by Eric Hanson
ALBANY-GREENSBORO – Imagine cross country skiing on 100 miles of groomed trails from Craftsbury to White River Junction, climbing over 11,000 feet with all the ups and downs in a single day. Vistas to New Hampshire and Mt. Mansfield, fast downhills, slow climbs, lots of food and water to keep your engine running.
Akeo Maifeld-Marcucci and Adam Martin, both professional skiers for the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, essentially did this feat on March 8. They made a goal of skiing every ski trail maintained by the Craftsbury Outdoor Center (COC) from Albany to Greensboro starting and finishing from their house on Town Highway 19 in Craftsbury.
They covered the trail network near the COC, crossing the high points along Creek Road, heading to Big and Little Hosmer ponds, circling over to Wylie Hill Road, took a lunch break, and then headed to East Craftsbury, Circus Road, and Hanks Hill on the way to Highland Lodge. They made their way to Greensboro Town Hall, then up and over Barr Hill to Long Pond and Rocking Rock Road.
They spent a very slow 30 minutes post-holing through 3 km of ungroomed trail on Gebbies Run, which was ungroomed due to a logging operation. As they neared the end, Akeo and Adam descended 1,000 feet back to Craftsbury Village, with a final gradual climb back to TH 19. Mix in a lot of meanders and back and forth sections, it added up to about 100 miles over a 10-hour period.
From Adam Martin’s blog (greenracingproject.com/grpblog/every-trail-craftsbury): “After circling Great Hosmer, I felt beat skiing up to the new West Side loop and worried that our initial pace had been too hot. Fortunately, a few minutes of undulating terrain recharged our legs, and when we emerged into the beautiful, sunny West Side field and saw that we had already skied 50k, our spirits were renewed. My watch said we climbed 11,000 feet of elevation in the challenge, and I suspect the Greensboro trail system accounts for a big part of this. Six and a half hours in, climbing up Gray’s Drive strewn with conifer needles, my suffering reached a high point. Thankfully, Akeo encouraged me to eat more, despite having just stopped for a bar, and I pulled out my secret weapon: a sampler six pack of Oreos. By the challenge’s conclusion, I ended up consuming 5 Clif bars, 6 regular Oreos, 3 Clif shot bloks, a big tupperware of overnight oats, and 2.5L of water. My watch calculated that I burned 7,000 kcal. For both Akeo and I, around 7.5 hours in, skiing became noticeably easier. I can think of physiological and physical explanations for the decreased effort: the digestion of our larger food intake at lunch may have finally relinquished its hold on our blood supply and the setting sun and corresponding glazing snow gave our skis a welcome boost.”
Maifeld-Carucci exclaimed afterward, “I view (this ski) as a celebration of the local trail network, a chance to really appreciate all the trail work, grooming, the vision, and especially the landowner generosity that goes into it making this such a special place. So, a big thank you to (everyone) who makes it possible to do that virtually any day, all winter long.”