October Gear Guide

Struggling to find pieces that will smooth the transition from summer to fall? The Stratton Gear Guide is here to help. Outfit your adventures in Stratton’s Village, where you’ll find all of these items and more.

GearGuide_October_web

Find full descriptions of all featured items HERE!

1. Women’s Juno Pant at Lole

2. Coal Hats at Syd & Dusty’s

3. Fall Flannels at First Run

4. Garbo Vest at
Dashing Bear

5. Men’s Fuse Brigandine Jacket at The North Face

6. Women’s Arya Trench at Burton

7. Season Leasing at Village Rentals

8. Tent Sale at Stratton Sports

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.

Wanderlust re-dux

By Guinevere Hilton

I walked into my first workshop at Wanderlust at Stratton Mountain with an abundance of body image issues, and a well developed arsenal of was to deal with them. I was ready. I knew that I could find lots of reasons to hate on myself, to compare and despair, to judge, belittle and then hop on the self-improvement train (which for me usually means immediately becoming vegan and ending the day curled up in a ball with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in one hand and a pork chop in another). Not this time. No way. I am 40 now! I’ve got this covered. I have spent the last year making it my mission to accept my body and create a place for others’ to love, celebrate and accept theirs. I figured that the chances of this issue rearing up and dominating my experience were slim to none. I was actually excited to show off how far I’d come.

I may have jumped the gun a wee bit. I walked in to the tent and all around me I saw what I wasn’t: thin, beautiful, born with innate fashion sense and a stylist. I was immediately thrown back to being 20 again: living in New York City, trying to be an actress when the flavor of the times was cookie cutter skinny. I wanted to hide. I actually started to cry on my mat. I was sitting there, about to take a workshop with two of my most favorite teachers, Elena Brower and David Harshada Wagner, and I felt so gross, less-than and ashamed that I was considering walking out. I went to the corner and filmed a little video expressing my dismay and concern. My idea was to turn this experience into content for My Real Yoga Body. Then I watched the video, was horrified by how old I looked and promptly deleted it and went back to my mat to continue weeping.

Class began. David started to lead us through a meditation. He opened with the reminder to move away from “self-improvement” and towards being our best selves. Thank you. I softened a little … which just made me cry more. He kept reminding us that “You deserve the best of life, and life deserves the best of you”.   Elena led us through a powerful asana practice; they tag-teamed taught our group in the most loving, authentic and no-nonsense way. I began to move away, at least a little, from my analyzing, self-improvement mind, and towards a part of me that at least was open to the idea that maybe it doesn’t matter so much that I am not a Lululemon model. Yet. Just kidding. Maybe.

There is a reason I started the My Real Yoga Body project, and it is not because I embrace and exemplify body-positivity. It is because my relationship to my body is my embarrassing Achilles heel. I hate that my body, my desire to be what I am not, is one of my biggest challenges. It is an old and familiar nemesis. And I am ready to, as they say in Buddhism, invite it to tea. And then, as I say in Guinevere-ism, smash it over the head with a scone.

At the end of the workshop, David gave us some tips on enjoying Wanderlust and getting the most out of it. The one that stuck with me was about conserving your energetic budget and being careful what you laid your eyes upon. He noted that there was so much exciting activity, interesting people, and neat stuff to buy that the experience could be exhausting and depleting. This helped me SO much through my time at Wanderlust. I reminded myself again and again to choose wisely. To spend a little time window-shopping, and more time looking at trees, mountains and sky. To spend less time sizing people up and wondering where they got those pants and more time making eye contact, laughing, and listening.

I had an amazing time. In the end, body stories did not dominate my experience. They were tempered and calmed by the yoga, the teachers, and the warm, friendly people I met. They became smaller and joy became larger. And again, I am left grateful for the mystery school that is yoga.

 

About the Author:

g hiltonGuinevere Hilton lives on a big lake in New Hampshire with her two beautiful boys. She is the founder of My Real Yoga Body (myrealyogabody.com, https://www.facebook.com/myrealyogabody, and on Twitter and FB #myrealyogabody.), a home for embracing all the various shapes and flavors that make up real yoga bodies. She is eternally grateful to her yoga practice, love that keeps buoying her up and the constantly surprising nature of life. Xoxo!!

