Stowe, VT 23MAR2012

An image of Ty Telemark skiing in spring snow on the lower slopes of Spruce Peak at Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont
Ty, working on spring Telemark turns today at Stowe

This is actually a second hand report from Stowe today – E didn’t have any parent-teacher conferences scheduled and decided to take the boys out alone for some Telemark skiing in the warm spring weather.  Temperatures have been incredibly warm as of late, with Burlington reaching a record 76 F on Sunday, which is 35 degrees above the average high temperature for March 18th.  However, that impressive record temperature was only the beginning; it was quickly bested on Monday, by a high temperature of 79 F, and then again on Tuesday with 80 F, and finally on Wednesday and Thursday, to the tune of 81 F, which is roughly 40 degrees above average.  The record temperatures finally waned today, but it was still quite warm, and the damage to the snowpack has been done.  The snowpack at the Mt. Mansfield Stake dropped 30 inches during the period, and in the lower elevations, slopes were melting out everywhere.  To couple such an historic period of warmth with a winter season that has already been quite warm and low on snowfall, really begins to put this season in rare company.  Were it not for the big storm that hit the area at the end of last month, I shudder to think where we’d be in terms of snowpack.  But, the good news is that local skiing continues to roll along, and since the resorts have been able to make it through this almost perfect storm of insults to the snowpack, it means that they should be able to handle just about anything that the weather can dish out.

“it was quickly bested on Monday,
by a high temperature of 79 F, and
then again on Tuesday with 80 F,
and finally on Wednesday and
Thursday, to the tune of 81 F, which
is roughly 40 degrees above average.”

E said that the Spruce Camp Base Lodge was utterly deserted today, and showed me her picture of just how empty is was in the locker area on the bottom floor.  Not surprisingly, they ran into friends in the form of Mrs. Cabot, Eliza, Ben, and Izzy at the base of the Spruce Peak chairs.  E and the boys did a couple of runs off the Alpine Double, and Ben hung with them as he continued to learn how to snowboard.  Some areas, such as the alpine slide tunnel, were closed due to melting, and connecting over from the top of the Alpine Double to the Sunny Spruce side involved a lot of traversing across grass.  They did have Slalom Hill open with good snow, and race preparations could be seen taking place.  Most of the time was spent on the lower slopes of Spruce Peak, which offer great terrain for the boys to practice on their Telemark skis.  With the low elevation and south exposure in that area though, it was quite warm, plenty of melting had occurred, and there were certainly muddy patches that required navigation to avoid.  It sounds like everyone took the day casually though, and they had a pretty good time.

Apparently a big attraction today was having snowball fights, which occurred over near the employee parking lot below Slalom Hill.  E said the fights went on and on and on because everyone was having so much fun.  Later in the day, E watched Ben while Mrs. Cabot took the girls for dance rehearsal/practice, and eventually everyone reconvened in the Great Room Grill to finish off the day.  With the massive heat wave done, it doesn’t look like temperatures are going into the deep freeze, but they should at least return to something near normal and offer some chances for snow.  There’s still time to rebuild some snowpack in the higher elevations, so it would be great if we could call on some storms to do that as we head into April.

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