It was after dark when we arrived at the winter parking lot for Little Lyford and Gorman Chairback Lodges and Cabins. Shortly after our arrival a staff member from Little Lyford showed up at the trailhead on a snowmobile with luggage carrier and shuttle in tow. It was going to be my first experience in the “pod”, a black spaceship like vehicle that is towed behind a snowmobile to travel folks into the Lodges who arrive late or prefer not to ski.
A short 30 minutes in the pod and we were at Little Lyford getting the tour from the friendly staff. They showed us where meals would be taken, the bathrooms where the sauna is located and last but surely not least our own private cabin with a fire already burning in the stove.
With temperatures well below freezing during the day, near the 0 degree mark, we spent a fair amount of time in the cabin relaxing by the fire.
To stay warm in such temperatures we had to layer up. When dressing for winter activities outdoors we use the saying “dress like and onion”. What this refers to is that you should have on multiple layers so that you can add or shed them according to your body temperature.
When we weren’t hiding from the cold we were on our skis enjoying the many nordic trails in the area. Although we didn’t get out on all of the trails in the area, the few that we did hit were great! The crew there do an amazing job clearing and packing down the trails for backcountry ski travel. We spent our time on metal edge, 3 pin ski set-ups which seemed to be the most appropriate for the type of grooming that is done. The Indian Mountain Circuit Trail was exceptionally exciting with it’s many hills and turns.
One of the highlights for me was that the crew put together a sandwich for us each day. At dinner, they would pass out lunch forms for us to choose our fixings for our sandwich to be bagged for us in the AM. The crew set out snacks with our sandwiches after breakfast and let us top off our lunch bags with fruit, GORP, chips and fresh baked cookies.
After three nights a the Lodge we had to pack up to head home. We got our gear together, dropped it in the shed to be shuttled to the trailhead and strapped on our skis. A moderate 7ish mile ski out via Upper Valley Rd to KI Rd and we were back at our vehicle before lunch. Many thanks to all the folks in the Maine Lodges for all your hard work and hospitality!
Looking for trail conditions or weather? Check AMC conditions and/or call us at Pinkham Notch. We are available by phone at (603)466-2721 every day from 6:30am to 9:00pm or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727, Monday through Saturday, 9am-5pm.