Dave stayed over through today, and the plan was to get in another day of skiing. With the amazing powder conditions I’d encountered on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, combined with additional snowfall, it was a no brainer to try and make some turns on the holiday. We had contemplated lift-served skiing at Bolton or Stowe, but with the forecast high of roughly 10 F in the valley, E and the boys decided to take the day off from skiing, and Dave and I ultimately decided that it was a day to avoid sitting on lifts. The plan was set for another round of skiing on Bolton Valley’s Nordic/backcountry network.
I’d brought Dave for his first tour in the Bryant region of the trail network back on January 1st, and since the warm weather had turned the powder to mush at that point, the touring was actually the focus, and the ski descent was more peripheral. The skiing at that point, while still fun, was really more useful as an efficient way to get around. On that earlier outing though, I specifically told Dave to envision what the area would be like if it was filled with powder, because that’s that way it is most of the time. With the efficient setup of trails, skin tracks, and glades, along with the incredibly convenient access from the village, it’s quite an amazing resource. This time around, Dave was going to have the chance to see the area in top form.
Up at the village, we stopped in at the Nordic/Sports Center so Dave could grab a Nordic ticket. Having a season’s pass, I only stop in the sports center occasionally, and hadn’t noticed what a nice place it is in terms of a day lodge. There’s a snack bar, and lots of space to change. I saw a mother and daughter changing in there, and they had the entire place to themselves. Dave and I had already planned to gear up at the car, but it made me think about using the area in the future, especially with the boys. E has been planning to bring the boys up there for swimming etc., but in a total coincidence in terms of my visit, Johannes was also up there today with his mom and sister doing just that. Johannes wrote about his experience at the Sports Center on VTSkiReport.com in an article entitled “When it’s too cold to ski…”, so for those that are interested in learning more about the options at the sports center, check that out. With the way Bolton’s season’s passes are including access to everything this season, it’s a great perk.
For our part, Dave and I decided that it wasn’t too cold to ski, especially when powering our own ascents. We headed over to the usual tennis court parking along the edge of the trail network at about 2,050’, prepped our gear, and got skinning. Although my car thermometer was reading in the low single digits, there was no wind, and the sunshine was really doing its thing. We hadn’t been long on the trail before we were heating up and removing clothing. Dave even had to take his hat off. We had a fairly quick and steady ascent up to the Bryant Cabin (2,690’) checking out some of the glades along the way. We could see that there were descent tracks on some of the more popular runs, but plenty of fresh powder was waiting. Check out all the text and deep powder pictures by clicking through to the full report from Bolton Valley today.