Although we’ve been on snow in Finland for the last month, there’s still nothing quite like that hard-earned first Vermont ski. Like most of my First Skis and many of my Last Skis growing up, this one was on the “secret trail.” Not that its really much of a secret, but it doesn’t get much traffic. Probably because you have to hike up Mt. Mansfield for 30-40 minutes to get there, and its not even 1k of skiing. Located in a shady little shelf under the cliffs, the “secret trail” has a remarkable ability to collect and retain snow, and its actually relatively flat and skiable. It had a pretty good crusty base under the fresh snow, which was nice. I didn’t have too much time to ski, since I didn’t bring my skis up the first time (a mistake! always bring the skis up Mansfield!) and had to make a second trip with skis, but really the hiking was the workout, and the 15 minutes of skiing was just for fun!