West Hill House B&B

Category Archives: Winter activities

Last weeks for Cross Country Skiing in Vermont

March 18, 2013 by Katie Pate

The spring equinox is only two days away. Soon, the snow will melt and spring will reveal green buds on the trees, blooming flowers and sunny days. But not yet…

Get your fix of your favorite winter sports before its too late!

You don’t have to drive anywhere to nordic ski if you are staying at West Hill House. Our Inn is located across the street from the Sugarbush golf course. If you rise early after a snowfall, you can blaze your own trail. A little later in the day you can undoubtedly follow a trail forged by someone else.

Mad River Valley Cross Country Skiing Centers

Catch a couple more weeks of X-country skiing before spring sets in.

Catch a couple more weeks of X-country skiing before spring sets in.

Ole’s (2355 Airport Road – 15 minutes from the Bed and Breakfast) As of this posting, there are four inches of fresh snow, a combo of silky packed powder and loose powder, on the ground at Ole’s. It’s 17 degrees and beams of gleaming sunlight are breaking through low clouds, illuminating the fresh snow. At least 20k of trails are groomed and tracked for both for classic and skate skiing.

Blueberry Lake (424 Plunkton Rd – 10 minutes from the Bed and Breakfast) Blueberry Lake received 3 inches of fresh snow last night and the temperature is slightly warmer at 23 degrees. They have 11 trails, totaling 30 km for classic, skate skiing and snowshoeing. There are trails for both beginners and advanced skiers. Many of their trails are wooded, with the occasional overlook to wide open meadows with beautiful views.

The Catamount Trail: This is not a ski center but an unmanned ski trail that runs the length of Vermont. It is 300 miles long and has been in the making since 1984; it was fully linked together in 2008. Thousands of skiers and snowshoers take to the trail every winter season — most only spend a day on a section of the trail. However, some ambitious adventurers ski end-to-end. What you are sure to enjoy about the Catamount Trail is the pristine backcountry, farmland and village surroundings along the way. The Catamount trail passes directly behind our B&B.

A Co-Op Ski Resort? Welcome to Mad River Glen!

February 18, 2013 by Katie Pate

One of the aspects of Mad River Glen that makes it so unique: the ski resort is a co-op. Those that love this place are committed to seeing it remain in pristine condition. Plus, everyone skiing is happy to be there – they love Mad River! So even on busy weekends, the crowds are personable, not snarly or competitive.

But please note: there is no snowboarding at Mad River Glen.

About Skiing at Mad River Glen

Mad River Glen is famous for its beautiful and varied trails, with routes for both beginners, intermediates and experts. It is also home to the nation’s last surviving single chairlift – which was completely rebuilt a few years ago.

The extensive trail system follows the contours of General Stark mountain to a single base area, making it easy for families and friends to ski together. Located in the “snow corner” of New England, Mad River’s 250 inches of annual snowfall combined with a pristine mountain environment to create a wonderful skiing experience!

West Hill House Bed and Breakfast Ski & Stay Package

For the rest of the 2013 ski season, West Hill House bed and breakfast has a great deal for any skier. Until March 31st (with some blackout periods) we have three and four day ski packages that include lodging and breakfast at West Hill House, along with “passports” for skiing at Mad River Glen, Sugarbush and Ole’s cross-country skiing.

Mad River Glen

The Innkeepers at Mad River Glen

These Ski Passports also include coupons for discounts or freebies at local stores and restaurants.

Come during the week and stay for four days. Come during a weekend and stay for three days. The price for both packages is the same. So, if you can afford to get away during the week, you get rewarded with a better deal and less crowded skiing conditions!

Transport to the Ski Resorts

The Lincoln Peak base at Sugarbush is only two minutes away and there is a free shuttle bus from our front door. You can come back anytime during the day. Mad River Glen is about a 15 minute drive, and Olé’s is about a 10 minute drive.

Book an Exceptional Trip to Sugarbush this Year

January 30, 2013 by Katie Pate

Sugarbush is famous as home to the most diverse terrain in the North East. In fact, it was ranked #1 in Terrain Variety by SKI Magazine in 2010. Many Olympian skiers and riders fell in love with the sport and perfected their technique on the Sugarbush slopes.

Sugarbush resort is only a couple of minutes from the front door of our B&B in Warren. The ski shuttle will stop here to whisk you from the inn to the slopes in style.

Vermont-ski-and-stay-packages

Experience the adrenaline rush of a ride down a Sugarbush slope!

We’ve also found that the Sugarbush riders and skiers are among the friendliest at the top ski resorts in the North East.

