Foliage Report – Round 2

Pops of color have been showing up all around Stratton lately and we’ve been keeping track. Our “Peak-O-Meter” is yours to use this fall when planning your trip to Stratton Mountain. Check out some of the great pictures people have been snapping around the area! Use the hashtag #StrattonFoliage so we can find your Instagram pictures too.

We heart Andy Newell’s view.

#stratton

A photo posted by ❄️Andy⚡️Newell❄️ (@andynewellskier) on

Clouddweller1 is showing off Vermont’s foliage via hyper-lapse and we’re diggin’ it.

http://instagram.com/p/tgAT8vpHb0/?modal=true/embed

It looks like Brandy may be using some insta-filters but we can’t resist posting.

http://instagram.com/p/tdbragSD34/?modal=true/embed

What a view Ashley’s captured from our new Gondi cabins!?

Stratton Mountain weekend

A photo posted by @ashley.stpeter on

pmd_17 has captured a fire starting in the valley with this snapshot.

#stratton #bromley #vt #fall

A photo posted by Philip DiGennaro (@pmd_17) on

It’s insane how much the early morning sun brings out Stratton’s colors.

http://instagram.com/p/taAhL7L_1a/?modal=true/embed

 

Foliage Report

Pops of color have been showing up all around Stratton lately and we’ve been keeping track. Our “Peak-O-Meter” is yours to use this fall when planning your trip to Stratton Mountain. Check out some of the great pictures people have been snapping around the area! Use the hashtag #StrattonFoliage so we can find your Instagram pictures too.

http://instagram.com/p/tRR__nuuaV/?modal=true/embed

I love fall!!!!!

A photo posted by Debbie Bender (@deb_bie08) on

Slowly but surly fall is coming. #fall #winterisnext @strattonresort

A photo posted by Christian Jurkowski (@christianjurkowski) on

http://instagram.com/p/tN6Qk4gOMO/?modal=true/embed

View from the top of the #firetower at #stratton #mountain. Sunday adventures with @jessemallis

A photo posted by Tara Atkinson (@tara.catherine) on

@jimboslice214 first annual Stratton Oakmont Invitational. #stratton #golf

A photo posted by Joey McNamara (@joey_mac21) on

happy fall! #stratton #vermont #fall #autumn #stilltoomuchgreen

A photo posted by chris acernese (@chrisack_) on

 

 

Haven Retreat

By Laura Munson

We all need a safe Haven.  Somewhere to unplug from our busy lives, find inspiration, know that we’re not alone. I find that Haven in my writing, and have since childhood.  It’s my practice, my prayer, my meditation, my way of life, and sometimes my way to life.  Sometimes I write for myself– to dig deeper into my understanding of this beautiful and heartbreaking thing called life.  Other times I write to help others know they’re not alone, and to hopefully help them in their own process.  So I started Haven.

Haven is a blog, a newsletter, and a retreat.  It’s a place to be vulnerable, honest, supported, and inspired.  It’s a community that you can find here, in your email in-box, or this upcoming fall at Stratton Mountain Vermont.

HAVEN RETREATS:  (Haven Writing Retreats named in the top 5 writing retreats in the US by Open Road Media!)

You do not have to be a writer to come to Haven Stratton.  Just a seeker.  I designed Haven to meet you where you need to be met wherever you are in your life.  It’s a life-changing four day experience in which you: dig deeper into your creative self-expression on the page, become aware of what gets in your way in that self-expression, learn how to break through to your unique voice, get the support and insight from your Haven community, and be re-fueled by the pristine nature of Stratton Vermont… breathe again…

– See more at: http://blog.lauramunson.com/laura-munson-haven-newsletter/#sthash.srtFX47H.dpuf

I wanted to name a child Haven. But when I met my children in the flesh, it never quite felt like the right fit. I’ve always been attracted to the word Haven; the concept; the practice. To me the idea of Haven comes from a knowing that scary things happen. Big brothers lurk under canopy beds and grab your feet—make shadow hands on the wall until you wet your bed. Grandmother caretakers who are from “good, strong Vermont farm stock” fall when your parents are out of town– and you can’t pick them up—and you see what it is to have paramedics in your kitchen for the first time who tell you that everything’s going to be okay.  But you know it’s not. Your best friend’s angel-of-a sister dies of brain cancer when you are six; the last time you see her, she’s bald and you’re afraid of her and you know you shouldn’t be, but you are, and you feel deep dark shame. It doesn’t take long for the average human to understand early on that happiness can turn to heartbreak fast. Things happen. And that’s why your mother cries in church. And why she hugs you extra hard on your way to the bus. And why your father looks so pained by the fact that you’re too heavy to carry up the stairs any more for bedtime. The bigger you get, the scarier life gets. There’s no amount of money or luck or good works that can change that.

