Covid-19 Information and Current Operations

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Tips for Buying a Bike in 2021

Feb 24, 2021 5:28:23 AM

Exploring Vermont via bike. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

The Popularity of Bikes

Are you feeling cooped up and ready to get outside during 2021? You’re not alone! The past year of travel restrictions and unprecedented challenges have changed all of our lives. One silver lining is that more people have taken up new outdoor hobbies as a way to get out of the house, get back into shape, or safely socialize while relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.

Bicycles have always been a great way to get out in the fresh air, and in the summer of 2020, their popularity skyrocketed. Everyone desired the utility, freedom, and ability to explore that a bicycle provides. As a direct result of their newfound popularity, every type of bike, from kids bikes to electric bikes, have been in demand like never before.

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Comments | Posted in News Bicycling Expert Tips Electric Bikes By Cooper Willsey

5 Reasons to Cross Country Ski

Feb 4, 2021 11:04:31 AM

Cooper skiing at Sleepy Hollow Ski Center, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Cross country, also known as Nordic, skiing is a fantastic sport to pass what can be a dreary, cold, and long winter. Instead of waiting patiently on the spin bike or treadmill dreaming of those sunny spring days that could be months away, just grab a pair of skis, poles and boots and hit the snowy woods, mountains, and valleys!

Cross country skiing has is a surefire way to improve your cardio fitness as well as full-body physical strength, as well as increase your mental resilience during activity. The stimulation of full-body coordination and elevated heart rate will also help increase your mood, promote healthy metabolism, and give yourself an appreciation of winter, nature, and your body that you may not have had before.

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Comments | Posted in News Cross Country Skiing Expert Tips By Ben Lustgarten

Selecting the right pair of snowshoes can depend on where you want to go or do. Photo Credit: Clarke Shedd.

Outdoor sports has become more popular than ever this year. Whether you are a runner, hiker, walker, biker, skier, snowboarder, or snowshoer I'm sure you've seen a lot more people out, enjoying what nature has to offer. Just like bikes, snowshoes has recently seen a huge increase in demand. Getting outside is important, but it is also key to have the right gear. It is important to know a couple things when you are selecting snowshoes. I am going to walk through what to be on the lookout for and how a snowshoe will best suit your needs.

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Don't Slip! Wear Winter Traction!

Different winter activities, including but not limited to, hiking, running, and even walking, require different equipment. Making sure you have the appropriate traction is an important step to staying safe outside in the winter.

It can be overwhelming with all the options out there - luckily, I’m here to guide you in the right direction!

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Alpine Touring Gear Overview

Dec 2, 2020 11:07:54 AM

(1) Dawn patrol hike up snowmobile track before the lifts start running on an eight-inch powder day. Photo Credit: Soren Feola. (2) Touring allows for some late ski days, including May in Bolton when this photo of Caroline was taken.

So you’ve decided to get into alpine touring this winter? Not only will this allow you to skip the lift lines and earn your turns, but also gives you an opportunity to explore the Vermont outdoors! Due to COVID-19 limitations at ski resorts, alpine touring can also help limit crowding.

We know it can be a bit daunting to find the right equipment to get out there, and the options of what to buy seems endless, but we are here to help! There are three categories to this blog post: first-time touring, frequent touring, and the elite alpinists out there. Although this will in no way be an exhaustive list, we hope this will be a good jumping off point! Just note that we have seen an increase in demand for alpine touring gear this season. Supply can be limited as well as shipment delays. Some gear recommended below might be out of stock, but please check in with us to see if we expect more or can find another option for you.

As a reminder, any time you are heading into the backcountry, educate yourself first, bring a trusted friend who is also knowledgeable, get the right avalanche gear (and know how to use it). Avalanches do occur in Vermont. If you are new to touring, check out ski resorts as a first step to get used to touring. Not all ski resorts allow uphill travel, so head to their website first and learn and follow the rules.

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1 Comments | Posted in Product Features and Reviews Expert Tips Downhill Skiing Backcountry By Soren Feola and Caroline Dunbar

Doug Stewart fits a downhill ski boot. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Ask any veteran skier if their ski boots are important, or if they affect their skiing, I would not be surprised if most said “yeah, of course.” As someone who has spent my entire life on skis and the last few decades helping people ski better, I’m here to make sure you understand just how important your boots are to your ski day.

Based on this idea, I repeatedly tell customers, your boots are 10 times more important than your skis. This also applies to cross country skiing and snowboarding. Our goal is to get you in the right gear the first time around.

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Exploring Vermont via bike. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

With COVID-19 safety guidelines and travel restrictions, winter is looking very different this year in Vermont. Since not many people can travel and are staying home, there's been a huge uptick in people venturing outside and discovering what their backyard has to offer. Outdoor activity is a great way to get exercise, de-stress and spend time with your household. More people getting outside is great news! However, the influx is a concern because of the strain on natural resources. Services such as ski resorts and search and rescue will also be effected. With this resource guide, our goal is to provide some ideas to getting you outside in a new way, while offering other options for people to check out, in order to spread people out in any given area.

Since we already know that ski resort offerings such as lodging and chair capacity will be limited this season, it might not be the year to hit the resorts every weekend like you are used to (click here to read up on the guidelines). It will, however be a great opportunity to try a new winter activity such as cross country skiing, backcountry touring, snowshoeing and winter hiking.

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Cross country ski racing at Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont. Photo Credit: Dave Priganc.

If you’ve been following the news in the Nordic world, there has been a lot of confusion regarding Fluorinated Waxes. Are they banned or not?

We learned of the upcoming ban from FIS council last year and then just a few weeks ago, learned the ban had been postponed until next season. However, to add to the confusion, we just learned that even if a venue does not allow fluoros on their ski trails, they still cannot ban fluoros for an FIS sanctioned / qualifying race. The logic is that FIS cannot put restrictions on their races as a whole - due to not having the right equipment to test for flouros (yet). We all know that fluoros make your skis faster, although bad for the environment; but if one venue does not allow them, the playing field is not level between races at different venues.

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Testing out the Nordica Enforcers at the Pico Ski Demo. Photo Credit: Molly Cournoyer.

Earlier this year in January, some Skirack staff took a field trip to the Pico Mountain Ski Resort Downhill Ski and Snowboard Demo Event. It was a fun and exciting day because we got to test out downhill skis from our favorite ski brands.

After testing each ski, not only were we able to give our ski buyer feedback to help make buying decisions, but we were able to learn how each ski performed so we can help our Skirack customers find the perfect ski for them.

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Splitboarding Gear Overview for 2020-21. Photo Credit: Nitro Snowboards.

If you snowboard and especially if you live in Vermont, I'm sure you've been thinking about getting a splitboard for a while. Your riding partner got one last season and has been tempting you with tales of getting untracked snow the day after a storm. Or perhaps you've been fighting to keep up while snowshoeing. This winter season might be time to pull the trigger - especially with the uncertainty of resort operations and capacity limitations expected this year. Our snowboard department has seen a pretty heavy uptick in interest in splitboarding and backcountry gear this year already,and therefore, stock won't last long. Financing options are available to make it as painless as possible. See you out on the skin track!

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Comments | Posted in Snowboarding Expert Tips Videos Backcountry By Derek Tiplady
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