Bolton Valley, VT 02APR2011
Although the storm that recently came through the area headed too far east to drop feet of snow on Vermont, it still delivered a decent snowfall that set up a powder day. We headed up to Bolton for first tracks with Stephen and Johannes this morning, and as a bonus Bolton was having their 50/50 weekend, where many things (food, tickets, rentals, tuning, lodging, etc.) were half price.
We kicked off the morning with a couple of Vista runs, followed by a couple of Timberline runs, and since nobody was there for the first hour or two, fresh tracks were plenteous. The mountain was report 6 inches of snow up top, and my depth checks generally revealed 6 to 8 inches of snow in the higher elevations (2,500’ – 3,000’), with probably about 4 inches down at the Timberline base (~1,500’). The snow had a good density, but was still pretty dry above 2,000’ and made for some excellent turns. Down below 2,000’ the snow became a bit thicker and a little wet, and it still skied fine, but there was a definitely drop in quality from what was present up above. It was snowing for the first part of the morning, and that was more than enough to keep any sun-induced wetting of the powder at bay. The sun came out as we got closer to midday, and it did start to work on the snow, but a cool wind from the northwest seemed to be keeping the melting at bay. There were some cool snow squalls around in the area, and we could see them hitting the various peaks of the Greens and even the Adirondacks across the lake.
In the afternoon we hit the powder over at Wilderness, visited some additional Vista terrain, and the boys paid a couple of visits to the Progression Park. This was going to be Bolton’s last weekend of running the lifts, but we learned that the mountain will be open next weekend as well for an Extra Innings Weekend. This is apparently due to the great snowpack and the skiers that keep coming; although it was pretty quiet in the morning, both the main village and Timberline parking lots had plenty of cars when we were leaving in the mid afternoon.
Bolton’s snowfall this season is still pretty close to average at 324 inches, but these last couple weeks of cool temperatures have really helped to preserve the snowpack, so base depths are better than what we’d see if temperatures had been warmer. The snow depth at the stake on Mt. Mansfield is sitting right around 100 inches, which is always a good sign of a healthy snowpack for the higher elevations of the Northern Greens. It sounds like there’s the potential for some additional snowfall this week as well, with a storm coming in near the beginning of the week and various fronts and systems.