Outing Club Reopens for 2022 Season

LYNDON - Some locals may still be digging themselves out after the foot of snow the Northeast Kingdom received over the weekend, but those at the Lyndon Outing Club are overjoyed with the accumulation. The Outing Club opened to the public on Friday, February 5th, which is very late into the season according to President Wendy Beattie.

Beattie got involved with the Outing Club in 1969 when her children were in grade school. She served on the board until 2002 and then returned in 2018, becoming president the next year. In her experience, she's seen some seasons where the Lyndon Outing Club was not able to open at all due to the lack of snow. "I'm fortunate that we're able to open, but this is late," she said.

The Outing Club sold around 200 tickets on opening day, but as the weekend progressed, that number quickly shrank. "Saturday was a little slow, but we are also competing with local sports for graded school kids." The hockey and basketball seasons have many families traveling across the state for the final games.

Despite these challenges, the Lyndon Outing Club's opening kicked right off into the Lyndon and Burke area winter carnival celebrations. The Outing Club is hosting two events this month to coincide with the local traditions: the second annual Uphill Bonanza and the second annual Snowcat Show.

The Uphill Bonanza is a fundraiser event for the Outing Club, started last year by NEK Endurance and Jesse Holden. It's a 6-hour challenge where skiers, snowshoers, and hikers must climb the trails and come back down as many times as possible. Prizes will be given to the top-performing teams, Beattie said. "We have prizes from the Bagel Depot, Jethro Gibbs Guides, Burke Mountain, Kingdom Coffee Roasters, Skida, and the Outing Club."

The antique groomer show will be at the end of the month. Rides to the top of the hill will also be available by donation. "[It's] our big annual event that local people love."

The Lyndon Outing Club plans to be open two days and three nights a week: Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at night and Saturday and Sunday during the day. Their limited hours are due to the volunteer-based board. "More volunteers, people that like working with the public," are always appreciated and could expand those hours, Beattie said.