Robbins Mountain Power Line, VT 30DEC1995

Today we skied the power line on Robbins Mountain (power for the airway beacon on top).  Here are the stats:

Base elevation: 340′
Summit elevation: 2060′
Vertical drop: 1720′
Length: 5544′
Slope: 31%

After kicking in steps yesterday evening (snowshoeless are we) to 1,100′, we hiked up to around 1,350′ today with skis. Unfortunately, above this point, the line hasn’t been cleared in a couple of years and its pretty thick with brush. Below this point though, its clear sailing, about 40 feet wide and untracked. The snow conditions were about 5 inches powder followed by that crust, then another 2-3 feet of thick powder below. From our starting point, the first 200 feet down are a little brushy (a la Goat) then the trail funnels into a 50 foot chute with steep drops on either side. After this chute, the line opens up for about 200 feet of blue-grade boulevard untracked (one of the best parts). The next 1,000′ consists of a few cliffs (5-10 feet high and easily bypassed if desired) with islands of brush that leave at least half of the trail open at a all times. At this point (elevation 700′) the main power line takes a dive into a stream bed, but fortunately there is a road, or riverbed or something that parallels the line and provides a nice clear route. The last 100 feet or so is a bit of a scramble out the road. Temps were in the 20s and light snow was falling today making for great conditions. 1,000 continuous vertical of untracked powder at no charge; sometimes it’s nice to earn turns by muscle instead of $$$$.

4 Replies to “Robbins Mountain Power Line, VT 30DEC1995”

  1. Hi,

    I enjoyed reading your post about skiing robbins mountain powerline. I’ve been eyeing the powerline on my commute from the interstate daily. Have you skiied it recently or know if it is overgrown?


    1. Hi Lenny, I haven’t skied it recently, but skiing the power line itself is best done as soon as possible after the brush has been cleared (as I’m sure you suspect). Even if the power line itself hasn’t recently been cleared though, there’s skiing in the trees off to the sides of the power line (you’ll see that I mention a bit of that in the report), and you can use Google Earth or Google Maps in satellite mode to check out the areas that are the most clear for potential turns. Either way, if you’re interested in skiing the area you could always use the power line as a point of reference for the tour. We found that parking options weren’t great down at the base there on Duxbury Road/River Road because if there’s enough snowpack to be able to ski the lower elevations of the power line all the way into the Winooski Valley, then there are typically going to be substantial snowbanks on the road that limit parking. We did our best to avoid bothering any of the neighbors, and you can now use the cool “Street View” option on Google Maps to get an idea of what the area along the road is like (we definitely didn’t have that option over 20 years ago). A good approach would probably be to go for an off season reconnaissance hike to get a feel for all the logistics and current touring potential. As always, watch for any posted property signs, be respectful of the neighbors, etc. – things certainly could have changed since we visited the area. Let me know how it goes if you check it out!

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