Stowe, VT 05DEC2010

Image of the boys skinning up through powder
Dylan works hard to keep pace with Ty as we skin up Spruce Peak.

By this morning, enough snow had accumulated that we decided to head up to the higher elevations and check it out.  Without much of a base, we didn’t expect the skiing to be too great, but it would be a good chance for Dylan to get on his skins and see how everything was working for him.

We first stopped in up at Bolton Valley, where accumulations appeared to be in the 2-3 inch range at the main base (~2,100’).  I took a look around to see if any manmade snow had been put down outside the areas of current snowmaking operations, but didn’t see any on the lower mountain.  A good amount of snow had been made in the Mighty Mite learning area, a fan gun was blowing snow above the lodge, and I could see at least one other gun going underneath the Mid Mountain Chair.  The snow was certainly light and dry, and the powder had accumulated up to a foot in some areas.  We hung out for a bit and let the boys play in the snow, then we headed off to Stowe to see if any ski options were available atop manmade base snow at Spruce Peak.

As we drove toward Stowe, we could see that the valley snow accumulations were quite variable.  We had an inch or two at our house on the Waterbury/Bolton line, and there was a bit less in the center of Waterbury.  North of Colbyville however, the ground was bare, and between there and the Stowe’s Lower Village, there was only the occasional dusting visible on the ground.  As Powderfreak had mentioned in one of his reports to Americanwx.com, we saw a sharp increase in snowfall amounts as one entered the center of Stowe, where they had picked up a fluffy few inches earlier in the morning.

Up at the mountain base, accumulations were similar to what we’d seen at Bolton, with roughly 2 to 3 inches on the ground at the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club building.  We were surprised to see that lift-served skiing was going on over at Spruce (Easy Street area), so we decided to skin up above that elevation and check out the options.  We headed up toward the Sunny Spruce Quad, and found about 4 to 5 inches of fluff as we approached the top of East Run.  The snow was definitely fluffy, so good turns could be had on grassy slopes, but beyond that it was sketchy.  It was definitely rock ski/junkboard territory, although with all of the extra snow we’ve had in the past couple of days, that will be changing.  To continue with the rest of the text and see all the pictures, click through to the Stowe trip report from today.

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