Bolton Valley, VT 31DEC2010
Today our friend Dave came up from Boston for a skiing visit, arriving in the late morning with his dogs. Like yesterday, we headed up to the mountain around midday, and the found that the trend of moderating temperatures had continued as suggested by the forecasts; we’d seen high temperatures in the low 30s F yesterday, and today’s temperatures topped out around 40 F. The weather was again often sunny, but not quite as brilliantly sunny as yesterday had been.
We’d never left the Timberline area during yesterday’s outing, but I’d received an email from Stephen that evening telling me that the mountain had fired up the Wilderness Lift. We decided that we’d head over for our first lift-served Wilderness turns of the season, and Dave and I rode up Timberline with one of the ski patrol who said that getting in our turns over there as soon as possible was a good idea. With the temperatures remaining warm through Saturday/Sunday, she said that they might need to shut the lift back down by the weekend. We stopped in at the main base so I could grab a ticket for Dave, and while I was in the lodge, he and the boys dropped down on the snow and enjoyed the sun and warm temperatures.
With all the lifts running, we found that lift queues were either nonexistent or pretty inconsequential, which was nice considering that it was a holiday week. We did a few runs on the main mountain with a couple of nice ones off of Wilderness, and then grabbed some waffles at the Waffle Cabin before heading back to Timberline to finish off the day.
In terms of conditions, the snow had transitioned right from mid winter yesterday, to spring like today. Off piste, the powder had become mushy, so we spent our time on the marked runs. The on piste snow was actually quite good, as it wasn’t too sticky and we even found some areas of corn forming where manmade snow, traffic, and sunlight had come together appropriately. All the terrain that had been open on Thursday appeared to be open on Friday, but with the softer snow, thin areas with traffic were starting to reveal ground on some natural snow trails. We had a really fun run down Twice as Nice with the soft moguls, but we were starting to see patches of poor coverage that needed to be dodged. It was nice to have the reprieve from more typical temperatures for New Year’s Eve, and getting in some spring-style skiing was nice, but we also wouldn’t have minded the two plus feet of Champlain Powder™ that fell at this point last season.