Valley, VT 10DEC2010
This morning I headed up to Bolton to catch some opening day turns and check out the four feet of new snow they’d picked up over the week. On the way up I could see that Timberline was just loaded with tracks from all the folks that had been earning turns there. We’d had our coldest temperatures of the season this morning, and although it was still somewhere in the single digits when I arrived at the mountain, the wind was calm and it turned out to be very comfortable.
They had the usual early season options going, but also some natural snow terrain such as the lower part of Wilderness. I saw that VT 200 was open at the top, but it still looked somewhat bony. I found that Wilderness and the routes over there were the places to be though, one could get some nice steeper turns in about a foot or so of powder in the junction areas of Swing, Lower Crossover, and Work Road, and then down on the Wilderness lift line it was mellow powder cruising.
I did some depth checks, finding 10 inches of powder atop the base up at the Vista Summit plateau, 17 inches off to the side of Sherman’s Pass a little lower down, and 27 inches at the bottom of Alta Vista. I also checked out Lower Turnpike and found 15-20 inches of settled snow on it, but without some grooming or at least some skier compaction, that would be deep for that pitch. In general though, there must have been some very impressive depths in spots on the mountain before that stuff had settled.
In the parking lot I met members of a group from Pennsylvania that was up skiing for the week, staying at the Trapp Family Lodge with a timeshare setup. They had skied Stowe earlier in the week and were catching Bolton’s opening. I’m not sure if they had this trip planned out long in advance, or came up because of all the new fluff, but either way I’d say they got some decent snows for early December. I think this is the third season in a row that Bolton has been able to open up with at least some natural snow terrain options. Pushing the opening to early December certainly seems to help in that regard relative to starting up in November.