 kilometers of Nordic trails. Snowmaking and grooming efforts have allowed most of them to be open since the start of the new year.
"We put the snow down where we need it in the tough spots and that enables the rest of the network. So we cover 5 percent of our trails and that enables the other 95 percent," Von Trapp said.
After hundreds of days spent on the slopes, it was my first time ever snapping into a pair of touring skis. There were quite a few wobbly moments at first, but enough similarity to downhill skiing to keep me upright.
The Nordic faithful are not shy in explaining the benefits of their style of skiing.
"We used to be downhill skiers and then my daughter went to college. College costs about as much as downhill skiing, so we switched to cross-country and we love it!" Mroczkowski said.
"I like the solitude and the rhythm involved. It is just by nature a little more quiet and a little less competitive," Nordic skier Alyssa Kelly said.
Another group of snow lovers sliding their way toward spring.
"As long as there is snow, I will go!" Kelly said with a laugh.
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