First Tracks Tours at Sugarbush Resort

If you are an early riser, than let us book something really special for you: A first-tracks tour. 12 passengers can ride the Lincoln Limo and experience pristine, deep powder as they cruise down the mountain before anyone else. The route taken is determined by the weather and snow conditions on the mountains that day. Tours may go to the top of Heaven’s Gate or North Lynx, into the Slide Brook Wilderness Area or elsewhere, based on the judgment of the guide. The tour includes an en route pastry breakfast from Timbers Restaurant, a movie to get the adrenaline pumping, Sugarbush guides and one or two cat-served runs. (First Tracks-trips are available for advanced skiers and riders only.)

Our Vermont Ski & Stay Package

From now until March 31st (note black-out periods) we are offering you great prices AND flexibility for an inclusive skiing vacation in Vermont. Stay at our Bed and Breakfast and receive two Ski Passports per room. The Ski Passport includes skiing at not only Sugarbush, but also Mad River Glen and Olé’s cross-country. The Passport also provides promotions like freebies and discounts at local stores and restaurants. Visit our Ski & Stay page for prices and further details. We look forward to seeing you this winter!

Winter Wedding

November 29, 2012 by Susan

Ryan & Jeff married by Greg Trulson, Justice of the Peace

 

With early season snowflakes whirling about them, and the temperature sitting at about 28°F, Ryan and Jeff were married in the meadow at West Hill House B&B. Our favorite Justice of the Peace, Greg Trulson officiated at the wedding making it a very meaningful occasion, as he always does. Following the ceremony,  the newly married couple asked Peter to continue taking photos as they enjoyed a short stroll around our wintery gardens.

Warming up by the fireplace a few minutes later Ryan and Jeff enjoyed an intimate wedding reception complete with wedding cake, made here at West Hill House, and a bottle of  Champagne. They were kind enough to invite Greg and Peter and Susan to join them.

Ryan loves experimenting with recipes. Check out her food blog called Skinny Supper. It’s a fun site with lots of photos to help you along.

Ski & Stay & Save at Sugarbush & MRG

November 28, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Sugarbush Quad-PackThe snow is flying, Sugarbush is open and Mad River Glen is opening soon.  It’s time to plan to your ski vacation!

You have an IMMEDIATE, but fleeting, opportunity to get a great deal on Sugarbush ski tickets for the coming season with their Quad-Pack.  The great thing about this pack is that there are no black-outs and you can share it.  So 4 unrestricted tickets at $50 each! These are ideal if you plan to ski during Christmas week, MLK weekend or President’s Week as our Ski and Stay Passport is blacked-out at those times. But you must buy them in advance on or before November 30th.

From December 15th onwards, other than the black-out dates, our Ski and Stay Passport offers great value as you can ski freely at Mad River Glen, Sugarbush and Olé’s cross-country, as well as enjoy offers and freebies at local stores and restaurants most evenings.

If you are planning to come during the Christmas season from December 21st to January 1st, please finalize your plans now!  We do have some rooms still available for some dates, but we are filling up fast!

Celebrate the 254th birthday of Robert Burns

November 27, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Robert Burns

On January 26th 2013 we will be holding our 5th annual Burns Supper at West Hill House to celebrate the 254th anniversary of the birth, on January 25th 1759, of this great Scottish Poet, often referred to as “The Bard”. (Bard is a Scots word for a poet.)

A Burns Supper is a significant tradition in Scotland and among Scots around the world. The evening will consistent of traditional Scottish fair including Haggis (which really is worth trying!) and Scottish Trifle. Wine will be served with dinner and a wee dram of Scottish whisky will be served  to toast The Bard (for those 21 and older; soft drinks will also be available).

The Haggis will be piped in by a local piper and will be addressed in the traditional manner by Peter:

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my arm. …

We will then encourage you to try some Scottish Dancing after dinner – we’ll show you how!

The Burns Supper will be held in our handsome Red Barn and we have room for only 30 guests. We expect a sell-out so don’t wait till the last minute to book. Tickets must be purchased by January 21st.

The Burns Supper is just $50 per person (including tax), and it is sure to be a memorable evening. Book two nights including the 26th and we will include the supper at the reduced rate of $80 per couple. Advance reservation is required for all tickets.

The Red Chair visits West Hill House B&B

November 2, 2012 by Susan

Red Chair warming up and being admired by Snowball at West Hill House B&B

Warming up with Snowball

The Red Chair getting shelter at West Hill House B&B

Dry again!

The Red Chair checks out the Lincoln Gap - the highest road crossing in the State of Vermont

I feel high!

Ski School for the Red Chair at Mad River Glen

Teach me if you can!

