The MVP Health Care Wintry Wander was a chilly challenge in its second year, but it was gorgeously sunny on the Bolton Valley nordic trails, and the families and friends who joined us on the course had a great time!
The event began with teams showing up between 8:45 and 9:30 a.m. to register, get a trail pass, and receive their team passport. It was wonderful to see all the children so excited to go hunt for points.
With temperatures barely reaching the teens, it was important to be prepared!
At 9:30 teams received an overview and their official map. They had time to review and make plans before heading outside for a 10:00 race start. Most teams headed to the north but a couple decided to tackle the southern points first.
A few teams joined slightly later, after the sun had a chance to warm things more. When the wind was still and the sun was out, it was a surprisingly lovely day.
The course had a total of seventeen points. Ten were on trails and seven required some off-trail snowshoeing. There was no required order; teams could get as many or as few as they wanted to.
A couple of the off-trail points (11 and 16) were particularly challenging, requiring teams to explore a bit or struggle to get up a steep snowy hill. Take a moment to look at the great trail map designed by Shawn Freebern.
Some teams crossed paths with family members participating in the Frigid Infliction! Our ten hour event was taking place at the same time and many Wintry Wander participants got to see the other racers up on the high ropes course or on the trail.
Teams finished with smiles and laughs and great stories. There were a couple sad tots who woke up when their backcountry sled tour was over. Keep going, mom!
After finishing, teams headed inside to warm up and share in some hot cocoa, cookies, and Garuka Bars!
Then there was a brief wrap-up where awards were given to winning teams:
Most Off-Trail Points: Ocho Locos
Most On-Trail Points: Wee Goslings
Snowiest Team: A breath of fresh Anair
Most Cheerful Hearts: Duck Duck Goose
Best Team Name: The De-trek-tives
Thanks to everyone involved in making this event happen, particularly our great volunteer crew:
- Tim and Graham, who began setting points far earlier than any rational person would be awake
- Bill, who brought hot water for cocoa and attempted to corral the hordes of volunteer children
- Charlotte, who took some awesome photos and kept things moving along inside and out
- Meg and Eleanor, for everything from PR to staffing registration to guarding the snacks until the wanderers returned
- Ali, Erin, and Karin for cleaning up all the flags later that weekend
- Laurie, for continuing to provide homemade cookies to the winners of Best Team Name at GMARA events. Yum.
Thanks to our sponsors for making the event possible. Thanks to MVP Health Care for supporting the event and providing first aid kits to teams (thankfully none were needed!) Also, Garuka Bars provided a yummy bar to every participant and Bolton Valley was, as always, a great resort to work with. The Lake Champlain Sailing Center, Petra Cliffs, and Regal Gymnastics provided prizes to the winning teams.
|Team Name (size)||Finish Time||On-Trail Points||Off-Trail Points|
|Ocho Locos (8)||12:42||10||7|
|Frozen Four (4)||12:40||10||6|
|Duck Duck Goose (3)||12:36||10||2|
|Wee Goslings (2)||12:17||10||1|
|North or Be Eaten (3)||12:58||6||6|
|A breath of fresh Anair (6)||12:59||6||6|
|The De-trek-tives (6)||12:29||6||0|
|Team Beaumier (4)||12:24||3||2|
|Liam’s Super Troopers (7)||12:45||3||2|
|The Snow Cobras (2)||12:03||3||0|