• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Madonna Vasa Trail

Huck_It_Baby

New member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
1,264
Points
0
Location
Colorado
Is anyone out there familiar with the Madonna Vasa XC ski trail? It runs from Underhill, VT over to Smugg's around the northern part of Mansfield.

I've been rather obsessed lately with finding old trails which have been lost over time. My free time in the last few weeks has been spent bushwhacking on the Northern/North Western flanks of Mt. Mansfield. A pretty rugged and remote area that doesn't see much hiker or skier traffic. I've discovered some amazing stuff. Thunder Basin and beyond.

Any info on the MV would be appreciated!
 

Huck_It_Baby

New member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
1,264
Points
0
Location
Colorado
I believe it is defunct now, land purchase and a sugar bush operation now broke it apart, could always go ask permission I suppose.

Is it all on private land or does any of it go up into the state forest? Have you skied it?

I can't find any maps with reference to the trail so it's hard figure it out.
 

MadMadWorld

Active member
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
Messages
4,082
Points
38
Location
Leominster, MA
Is anyone out there familiar with the Madonna Vasa XC ski trail? It runs from Underhill, VT over to Smugg's around the northern part of Mansfield.

I've been rather obsessed lately with finding old trails which have been lost over time. My free time in the last few weeks has been spent bushwhacking on the Northern/North Western flanks of Mt. Mansfield. A pretty rugged and remote area that doesn't see much hiker or skier traffic. I've discovered some amazing stuff. Thunder Basin and beyond.

Any info on the MV would be appreciated!

Stay safe man. That area is pretty rugged even in the off season.
 

MadMadWorld

Active member
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
Messages
4,082
Points
38
Location
Leominster, MA
Thank you, I appreciate that!

It's rugged to be sure and that's the appeal to certain degree. Have you explored back there before?

I agree. I hiked up there a few times in my college days. I know that in the winter the conditions are really hit or miss (mostly miss). I never skied it but I know a few people that did the long treck only to find it wind scoured and unskiable. It seems to have the unfortunate characteristics of needing a lot of snow for it to be skiable while at the same not holding snow very well. If you hit in perfect conditions I am sure it unreal.
 

Huck_It_Baby

New member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
1,264
Points
0
Location
Colorado
I agree. I hiked up there a few times in my college days. I know that in the winter the conditions are really hit or miss (mostly miss). I never skied it but I know a few people that did the long treck only to find it wind scoured and unskiable. It seems to have the unfortunate characteristics of needing a lot of snow for it to be skiable while at the same not holding snow very well. If you hit in perfect conditions I am sure it unreal.

I can see how there needs to be heavy snow. The upper elevations are conifers which aren't super large. 4-8 feet. Not large enough to have a canopy high enough to ski under so the trees need to be buried to ski OVER.

Tree Well City.

Last week I spent 45 minutes crawling on my belly under the trees there to get through one section...super dense with a low canopy. Easy to hike yourself into natural terrain traps.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge here. Do you know the old trail which follows one of the ridges running north west?
 

MadMadWorld

Active member
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
Messages
4,082
Points
38
Location
Leominster, MA
I can see how there needs to be heavy snow. The upper elevations are conifers which aren't super large. 4-8 feet. Not large enough to have a canopy high enough to ski under so the trees need to be buried to ski OVER.

Tree Well City.

Last week I spent 45 minutes crawling on my belly under the trees there to get through one section...super dense with a low canopy. Easy to hike yourself into natural terrain traps.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge here. Do you know the old trail which follows one of the ridges running north west?

That's dedication man. Don't really know anything about that trail....sorry. I think it's great that your exploring some of the old routes. Would like to see and hear about what you find.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AlpineZone mobile app
 

snowmonster

New member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
4,066
Points
0
Location
In my mind, northern New England
I have nothing to contribute here on route finding except to say that I appreciate your enthusiasm and great work. Huck it, I not being able to ski with you this year. It looks like we would have a lot of fun in the Mansfield backcountry. Rip up some line for me. Someday, I'll return and I hope you're still in the neighborhood to give me a tour. We expect trip reports from you! Be safe out there.
 

Huck_It_Baby

New member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
1,264
Points
0
Location
Colorado
That's dedication man. Don't really know anything about that trail....sorry. I think it's great that your exploring some of the old routes. Would like to see and hear about what you find.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AlpineZone mobile app

Thanks! I have found some pretty amazing places and a few strange things as well. Mansfield is a mountain with a lot of history.

I had a great hike this weekend and was all over both the west and east sides of the ridge. Perfect day! I found one of the trails I've been searching for which no longer is on current maps. I was also able to get myself into TB and explore the upper part of that area too. Lots of rocks...reminds me of the White mountains a little.

Perfect day! Here is a shot looking north from the chin.

North.jpg


I have nothing to contribute here on route finding except to say that I appreciate your enthusiasm and great work. Huck it, I not being able to ski with you this year. It looks like we would have a lot of fun in the Mansfield backcountry. Rip up some line for me. Someday, I'll return and I hope you're still in the neighborhood to give me a tour. We expect trip reports from you! Be safe out there.

Yeah I was hoping I'd have a chance to show you some stuff last year but that's how it goes. Glad we were able to rip what we did! You know who to look up when you make your return =)

I'll be sure to share some photos and reports!
 
Last edited:
Top