Get Social with Guinevere

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Let’s Ride!

By Adam Wanamaker

What is a glade skiing, powder-stash steward to do when the snow melts in southern Vermont? The most obvious answer is to go hiking.

Hiking is relaxing. It affords 360o movement on the mountain, an opportunity to explore and discover hidden nooks and crannies typically buried in the winter, a chance to meet some of the diverse wildlife and discover the down-right mesmerizing plant life that makes you swear James Cameron spent time in the Green Mountains during his “research” phase for Avatar. Hiking is great exercise, but it’s not the only way to get out and enjoy summer in the mountains.

Cue my personally preferred form of transportation, entertainment, excitement, and dopamine in non-snow bearing months; my mountain bike. It’s not often that two people get back from an hour-long hike and can, without saying a word, connect with a smile, a head tilt, or raising a glass with a mutual respect knowing exactly what the person across the way—a complete stranger perhaps—is thinking. In winter this happens regularly on a powder day in the lift line or in your preferred—ahem—establishment at the end of the day, and it happens after a mountain biking session, too.

Thankfully there is an increasingly large and dedicated community of mountain bike enthusiasts and land owners cropping up around the Stratton area, with most of the trail systems having opened or reopened to public access, planned, and constructed only within the past three years. Momentum is building around the mountain bike movement and clubs like the Manchester & The Mountain’s Bike Club have been busily building trails, organizing group rides, and taking the proverbial torch forward in making a cohesive community with a vision and a mission that area businesses and the Chamber of Commerce have been supporting around mountain biking. That’s why I implore you to go to your local bike shop in Southern Vermont and ask about trails. Not only will you get some great , non-Googleable info, but this is one of the few things where the internet hasn’t kept up entirely with the full-throttle work that’s being done to make steep mountains covered in ankle-deep mud not just rideable, but fun places to get your dopamine fix flying through the trees until winter comes back around. If I can’t convince you to revisit mountain biking or give it a spin for the first time, maybe this kid can.

About the author:

Adam Wanamaker got lost in his neighborhood the day he learned to ride a bike; although just 10 houses down his block, he’d broken into never-before seen territory. After biking all around greater Binghamton, NY and driving to ski Stratton on weekends in winter, he started at Stratton after graduating SUNY Binghamton. Three years ago he was part of a group on resort that started The Activity Hub, where he eventually became the supervisor of The Hub and more recently the Nordic Center. He loves exploring Vermont’s trails but prefers “bush whacking” to find new hidden Green Mountain gems and writing biographies in third person.

Keep It Simple – A profile of Bill Nupp

By Courtney DiFiore

Health is important, but it shouldn’t be a point of stress or anxiety. By incorporating healthy habits and activities into your lifestyle, fitness will become a source of happiness and peace.

Some people spend their whole lives searching for the secret to happiness. According to Bill Nupp, Vice President of Lodging and Community Relations, keeping it simple is the key. “My active lifestyle has been one of the main reasons for my happiness and peace in my life,” shares Nupp.

‘Active’ to Nupp has a wide range of meaning; getting outside, walking the dog, taking a swim all qualify. This insightful VP shares the reasoning behind his “keep it simple” philosophy saying “it used to be that my goal was to be within sight of Sky Foulkes’ fitness level. But since he has gone on to amazing levels, I am left to more modest goals of being be in good enough shape to live an active lifestyle.”

Growing up on a farm, being outdoors came naturally. Now, as an adult, he explores the Southern Vermont outdoor playground. Nupp opts for activities like hiking, road biking, jogging and in the winter snowshoeing and skiing. “Working is part of living and when you can work in a place you love to live, surrounded by people who appreciate it just as much, I just don’t know how it could be better.”

One of Nupp’s go to workouts is a hike to Stratton’s summit for sunrise, “you get to witness something that makes you feel really alive and lucky.” When Bill takes a break from the elements and hits the gym, he keeps his workout fresh, changing up his routine by trying fitness classes. “Most recently ‘Tondreaus,’ Susan’s Cross Fit routines, seem to be the most productive workout I have ever done,” shares Nupp.

