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Active Outdoors
What you don't see in this early-morning overview of Saddleback is all the hidden, winding open lines that snake through the trees on this big, burley mountain. (Tim Jones/EasternSlopes.com photo)

Active Outdoors: Enjoying winter while it lasts

Saturday, March 21, 2015

This column could also be titled: “Why I’ll still be writing about skiing in mid-April.” The winter of 2014-15 got a late start. Except for the Thanksgiving storm (which was really too early to count, since all the snow eventually melted), winter didn’t arrive in all its glory until late January. Fortunately, it seems to be in no particular hurry …

Active Outdoors: Great skiing! More ahead!

Friday, March 6, 2015

The main reason I ski in December, January and even early February is so my legs will be in shape for March and April. The best of New England skiing starts after Presidents’ Week and lasts until the last lift stops turning. Across northern New England, March is typically the month with the …

Active Outdoors: For outdoors lovers, it could be the best winter ever

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sure, we all feel sorry for the poor commuters in Boston and other coastal cities. Almost everyone wishes all that snow had fallen on the northern hills instead of the coast. But spring will come too soon and the cities will be their normal rat-race before you know it. Meanwhile, the rest of …

Active Outdoors: Blizzard! Blizzard!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Even with satellites, radar and sophisticated computer models, weather forecasting is still a very imprecise science. Especially in New England. The “Blizzard of 2015” in late January is the perfect example. It was originally forecast to bury everything …

Active Outdoors: Don’t wait for real “winter” to arrive before you decide to get outdoors

Friday, January 23, 2015

What have you been doing for fun this “winter.” In much of New England, the end of 2014 and the start of 2015 have brought less snow than most of us hope for. The MLK weekend rain storm …

Active Outdoors: “Uphilling” at ski areas

Friday, January 9, 2015

Climbing the hill under your own steam before skiing or riding down is one of the hottest trends in winter sports these day. Advances in equipment have made “uphilling” more accessible than ever, and more and more and …

Active Outdoors: First-day hikes start the new year right

Thursday, December 25, 2014

So … would you rather start the New Year off with a hangover or a dose of fresh air, exercise and fun? I think it’s safe to say that most Active Outdoors aficionados would choose the latter. It’s …

Active Outdoors: Camping at home

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Thanksgiving storm left our home without electricity (and cable) for three days. Other people were without power much longer than we were. Fortunately, we were already planning to have dinner with friends and they had power. While …

Active Outdoors: Determining your own opening weekend makes for a good time on the slopes

Friday, November 28, 2014

These days, there are really three sort-of-semi-official starts to the ski season in New England. There’s the “We’re open first!” start, usually in October or early November, when Sunday River (sundayriver.com), Killington (killington.com) and, sometimes, tiny Woodbury (woodburyskiarea.com) …

Active Outdoors: What are your plans for winter?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mid-November to mid- or late-December is the season I call “Almost Winter.” The leaves have fallen but snow hasn’t – or, if it has, it’s reluctant to stick. A stretch of cold weather will be followed by a …

Active Outdoors: Have you ever experienced wilderness?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, while our wives were enjoying a weekend of what they call “retail therapy” (which I refer to as “shoot me, now”), my buddy David and I threw packs on our backpacks and headed …

Active Outdoors: Snow’s coming! Are you ready?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Has anyone else gotten excited by the first hints of snow this season? It started back in mid-September, when it was still technically summer. We got a frosty night or two and Sunday River (sundayriver.com) up in Bethel, …

Active Outdoors: How did you use the gift of a beautiful weekend?

Friday, October 3, 2014

No doubt about it, we were given a gift: two days of warm temperatures and sunshine, on a weekend, in late September, with fall foliage coming on strong across northern New England. The question is: Did you appreciate …

Active Outdoors: Fall biking begins

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall is absolutely the best time for biking in New England. There’s no better way to view fall foliage than from the seat of a bike (and no, I don’t mean one with a motor – that’s cheating). …

Active Outdoors: Paddling and hiking at three wilderness luxury lodgings in Maine

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My sweetheart Marilyn and I are rarely (well, actually, never) disappointed by our adventures, but it’s also rare to have an outing turn out far, far better than expected. Our Great Maine Wilderness Late Summer Getaway … was …