Bolton Valley, VT 16FEB2009
Although it was a holiday today, E and Ty had to go to school, leaving Dylan and I home alone. After a couple of sunny days, the weather was mostly cloudy with flurries throughout the day at the house (495’), and it was a little tougher to get inspired to head up to the hill. I got a lot of stuff done at home during the day, and when I asked Dylan if he wanted to head up to the mountain for a couple of runs, he was very excited.
We got up to the Timberline base (~1,500’) at around 3:30 P.M., and the snow flurries were a bit more intense, at times bordering on light snow. The flakes amounted to just a dusting of new snow in the parking lot, but as Wes mentioned in his SkiVT-L report, there were lots of perfect snow crystals that were fun to examine as we caught them on our gloves; Snowflake Bentley would likely have had a blast. We saw Wes and his crew only briefly, as they had to head back to the main base area.
I think that Dylan had had a good time with all of us on Sunday, because he specifically requested that he wanted to go skiing in the “woods”. I figured we had time to catch two runs before they stopped loading the lift, so we did a quick groomed run first (Twice as Nice/Showtime combination) before heading to the woods. The groomed trails were feeling pretty worn out, and there was still mostly packed powder on there, but the harder surface underneath was definitely making its presence known at the end of the three-day weekend.
I had an inclination that Dylan would like to visit the Wood’s Hole Glades for his “woods” run, and as I knew the most obvious lines would be generally tracked up, I decided that we’d explore the far side of the glades. I’d briefly checked out that area on Sunday and found that there weren’t any tracks, but I didn’t know much else about it. We started out with some gorgeous mellow lines through mixed evergreens and hardwoods, and gradually the evergreens began to predominate as we continued along. With seasonable winter temperatures, the powder was still sitting there in the range of 4 to 5 inches as it had in the previous days, although as we moved a bit lower, the preponderance of evergreens actually depressed the accumulation of powder on the ground by a couple of inches since they’d held more of the snow up in their boughs.
After the mellow lines, the pitch began to steepen, and we were soon into an area of smaller, tighter evergreens. Although I was pretty sure we weren’t going to get cliffed out, I could see that the terrain was likely to get steep enough that Dylan would need some help. We weaved our way through the smaller evergreens, and came to a steep chute that offered up several turns at a pitch of about 30-35 degrees. Ample powder had settled in there and it allowed Dylan to control his speed, but he still needed assistance getting through a couple tight spots. It was fun to watch him set off a bit of slough on the steep pitch though. I was very impressed at how calm he was on such a steep pitch, he didn’t seem to panic at all, even when he was stuck and needed my help. As we approached the bottom of the chute, he used a small tree off to the left to assuage his descent, and at first he was in a precarious position having to use arm strength to hold himself up, but eventually he locked his skis into the tree and he seemed very relaxed. It gave me time to get a picture of him, but as sometimes happens, the image didn’t quite convey the steepness of the pitch. As soon as I got down and released him from the tree, he was off like a shot snaking through the more dense foliage below and leaving a long Dylan-style track in the powder. He’d made it to the next trail crossing before I could even put my camera away. He seemed very excited by the whole adventure, and I suspect he’s going to be gung ho for a lot more “woods” this weekend. In actuality, that chute would be a good match for deeper powder since it’s so steep, so it might be fun to bring E and Ty by there to check it out this weekend depending on how the next few days of snow pan out.
It doesn’t sound like we’ve a super huge snowfall event coming up, but I see Scott is suggesting 10”-20” totals above 2,000’ in the Wednesday through Friday period depending on how the upslope goes. That certainly sounds reasonable based on the various weather discussions I’ve seen so far about this event and the upslope potential. Josh Fox is going with 12”-24” through Saturday morning in his forecast, so it seems like they are thinking similar thoughts. After that cycle there is the potential for another event if the late weekend clipper gets amplified and positioned correctly. In any case, it sounds like a good refresh of powder is coming for all the woods, glades, and even the trails over the next few days.
A few shots of Dylan from yesterday are attached below:
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