Our first big Northern Vermont storm of the season came in with a nice thump of snow during the overnight hours, and I awoke to find 7.1 inches of moderately dense snow on the snowboard for my 6:00 A.M. report to CoCoRaHS. Later in the morning the National Weather Service Office in Burlington put out a map showing the overnight snow totals, but the snow was still coming down. Snow continued to fall at the house all morning, and while it gradually tapered to very light snow, we picked up a few more inches to bring us into double digits for the storm total.
We played out in the snow for a while with the boys, and then in the mid afternoon I had to decide if I wanted to get out and make some turns in the new snow. Ideally I was looking for a place where man-made snow had been put down as a base, but unfortunately most of the mountains that had been making snow were actually opening for lift-served skiing. I thought about Sugarbush, since they aren’t opening until tomorrow, but they’ve been a bit testy with people earning turns in recent years and I didn’t want to drive over just to get turned away.
I eventually decided that I’d pop up to Bolton and see how the snow looked. I wasn’t expecting much in terms of skiing without a prior base, but perhaps I’d be pleasantly surprised. The temperature had gone a couple degrees above freezing at our house (elevation 495’), so the snow had been falling off the trees and the snow in the yard had also settled a bit. As Powderfreak had mentioned, the snow accumulations really did fall off as I headed a couple of miles west past the Waterbury/Bolton line. At the base of the Bolton Valley Access Road (340’) it was really amazing, there were just a couple inches of snow on the ground from the storm. It had me really worried about what went on up at the mountain, but fortunately the snow depths began to increase as I climbed in elevation as usual. Up at around 1,000’ near the Bolton Valley Resort sign, it looked like there were about 4 inches on the ground, and by the time I reached the Timberline base at 1,500’ it was notably deeper. I stopped in near the lodge and did a quick measurement with my pole to reveal 8.5 inches of settled snow. I saw one guy putting his skins on his skis for a tour, and noticed a couple of other cars that might have belonged to skiers, but I decided to head up to the main base area and see if things got a bit deeper. While at the base of the access road the temperature had been a couple degrees above freezing just like at our house, it dropped to around the freezing mark by the Timberline base, and it was a couple degrees below freezing up at the village (2,100’). As soon as I parked the car I checked the snow depth there, and found that it was about 10 inches. To read the full report and check out the rest of the pictures, head to the Bolton Valley trip report from today.