Stowe Area Backcountry: Steeple Trail 4/20/2018

Half a foot of fresh snow had fallen overnight outside where I was staying, so I decided to try one of Stowe's famous backcountry offerings. I picked the Steeple Trail and started hiking up from the Nordic Center. After a little more than a mile hiking the gentle runout on the Burt Trail, I started the ascent of the Steeple Trail. The lower part, below the Underhill Trail consisted of multiple pitches of varying steepness. Instead of a regular ski trail, the Steeple Trail is a wide gladed area for much of its length. Above the Underhill Trail, I climbed through more gladed pitches before arriving at the base of a narrow and extremely steep chute. It was probably 40-45 degrees steep on average and it took me the better part of half an hour to climb through the 300 feet or so of the chute. Above the chute I climbed one final pitch through an evergreen glade before reaching the Skytop Trail, which is the top of the Steeple Trail.

The cover was outstanding and there was a deep base with half a foot of blower powder on top. It was so deep that I did not need to worry about hitting any roots, rocks, or stumps. After putting on my ski boots, I clicked in and started down through the evergreens. Skiing the steep chute in powder was unbelievably fun and the runout was perfect so I didn't have to slow down in the chute. Below the chute, the run flowed perfectly from pitch to pitch and through the gladed areas. Besides the tracks that I made on my hike up, the run was completely untracked. After reaching the base of the Steeple Trail, I skied, poled, and skated the rest of the way back to the Nordic Center.

In total, the run was about 2.5 miles long and dropped about 1,800 vertical feet. These photos do the run no justice at all and it truly was one of the best runs I've ever taken.

Burt TrailimageTrail SignsimageBurt TrailimageBase of the Steeple TrailimageLower Gladed AreaimageLower Gladed AreaimageSteep ChuteimageSteep ChuteimageSteep ChuteimageTop of the Steeple TrailimageUpper Gladed AreaimageLower Gladed AreaimageLower Gladed Areaimage
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 953K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 788K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 770K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 739K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 830K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 745K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 1009K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 809K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 836K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 744K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 678K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 635K
image.jpeg
1440 x 1440 - 759K
- Sam

Comments

  • I had to lay down to look, great photos!
    ~Rich~
  • Sounds like an amazing time. Winter still gripping the higher elevations.
  • mtsnow123 said:

    Sounds like an amazing time. Winter still gripping the higher elevations.


    There was still a base of probably three to four feet on the ridgeline.
    - Sam
Sign In or Register to comment.