But even so, and maybe especially so, we can still create the feeling (never mind illusion) of safety. Of haven.  It can come in a knowing glance from someone you love. Or a familiar smell that radiates from your kitchen most Sundays. Or the feeling of a cool sheet on a hot summer night. I have always slept with at least a sheet over me, even on the most humid nights. I don’t feel safe without it. It’s silly, I know. But I like the feeling of this kind of safety in small things.

I’ve settled upon that belief along the way: safety best comes in the smallest things. Less to lose. More to believe in. I think that’s why so many little girls love Anne Frank. She found safety during horror, hiding in a small space, writing. Yes, she was hiding. But she was also creating. She could control at least that. When I think of all the places in which my friends and I used to seek refuge…it was always a closet, an eave, a secret trap door that lead somewhere—a root cellar, a crawl space. Or a tree house. A play house. Always small, simple places that felt like uncharted territory. We’d put a poster on a wall. Bring in a candle (kids, don’t try this at home). Bring in pillows and blankets. Flashlights and books and magazines. And we’d sit there in uncomfortable positions, practicing refuge. And for most of us, not much had happened yet in the way of scary things.  Still we sought haven.

By the time we become adults, things have happened for sure. No one can escape the “scary” things. No one. So what do we do with that? Hide? Probably not. We have bills to pay, and people who need us to stand there in the kitchen playing short-order-cook with a smile on our face. They look to us for that glimpse that says, everything is going to be okay. And we give it our best shot. Sometimes we pull it off. Sometimes we make dessert instead and that does the trick. Or not.

It occurred to me about ten years ago, after a tri-fecta personal-life sucker-punch to the girl-balls, that life was scary—really scary…and there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it. So I decided to change my relationship with fear. The first thing that went out the window was the notion that there was such a thing as safety in the first place. Ahhhhhh. That was a weight-of-the-world purge that brought with it instant liberation. Because if there was no such thing as safety, then there was no such thing as danger. Tell me more, please, oh wise Yoda.

Rather than waiting for the big brother monster under my bed, I decided instead to claim my life. I didn’t want to be run by fear. I wanted happiness to reign in my self-created kingdom. Joy. Peace. I wanted to understand what Grace was. So I re-trained my mind. When I started to feel that ol’ bastard Fear…I flipped my thoughts into Creation mode. What can I create right now in this moment? What can I be responsible for? What can I claim? It felt a lot like the little girl I once was, bringing pillows into her closet with a flashlight and a good book. I was going to create my own yes, Haven, in my mind. Breath by breath. Heartbeat by heartbeat.  And it worked.

It’s not that I didn’t look down the dark alleys of life any more. Quite the opposite. It was that I didn’t see them as dark. I saw them as chances to find some sort of haven in the midst of the darkness. And the one place I could control that haven, was in the way I thought. I started working with creating that pillow-bedecked closet in my mind. The more pillows and flashlights and cool sheets and good books…the better. I pictured it.  I took solace in it.  I believed in it.  And sooner than later, I found that I could breathe my way into that feeling of haven whether I was on a really bumpy flight over the mountains, or in a hard conversation with a family member, or in a daunting business meeting. I got good at it. Maybe a little addicted to it, in fact. Because it’s absolutely exhilarating to have the opposite emotional reaction to the things that people say and do to you than what society says is the norm. It’s like watching a storm come in hard and fast over the prairie, and get suddenly blown off another direction. And quite when you least expected it…you’re in rainbow weather. That’s what I want.  Rainbow weather.

So I didn’t name a child Haven. I took my new way of looking at the world and created retreats for adults who likely are looking for the same sort of way to process the “scary” bits of life. My way has been through writing and reading and so that is what I’ve created in Haven retreats. If I could build a series of tree houses and pillow forts and call it Haven Retreats, I would. Instead, at Haven, we go to the tree houses and pillow forts of our minds, digging deeper into our creative self-expression on the page, in a nurturing group setting…that helps us know that yes, life is full of challenges. But we don’t have to look at them as scary. We can use those challenges. We can breathe into the groundlessness of them. We can take a weekend to practice this together on retreat. And we can bring Haven home to our daily lives wherever we are…in the safety of our minds and the words we choose to create that sacred space. – See more at: http://blog.lauramunson.com/category/haven-newsletter/#sthash.mFKNf0h7.dpuf

Preparing For 2014-15 Winter Season

By Courtney DiFiore

Imagine beginning your day with a beautiful sunrise over lush green mountains. As you gaze down into the valley, you bite into a locally grown apple. While stretching, you awe at the symphony of fall colors and plan out the rest of your day. Shall you take a swim in the local watering hole, play a few rounds on the links, rally some tennis balls or take a day trip to a nearby brewery? This is autumn in Vermont.

