Stowe, VT 13MAR2011
It was snowing down at the house when I got up this morning, and we picked up a couple tenths of an inch, but eventually as temperatures warmed down in the valley we switched over to rain. It continued to snow in the mountains however, and the snow was starting to pile up. We headed up to Stowe in the afternoon, and the rain changed over to snow a bit before we reached the Nordic Barn, which is around 1,000’ in elevation. From there on up it was all snow.
Up on the mountain the temperatures were in the mid 30s F around the base elevations, and it snowed all afternoon. It wasn’t really accumulating at the base elevations, but boy was it accumulating up high. On our first trip up the gondola in the early to mid afternoon, I checked the depth of the new snow up there and found that there were already 6 to 7 inches of medium-weight powder on the ground. For our first run we hit Perry Merrill, and the skiing was really good from top to bottom. In the upper elevations there was the fresh powder, and while the depth of the fresh snow fell off toward the base elevations, the base snow was even more soft and pliable. The packed snow was a bit dense and wet in the lowest elevations, but not bad; it reminded me of the Pacific Northwest just as I’d suspected it would when the forecast was suggesting. We did a run on Chin Clip, where the conditions didn’t seem quite as good as Perry Merril, potentially due to higher traffic or all the bumps that revealed the firmer base between them.
It continued to dump, and after a mid afternoon lunch/snack break we headed back to Perry Merril because it had been so good before. I brought some of the boys from our group into the Hazelton Zone and those fresh turns were really nice. There were so many quality untracked powder lines in there to ski, but all we could do was touch the surface and get a sampling for the boys.
Even with just the afternoon, the boys were pretty tuckered out by the end of the day, but they were intrigued by where they had been and had fun studying Stowe’s trail map in the lodge. When Ty was helping me get the car, he was very impressed with some of the snowbanks, so he climbed up one above the car and I grabbed a photo. Even at the base elevations where temperatures have been marginal in some events, the snowbanks seem to keep growing. As we were leaving the mountain, the snow level had dropped a bit, and although it looks like snow is winding down with this event, it has even changed back over to snow down here at the house.