Stowe, VT 13FEB2011
Our area didn’t get a ton of snow from yesterday’s snowfall activity; we finished up with just 2.5 inches of snow down at the house, and up on the mountain at Bolton they picked up 4 inches. However, many off piste slopes up at Bolton were abound with powder yesterday, and we were able to make good use of it as we got together with Tom, Amy, and James for turns. Today were over at Stowe for skiing with the BJAMS ski program, and although fresh snow was again scarce, we were able to get around and get into some powder.
We started off by playing about in the trees on Spruce Peak. In an early run by ourselves, Ty Dylan and I hit Freddie’s Chute and hopped into the trees off to the skier’s right. The powder was somewhat old, but it was still skiing great even if it didn’t have that extra bubbly property that it can get after just falling.
We got together with our BJAMS group and eventually headed over to Mt. Mansfield for turns. In our single pass down Perry Merrill we found that almost everything we looked at the in Hazelton area was untouched. There are some really fun, steep powder lines in there, but we only got to do one with the group due to time constraints.
I was amazed to see that all of the front four trails were open from the very top, which in some cases means the very steep, rocky sections, with some like upper Goat approaching 40 degrees. I took the group on middle Goat, and looking up, I’m not sure that upper Goat would have been much fun based on the coverage we saw. Coverage always looks worse from below, but it looked really rocky from our perspective.
All in all it was definitely our least snowy Stowe Sunday to date, but since we were still skiing some powder that says a lot. We actually had some light to moderate snowfall during the day for a short time, but nothing in terms of accumulation that established any powder on the trails. The snowpack is well past that stage where the off piste is sufficiently covered, and now that we’ve finally been able to get in on a couple of synoptic storms, things are at the stage where brush is becoming so buried that most hardwood areas between trails, even those that don’t receive trimming attention, have opened up enough for turns. We were finding that aside from zones with tight evergreens etc., you’d just poke your head in the trees and go. Base depths are looking great as we move into some of the best of the ski season, so there should be plenty of good turns ahead.