Stowe, VT 27MAR2011
It was ski program day at Stowe today, and since Johannes and Helena are done with their programs at Bolton, Stephen and the kids tagged along with our group. I had to drop off Ty at the Stowe Shaw’s to be picked up for a birthday party, but I eventually caught up with Claire, Stephen, and all the kids just as they were heading up the gondola for their first Mansfield run.
Off piste conditions were fantastic, since the upslope pattern was delivering well and Stowe had seen a foot and a half of snow since the Monday event. I added some of the totals into my update at Americanwx.com, and it showed quite the north to south trend with Jay Peak cashing in nicely:
Jay Peak: 30” (359”)
Stowe: 18” (311”)
Bolton Valley: 14” (316”)
Killington: 4” (251”)
In one of our traverses we stumbled onto a gully in the Lower Goat woods that everyone skied – it had some really steep walls and reminded me of one of those Jackson Hole gullies.
I’d gone with alpine skis since I didn’t know how hard we’d be hitting the terrain, and I’m glad I did. It was fun in the steep off piste, but it was probably even more helpful in skiing the heinous conditions on piste. I think we’ve been lucky at Stowe this season because we’ve had fresh snow almost every week, but today the conditions were like something out of last season. The groomed runs that we encountered were for the most part an icy frozen granular mess. The surfaces were much more like something I’d expect from a coastal area based on manmade snow than one in Northern Vermont. It’s possible that the dramatic differences between the high-quality of groomed snow we found at Bolton on Saturday and the poor conditions we found at Stowe today were due to the wind, but I think it’s just due to the volume of skier traffic.
With clear skies and recent rounds of fresh snow, the views were fantastic today, especially the plastering of the alpine areas with roughly 100 inches at the Mt. Mansfield Stake. I grabbed a shot back toward the Chin and gondola when we were wandering around in the Nosedive Glades.