Ladies Mountain Biking Weekend at Kingdom Trails

Last weekend, my friends Aubrey and Crystal and I took our mountain bikes to Kingdom Trails, the mountain biking mecca of the North East.  Kingdom Trails is a trail system in the North East Kingdom of Vermont, where over 100 miles of groomed trails are dedicated to mountain biking.

image from Garuka Bars

On Friday, we put our bikes on the car and drove up to Kingdom! It was the first time we’d gone mountain biking without the guys.

On Friday we arrived at Burke Mountain Resort and Mountain Bike Park, where the inaugural NEMBA Women’s Mountain Biking Summit was taking place! The Women’s Summit was an organized weekend of mountain biking seminars, clinics and rides for women mtb riders, with five meals included! We checked in, scoped things out and headed out to dinner at Burke Public House in town. After dinner, we stopped at the store for snacks and wine (essentials), and then home to our Air B&B rental. The next morning we drove back to Burke Mountain for breakfast! Instead of staying for the seminar, we decided to head out on the trails. How could we not?

We had a short route planned out so we could be back at Burke for lunch. However, we took a wrong turn and started riding down Tap & Die, a black diamond. I didn’t even notice it was a black, I was having so much fun. The trail was fast and flowy.

Day 1 at Kingdom: 3.8 mi, 411′ elevation gain

After lunch, Aubrey and I were signed up for a Gravity clinic, while Crystal did a group ride at Kingdom. The gravity clinic was at Burke Mountain Bike Park. The clinic consisted of about 8 riders and 2 instructors. Eventually we broke into two groups, so Aubrey and I had our own instructor! She was incredible-she taught us how to ride berms, jumps, and how to ride with proper form on the downhill trails. By the end we rode a black from the top. It was such a great experience! When the clinic was over, we were beat. We waited the patio bar for Crystal to be done with her ride.

We went back to the house to change and shower. Our grand plan was to come back to Burke for dinner with the group. However, we decided to stay in and order a pizza. It just seemed like more fun! The next morning it was raining, so we packed up, went to breakfast at a diner (we missed the breakfast at Burke!), and it cleared up just in time to ride the trails at Kingdom.

During our ride, I conquered a fear–I rode a skinny bridge. Well, it wasn’t that skinny-but in the past I would ride around it.

We also rode a double black–Side Winder. It’s one of the most popular trails at Kingdom. For good reason.

I made it through the first half of the trail. If you don’t keep up speed, you can’t ride the trail, so I made the mistake of stopping on top of one of the big turns. It was still fun though!

We stopped for lunch at The Hub Trailside, a little bike shop and restaurant right off the trail. After our break, we rode about a mile and a half back to the car, packed up, stopped at the bike shop in town, and then headed home. It was really great to spend a weekend mountain biking with the girls. We love riding with the guys, but it was nice to not have to worry about keeping up with them. We felt free to do our own thing and ride what we wanted–less pressure! We had so much fun we decided to make it an annual event!

Day 2 – 11.7 miles, 1,134′ elevation gain

The NEMBA summit was a great idea in theory–to bring women together within the mtb community, however it was very disorganized! We also didn’t feel like sitting around in seminars, so we just did our own thing most of the time. But I think the Gravity clinic made the whole event worth it.

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Snowy Mountain Firetower – 8.6.17

On Sunday, Jordan had the day off, so he and I went hiking with my friend Skyler. I managed to convince him to hike a firetower that had been on my list for ages, Snowy Mountain. Located in Indian Lake, about a 2 hour drive North from us, it was labeled as one of the more challenging firetower hikes. This was perfect since we wanted to hike something challenging that wouldn’t take 10 hours. We got to the trailhead on the later side, around 11:15, and started hiking at 11:30.

The trail starts out very flat and continues along the Beaver Brook, making it an enjoyable hike. After about 2.5 miles the trail starts to climb steeply. It was wet, muddy, and reminiscent of many high peaks that I’ve hiked. Snowy misses the mark as a high peak, as it stands slightly under 4,000 feet of elevation.

The firetower is open, so you have the option to climb to the top for an exquisite view!

We found a nice rocky ledge to have our lunch on not far from the tower.

It had taken 2 hrs and 30 minutes to climb the 4 miles to the top. The last mile is very steep! It had been easier than I was expecting, though.

Snowy Mountain Firetower

Distance 8.1 mi RT
Time 6 hrs, including stops
Ascent 2,182 feet

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Friends Big Slide 46er Finish – 7.23.17

I have not fallen off the face of the Earth. However, many things have happened in the past month since I’ve posted:

-I got a new job as an entry level dietitian (registration eligible!) at a long term care facility!

-I’m studying for the RD exam!

-I stayed at the Johns Brook Lodge and hiked Mount Haystack for the 2nd time on the Fourth of July

-I went to Norway for a 10 days (!)

-I hiked Algonquin for the 2nd time

-I hiked with 2 good friends for their 46er finish on Big Slide!

We had a beautiful day in the high peaks for my friends’ Jenna and Marget’s 46ers finish. Big Slide is such an awesome peak to finish on! It was my third time climbing it. We snagged the last spot in the Garden (luckily!) and started climbing!

There are such great views of the Great Range from the Brothers.

Woohoo! So proud!

Welcome to the club, Jenna and Margaret! From 46r #10007. 😀

Big Slide
Distance 7.7 mi RT
Ascent 3,087 ft
Total time 6 hrs, including stops

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Madera Outdoor Brand Ambassador

A few weeks ago I was chosen to be a Brand Ambassador for Madera Outdoor. You may have seen their colorful hammocks popping up over the internet!

Whenever a hammock is purchased, Madera, along with Trees.org, plant trees in Sengal, Camaroon, Cambodia, Tanzania,  & Uganda. Because hammocks need trees, two trees are planted whenever someone buys a Madera hammock. How cool is that?

I have the Azul hammock and I cannot wait to go camping so I can try it out!

The bag comes with a small stuff sack, which makes it perfect for backpacking.

Interested in your own Madera hammock? Use code JMAS40 for 40% of your order!

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Sawteeth and Indian Head – 6.24.17

Yesterday Skyler and I wanted to hike something big. Originally we were going to hike part of the Dix Range, but with some rain the AM forecast, I didn’t want to hike up the Macomb Slide, so we changed our plan to Sawteeth from the Ausable Club. I first hiked Sawteeth back in December 2013 with Jona, so it had been a while since I’ve been on this high peak. We pulled into the lot a little before 7am and were on Lake Road by 7:15AM. It was drizzling the entire walk in, thankfully we both had our rain gear!

As soon as we hit the bridge at Ausable Lake, the rain stopped and the sky began to clear. We hiked up the trail to Gothics/Sawteeth until reaching the junction at 9:50AM.

30 minutes later, we were at the summit! I forgot how steep this trail was!

There are nice views of the Great Range from Sawteeth. It turned out to be such a lovely day!

The hike out went by fast. We were back at lake road by 1pm and decided to hike to Indian Head on the way out. The views up here are spectacular! We got to Indian Head at 1:30, staying up there for about 20 minutes to have a snack and rest our legs.

I never get sick of this view.

Going down back to the road took a little under 30 minutes. Now we just had a four mile road walk and our feet were finally feeling the mileage. We got back to the car a little after 3:30pm where a cold beer awaited. It was another great day in the mountains.

Sawteeth and Indian Head
Distance 15.2 mi RT
Time 8 hrs, 45 minutes including stops
Ascent 3,868′

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