It’s nice to know you can live a healthy lifestyle without it being a chore and Nupp has found the perfect balance. The next time you begin to feel stress because of your daily workouts remember Nupp’s advice to keep it simple, keep it fresh and just get out there.

The Goddess Within

By Anne Reynolds

Anne yoga 1.0 If you had told me fifteen months ago that I would discover my inner goddess through the practice of yoga I probably would’ve spit out whatever I was drinking and told you to lay off the home brewed Kombucha.

I didn’t particularly care for yoga or those that practiced it. In my opinion the typical yogi or yogini could best be exemplified by my old college roommate Chloe and step grandmother, Virginia. Chloe was beautiful, married rich and looked amazing in her Lululemon pants. Yet the only yoga pose she ever practiced was a forward fold when she was trying on shoes at Nordstrom’s. My step-grammy, on the other hand, was stuck in the counterrevolution of the sixties. She preached free love, women’s liberation and spent way too much time in her transparent white leggings. Her favorite pose was snow plow but only if she had a predominately male audience.

Anne yoga 2.0Admittedly, my knowledge of yoga was limited but that didn’t stop me from dismissing all yoga practitioners as phony and pretentious. These two women were definitely polar opposites but they were both classic examples of posers, yoga posers.

I had no desire to try yoga but it found me anyway. It didn’t knock politely on the front door of my intolerance. Instead it snuck through the back door of my people-pleasing issues and inability to say no. Stratton had just opened a brand new yoga studio and yoga was quickly becoming one of the most popular non-snow activities at the resort. The consultant for the new studio was also a yoga teacher and we would meet occasionally to discuss employee involvement with our health & wellness initiative. One afternoon she mentioned that she was having trouble finding someone to help with class check-in. Before I could stop myself I said “I’ll do it!” in my best please be my friend, people-pleasing voice. Not one to pass up on free labor she gave me my schedule.

I woke up with a migraine on the day of my first shift. I debated long and hard about calling in sick but people- pleasers don’t call in on their first day.  With a long sigh I ripped off the tags of my new yoga pants and went to the studio. I was allowed to join the class after everyone was checked in so against my better judgment and rapidly increasing head pain I unrolled a mat, stood there in my socks and figured how hard could yoga be anyway?

Yoga, as it turned out is hard, very hard. I quickly discovered that I was about as flexible as the LTR (learn to ride) snowboard that I could never seem to learn to ride on. I could barely touch my knees let alone my toes and jumping back to plank position or anything closely related was not happening. By the end of class I was sweating profusely, completely out of breath and sure I had torn every tendon in my body.

Ironically it was the last pose (Savassana a.k.a Corpse pose) that I found the most intimidating. I understood that all I had to do was lie there and play dead for five minutes but the thought of being still longer than 30 seconds with just my own thoughts seemed torturous.   While I was lowering myself down on my mat I made a decision that if I couldn’t stand it I would get up, quietly excuse myself and go to the restroom where I would spend the rest of the class checking email on my iPhone.

Something happened during that last pose that prevented me from following through on my planned escape. I don’t know exactly how to describe it but once I settled my body on the mat and started to breathe deeply I felt something inside of me begin to soften and open up. When we finally sat up I felt physically lighter and an overwhelming sense of peace. On the way to my car I noticed that my head didn’t hurt anymore. My migraine was completely gone! That was good enough for me and from that moment on I was hooked.

I now practice yoga daily. I don’t go to class to parade around in the latest yoga fashions or scope out the scene. I also have no plans on giving up all earthly pleasures to move to an Ashram in India. I don’t practice for the physical workout either but I am in the best shape of my life. I am amazed at what my body can do and how strong I am. I can not only touch my toes but I can do handstands and almost a full split.