The famed Single Chair at Mad River Glen has a date with the Red Chair

I am sure I could ski it – need snow!

The Red Chair visits with the Sugarbush cow

Please don’t sit on me!

Red Chair socializing with skier at Sugarbush

This guy looks a bit stiff

Hay there! The Red Chair enjoys a high perch at Hartshorn's Farm in Waitsfield Vermont

David Hartshorn gave me this perch

Red Chair at the Hartshorn Farm Stand in Waitsfield VT

I can’t help feeling squashed!

The Red Chair visits the Alpacas at Hartshorn's Farm in Waitsfield Vermont

I think they are staring at me!

Red Chair at Warren Vermont covered bridge

The river is not too Mad today!

Hi everyone, I’m the Red Chair that has been traveling throughout New England for the past several months.

I arrived at West Hill House B&B in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and rain was the order of the day. Fortunately my hosts offered rain boots and an umbrella so I stayed pretty dry. Inside I was given a place by the fire to warm up a bit even had a pussy cat come curl up with me for a bit.

Once the weather cleared my first stop was at the top of the Lincoln Gap Road, the highest road pass in Vermont, where I set foot, or should that be feet, on the Long Trail. The air was so fresh I’m felt I could have walked the full 273 miles of the trail but I had places to go and things to see.

With winter just around the corner I wanted to be introduced to the Mad River Glen ski area. I checked out the ski school meeting place then of course had to have my photo taken with the single chair.

From there we went to Sugarbush where I had my photo taken with a local cow before going  to sit beside the year ’round skier. He didn’t say much, we just enjoyed the solitude of the moment.

I visited the Hartshorn Farm and hey, for fresh food, maple syrup from their own trees and hay, head to their farm stand. And speaking of stand – look at me standing atop a huge bale of hay!

With my feet firmly back on the ground I posed with some squash then climbed up on the wall to sit with the boxes of pumpkins for a while.

My legs were getting a bit cramped so I hopped down and headed over to visit with the alpacas, The Finkles,  who didn’t seem to mind my company.  I certainly did not expect to see alpacas in Vermont!

A stop to pose in front of the Warren Covered Bridge that spans the Mad River then back to my temporary home at the West Hill House B&B and ready for a warm cup of hot chocolate and a little cake.

Wow, have I had fun! I can’t wait for my next adventure! Tomorrow I am off across the Green Mountains to visit Middlebury, Vermont – I wonder what adventures await me there.

 

National Parks Week April 21-29

May 21, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

In Vermont we are proud of our woodlands, our mountains and our waterways. In fact, the mission of our Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is to practice and encourage a high quality of stewardship of Vermont’s environment by managing forests for sustainable use and by providing and promoting opportunities for compatible outdoor recreation. This mission echos the concern for the environment expressed by John Muir in the late 1800′s as he explored the vast magnificence of the natural wonders of the US west.

John Muir, a Scottish born American naturalist was an early advocate of the preservation of the American wilderness. His many writings tell of his adventures in nature and especially his love of the Sierra Nevada. An outspoken supporter and active defender of  nature preservation,  his enthusiasm for nature was boundless.

An early advocate of the idea of national parks, Muir petitioned the US Congress to pass the Nation Park bill which, when passed in 1890, brought about the creation of both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Today the name John Muir graces numerous trails, glaciers, camp-grounds and monuments in national park lands. Founded by Muir, The Sierra Club continues to be one of the most active and important conservation groups today.

If you watched the Ken Burns documentary on the National Parks you will remember the first part focuses on the life of John Muir.

Today in the United States, this Scottish born naturalist is referred to as the “Father of the National Parks”. Thank a Scot and go out and enjoy a national park this week.  April 21-29 isNational Parks Week .

Father of the National Parks John Muir

"Father of the National Parks" John Muir April 21, 1838- December 24, 1914

 

Relaxation Plus!

March 16, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Cat nap

Winter gives way to an early spring

Mountainside snow melts in the warm sun

The ground begins to thaw as we enter mud season

Crocuses, tulips, and irises poke their heads through the soil

Inside West Hill House B&B Smoky demos cat yoga and enjoys a relaxing nap.

Come join Smoky and Snowball, choose your own chair of course, and chill out.

For new bookings made after March 27th for between then and April 26th we are offering these two special deals:

  • Stay two nights and have the third night on the house! A 33% discount.
  • Stay one night and get the 2nd night at half price! A 25% discount.

These discounts are not available on-line. Please call us to book.

(may not be combined with other discounts)

 

 

Ski boots galore!

March 6, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

"We sure had a good day on the mountains."

After a busy day at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, guests’ boots rest by the fireside while their humans enjoy their steam showers and jacuzzis.

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