The arctic front that came through overnight dropped an inch or two down here at house, but 4 to 5 inches up on the mountain. It also brought in some colder air – single digits were reported on the Bolton Valley snow report in the morning. While that was cold enough to make riding the lifts less appealing, it sounded like some good temperatures for earning turns. Even though it’s already been a lengthy week of powder skiing, the allure of getting in another workout on yet more powder atop all the snow we’ve had over the holiday break was too much to resist.
I hadn’t thought that there would be much rise in temperatures today, but when I got to Timberline the temperature was already up to 15 F, so combined with the sunshine and minimal wind, it was much warmer than I’d expected. There were a few other cars in the parking lot, and I could see that several sets of tracks had been carved into the new snow at the bottom of Showtime.
The Twice as Nice skin track was in great shape; with the new snow already well packed by various skiers, the ascent was very quick. At the top I decided to head into Doug’s Woods through the upper entrance for a change of pace and to see if the snow in the trees was more protected from any winds. The snow in Doug’s Woods was fantastic, bottomless powder, but unfortunately it was just too much of it for some of the mellower pitches. I measured 24” of unconsolidated snow atop the base, and even with my fat skis I was moving slowly when the pitch wasn’t there.
I slid my way back to the car and was about to gear down to head home, when I noted the time and reconsidered. I had plenty of daylight left and it was just too nice out, so I headed up for another lap. I was feeling the rhythm on that one, and it only took about 20 minutes to ascend Twice as Nice proper. At the Timberline Mid Station I looked upward toward Intro and saw that it was pretty wind blasted, and that made the decision easy to descend from where I was. This time I opted for Spell Binder, which had just a few tracks on it. The headwall held great snow that really hadn’t been affected by wind. Snow was actually excellent from top to bottom, and there was enough consolidation from either previous rounds of wind or skiers that bogging down in deep powder on lower angle sections wasn’t a problem.
It’s been quite a holiday week for turns, with at least some new snow each day, and bigger shots of snow on some of them. This last snowfall actually put Bolton Valley past 100” for the season, and brought the Mt. Mansfield Stake to a depth of 46”, both good signs as we head into January. The next chance at snow appears to be this evening with some snow squalls from an upper level trough.