I practice yoga for one reason only: to feel connected. It’s as simple and complicated as that. When I am able to connect my mind and body with the universe I am able to experience authentic happiness. Does this mean I’ve become a spiritually enlightened goddess? Hardly. Fifteen minutes ago I just used an inordinate amount of force and half a can of Raid to kill a spider. I wish I was in a constant state of Zen but alas, I am still a mere mortal on most days. I continue to struggle with letting go, people pleasing and saying things that I later regret. It’s not uncommon in yoga class for an instructor to remind us to “meet yourself on your mat”. This truism has taught me that the most important relationship you should have is the one with yourself. This means I have to accept me exactly as I am right now. Practicing yoga has given me the ability to understand that my weaknesses are equally as important as my strengths. After all, if I wasn’t a consummate people-pleaser I might not have discovered yoga when I did. When I can accept myself completely I am better able to accept others including the ones I love.

Yes, as it turns out yoga has shown me the path to my inner goddess. This is our true self and everyone has an inner god or goddess. Some days are harder than others to connect with her but when I do I know without a doubt that she is all that is good. She is pure love, beauty and light. She is me.

Once Isn’t Enough – A Profile of Matthew McPhillips

By Courtney DiFiore

It’s a funny thing, mountain life. There’s an allure to it and the lifestyle engulfs all who take part. The atmosphere is electric and mellow all at once creating the perfect oxymoron. Matthew McPhillips experienced the pull of this energy in 2006 when he first moved to Stratton Mountain. Now, 8 years later, he is immersed in the mountain culture as the Head Golf Professional.

“I was fortunate enough to be given the keys to an operation at age 25, and I take great pride in that. The fact that I am now entering my fourth season [as Head Pro], living on the complete opposite side of the world to every member of my immediate family just goes to show my dedication to the position,” shares McPhillips.

There’s debate as to whether it’s something in the water, air or Kool Aid that infects those that find their way to the mountain, but one thing’s for sure, there’s something special going on at Stratton that keeps people coming back. All year long, license plates from around the North East and beyond turn up in our parking lots. Before visitors reach the mountain they begin to feel the magic of Southern Vermont. The rolling hills and vibrant colors of green set the stage for a true scenic trip.

“Being close to major cities is nice but being able to literally get in your car and drive nowhere in particular…that is a luxury that a lot of people cannot access in their urbanized lifestyles,” explains McPhillips. The bends and curves of Southern Vermont roads become hypnotic to travelers. Sights of native wildlife create excitement and that’s the moment mountain life sweeps you off your feet leaving you breathless and wanting more.

When McPhillips was asked what keeps him coming back to Stratton after all this time, his response was simple, “I love the work I do and the beautiful Green Mountain State that is Vermont. I’ve found the right balance between work and play enabling me to stay active on a daily basis.”

Everyone has their own reasons for sticking around and though different, the one thing they share is Stratton. Have you found your reason to keep coming back?

Summer is for Adventure

By Shane Kelly

In honor of Men’s Health Awareness month, I find it appropriate to take time, sit back and recognize the importance of health and wellness. Stratton Mountain and the rest of the beautiful Green Mountain State provide endless opportunities and adventures to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.A healthy lifestyle leads to more than just a fit body, it opens doors to new opportunities, improves overall quality of life and much more. Healthy living has been a building block to my success. By sharing my journey to lead an active lifestyle, I hope to inspire others.

I’ve spent the last two winters working at Stratton Mountain and during that time adopted a new lifestyle that I had been looking for since graduating college. I found my American Dream; I was snowboarding up to 100 days a season, spending quality time at the Stratton Training and Fitness Center and getting paid for it. As the winter wound down, I panicked. Do I make my way back to the hectic hustle and bustle of New Jersey or do I stay and see what exactly a Stratton Mountain summer has to offer? I’m happy to say I chose the latter. I now call Stratton Training and Fitness Center my home (make sure to come say “Hello!”). The facility offers such an array of equipment, classes and knowledgeable staff that it’s almost a crime not to be a yearly member. Other perks that can be found at the S.T.F.C include a 25 yard salt water pool, hot tub/steam room and indoor and outdoor tennis courts. Having an indoor option is a big advantage to the resort, but let’s not forget about the natural gym right in our backyard, the Green Mountains.

My first Stratton summer has made me realize that I haven’t even hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to taking advantage of all Southern Vermont has to offer. The amount of activities and events Stratton Mountain has in the summer is unbelievable. I’ve been exposed to a whole new world of subcultures and challenges that I’m excited to experience. Where will you find your adventure?