Springtime Convergence: Skiing, Syrup and the Solar Eclipse in Craftsbury

Posted by Garrott Kuzzy, Lumi Experiences on Apr 11th 2024

Springtime Convergence: Skiing, Syrup and the Solar Eclipse in Craftsbury

Springtime Convergence: Skiing, Syrup and the Solar Eclipse in Craftsbury

On Monday afternoon, while the corona of the total solar eclipse shined bright against a darkened sky, the last snow was melting and final dregs of sap were running from maple trees across northern Vermont. As a Vermont-based company, Lumi Experiences’s Communications & Operations Manager Lauren is based near Craftsbury, Vermont. Here’s a spring update from Lauren:

This time of year, chances of cloud cover in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom are high, but eclipse observers lucked out with a brilliantly clear and sunny day on Monday. In the afternoon, the rural roads around Craftsbury were abuzz with visitors. The partial eclipse was visible for a couple hours before three very special minutes when the moon moved directly in front of the sun. The sky darkened, the temperature dropped and it looked like the sun was setting for the day – only to return a few minutes later. Two planets, Venus and Jupiter, were even visible during the total eclipse!

On the same day, there was still just enough snow for folks to get out for perhaps their final ski of the season at nearby ski trails like the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Meanwhile the sugarers in the area were hard at work boiling the last sap of the season into maple syrup.

It’s been a record-breaking season for some sugarmakers in Vermont. During the winter and early spring, as conditions fluctuated for cross-country skiing, big temperature swings created ideal circumstances for sap flow during warm daytime temperatures. The cold nights reversed the pressure, sucking more water up into the maple trees — nature’s way of replenishing a tree’s sap stores so the slightly sweet water is ready to flow again when the temperature rises.

When you cross-country ski in Vermont, you might see metal buckets hanging from deciduous maple trees or a network of colorful, chest-high tubes that branch out from several trees to one main line. These are the two main ways sugarers in Vermont tap trees and capture the sap they produce before reducing it in a hot evaporator into the thick sweet syrup we all love. Interestingly, one sugarmaker reported sap slowing almost to a halt after the eclipse. The spring days are also growing warmer.

As a Vermont-based company leading cross-country ski vacations to destinations around Europe, we like to share this special sweet treat that is almost solely produced in North America with our hotel partners. My favorite is to drizzle maple syrup on Icelandic Pönnukökur or Austrian Kaiserschmarrn!

If you’re interested in some sweet skiing in Vermont, Lumi offers a Vermont self-guided trip to a few of our favorite cross-country ski centers across the state, including Rikert in the Green Mountains, Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, and the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in the Northeast Kingdom. Other self-guided locations include Austria & Italy, Norway and Canada. Reach out by August 31 to book your self-guided ski adventure for 2025!

Next week I look forward to sharing photos and stories from the land of fire and ice with you. This spring’s Iceland-Fossavatn trip starts on Monday and there are only a few spaces left on the 2025 Iceland-Fossavatn trip — reach out soon if you’d like to ski in Iceland next spring.

Hope to see you on the trail in 2025,

Garrott Kuzzy