Between all the hikes, bonfires, swimming, biking and so on, there’s still one thing even the longest summer can’t make me forget… winter. Labor Day is celebrated nationwide and is the unofficial mark (for most) that summer is over. This holiday weekend has become a bittersweet time for those in love with the endless days of sunshine and tan lines. I, on the other hand, see Labor Day Weekend as a milestone counting down the days to the first snowfall.

This means there are fewer than 80 days to get ready for the season. While many are thinking about what new gear to buy or where to bring their old digs for a sharpen and wax, I’m concerned about my physical shape. I want to get the most out of my money. When I buy a lift ticket, I plan on lapping the lift until last call. If I’m not prepared, I’ll be the person huddled next to a heater in a base lodge. I don’t want to be huddled there tired, sore and hungry. No one wants to be that guy!

It’s important not to discount the physical beating your body takes when skiing and riding; it’s something to prepare for. Ready or not, Stratton’s chairlifts will start spinning. In an effort to jump start my winter training I’ve made a ‘to-do list’ that to keep me on track.

  1. Complete the 7 Summits Challenge – I’m looking to build my endurance and leg strength so I can go from first chair to Après with ease.
  2. Strengthen my core in the gym – Here’s a circuit I like to do from Men’s Health Magazine:
    seated ab crunchSeated ab crunch
    Sit on a flat bench, gripping the edges. Lean back, extending your legs. Then bend your knees and raise your legs to your chest. Lean your upper body forwards, bringing your chest towards your thighs. Aim for 12 reps.

    mb leg dropMedicine ball leg-drops
    Lie face-up and squeeze a light med ball between your ankles. Start with your legs straight up then lower them without touching the floor. Return to the start position as fast as possible. That’s 1 rep. Do 10-12.

    weighted one side crunchWeighted one-sided crunch
    Lie back, knees bent and feet flat. Hold a dumbbell with both hands by your right shoulder. Curl your torso up and rotate to the left, then lower back down. Perform 8-10 reps on one side, switch and repeat with the dumbbell by your left shoulder.

    cable crunchKneeling cable crunch
    Kneel facing the pulley of a cable machine with a rope attached high. Hold the ends of the rope near sides of face. Crunch three times in total: first aim your chest at your pelvis, then aim at your left knee, then at your right. That’s 1 rep.

    Perform 10

    burpee1 Burpee
    Get into a regular squat-thrust position: arms shoulder-width apart, hands on the floor with your legs tucked up to your chest. This is both your start and finish stance.

    burpee2Kick your legs back to a press-up position and lower yourself for a push-up before jumping back into start position.

    From here, thrust your body upwards, using your legs and core muscles to launch yourself burpee3from the ground.

    Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

  3. Attend two yoga classes a week – I plan on increasing my flexibility as it’s very important.

What are you doing to get ready for the season?

Climber’s Faith

Originally posted on September 2, 2014 by Liz Millikin on her blog Slackcountry Living.

Now here is something worth writing about:

In all sports, you must learn to trust your body. In skiing, you place your trust in the power of your legs, the pressure of your shins against the front of the boot, the angle of your hips. You trust your body to control your speed and propel you forward, to absorb impact and launch you into flight.

But I think… In one sport, it’s less about trust and more about faith. Trust has a logical basis. Faith is at least a little illogical. Faith requires a willful denial of logic. Which sport is this? Climbing.

In climbing, you must have faith that your hand will not slide and that the strength in your fingers is enough to hold steady. You must have faith that your reach will expand that extra inch, that your jump will bring you just a little bit farther than seems possible.

More than anything, you must have faith in your feet. Faith in the ability of your feet to find a hold where none exists, to turn rock crystals into a perch that will bear your weight just long enough to follow your momentum to the next hand hold, the next foothold-that-isn’t-there, anything to move forward.

Can you tell that I just went climbing after a hiatus of years?

lauren ted climbing
Ted and Lauren climbing near Stratton Mountain.

I was very rusty. It was awesome.

Hiking at Stratton

September is hiking month at Stratton Mountain Resort. Cooler temperatures keep the bugs at bay and makes for more comfortable hiking weather as the trees put on a show of colors. It also means it’s time to start getting your ski, snowboard, and snowshoe legs and lungs in shape.

Try the 7 Summits Challenge – Beginning September 1 through October 13, 2014.

hiking_summitWhen hiking up Stratton, there’s a lot of routes to choose. Ranging from easy to more difficult, you can use our guide to help you.

If you’re looking to hike more off the beaten path, try the Appalachian and Long Trail. The Appalachian and Long trails share a southern 103.6 miles, crossing over Stratton Mountain which was the inspiration for both of these storied routes.

Have fun getting those legs ready for the 2014-15 winter season. Don’t forget to tag us @StrattonResort on Twitter and Instagram when posting your awesome hiking shots this fall.