Bolton Valley, VT 07APR2011
Moisture from the latest storm to come through the area was grabbed by the Northern Greens to make some nice April powder and push the snowpack at the Mt. Mansfield stake right past 100 inches.† On Tuesday night I was watching the snow stream into our area from the west, and it seemed to hold the possibility of some decent accumulation.† Yesterday morning we had over an inch of snow down at the house, and the local mountains had already picked up more than half a foot.† I didnít have time to get out for turns, but at Stowe it was very much an under the radar day for the employees; Powderfreak sent in lots of pictures from the day featuring shots of how they could barely track up the trails with so few people.
The snow seemed so good that I headed to Bolton today for some turns, choosing to drive all the way up to the main base to get that extra boost in elevation and snowfall.† There had even been additional snow yesterday beyond what came down Tuesday night, upping the roughly half foot to somewhere beyond that.† While down at the base of the Bolton Valley access road at around 340í there was hardly any new snow, up at 2,100í in the village the significance of the dump was obvious.† I skinned up Beech Seal doing various depth checks of the new snow along the way.† Up through mid mountain (2,500í) I found typically 6 to 7 inches of new snow with spot measurements of up to 8 inches.† I followed the skin track up along Shermanís Pass, and since a nicely established track was set in right up the steeper face of Schuss, I popped up my climbing bars and made quick use of it.† I finished off with an ascent up Alta Vista.† On the upper half of the mountain up through 3,150í the measurements of the new snow were really just a touch higher that what Iíd found below, typically 7 to 8 inches with some areas hitting 9 inches.
For my descent I focused on Vermont 200 at the top, since the snow had been protected from the wind, but I cut over to Hard Luck and eventually Show Off as I descended into the more protected areas.† I would occasionally touch down on the subsurface, but even on those steep slopes the turns were mostly bottomless.† Although the depth of the new snow was topping out only in the 9-inch range, the nice density gradient had it skiing deep just as Denis commented in his report from Stowe, and Powderfreak indicated in his initial update as well.† The 6 inches they mentioned had skied like a foot, so once could imagine the 9 inches was skiing like something even deeper. As Iíd observed on my ascent, the snow depths didnít actually fall off that quickly on the lower mountain; I skied the Glades trail to fish off my run and it delivered some delightful turns.