Friday, February 11, 2011

Nor'Easter BC Non-Exclusive: Author David Goodman in Hanover

As Gered mentioned with an obvious lack of modesty in yesterday’s post, I cleared my busy schedule last night and made my way to Hanover’s Mountain Goat for a slideshow presentation by backcountry ski guru David Goodman.

With the Nor’Easter BC press credentials in hand this cub reporter scored a second-row seat, right next to the eight-year-old kid who spent the 90 minutes kicking me in the leg and twirling the tassle on his beanie.

If Goodman is as reclusive as Andy suggests it’s likely because he spent the better part of the past three winters rediscovering the fifty classic backcountry runs outlined in his newly updated guidebook, Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast. His slideshow featured photos from these recent tours as well as a few historical photos underscoring the historic legacy of backcountry skiing in New England.

While some may scorn the author’s willingness to dish out the goods on their secret stashes (I overheard one gray-haired attendee say of Goodman that “a lot of my friends would like to punch him”), Goodman conveys a genuine passion for skiing and for keeping alive the rich history of many of the New England ski runs. He did make a point of mentioning that his book lists only fifty classic ski tours and there are many more Northeastern ski tours to explore (or to guard with booby traps).

Goodman’s presentation highlighted one or two tours in each of the five northeastern states his work covers:

New York
Avalanche Slides and Mount Marcy, which Goodman respectively called a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Northeastern backcountry skiing and said that together the two tours make for a quintessential backcountry skiing weekend.

The Bolton - Trapp trail, a long and powder-filled tour from Bolton Valley’s Nordic center down to the Trapp Lodge.

New Hampshire

The Pemigewasset Wilderness ski traverse, a formidably long tour made all the more difficult by recent changes in the area’s wilderness management policy that are letting trails fade and removing manmade features (even since the author’s recent visit a key bridge has been taken down).

Goodman admitted that until recently he’d been unable to identify Maine’s niche in the backcountry touring world. Now, with the state’s two burgeoning hut systems, Maine Huts & Trails and the AMC’s Maine Wilderness Lodges, the Pine Tree State offers some of the newest, cushiest (think blueberry pie and snowmobile Sherpas) tours in Goodman’s book.

Mount Greylock’s Thunderbolt ski trail, a classic ski run that was rescued from near obscurity and transformed into an historical icon for the town of Adams.

Goodman’s book lays out the information and history for the uninitiated to enjoy and appreciate some of the great backcountry tours the Northeast has to offer. With all of the great snow we’re enjoying now what’s stopping you from getting out there this weekend?

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