People have been talking about the potential for upslope snow on the back side of our current storm cycle for days, and indeed it delivered. Just as the National Weather Service Office in Burlington predicted a few days ago, Jay Peak was the jackpot for this one, pulling in 27” of snow for the storm. From there, it was just an easy walk down the spine of the Green Mountains with the snow totals falling in line: 24” at Smuggler’s Notch, 18” at Stowe, 16” at Bolton Valley, and on downward into the Central and Southern Greens. The early morning pictures from Jay Peak were impressive, as parked cars already began to disappear in the snow, and although I was busy in the morning at work, if I found the time I was going to have to hit the slopes in the afternoon. Since I’m writing this, you can guess that I found some time.
“It wasn’t just good,
it was really good
– even by Northern
I got up to Timberline in the mid afternoon and caught a ride on the Timberline Quad with a bartender on his way up to work at the James Moore Tavern. He lives at the Bear Run Condos, which are slopeside along the Timberline trails, so technically this was his “commute” to work. There was hardly anyone around on the lift since it was getting pretty late in the day, but because he was with me he decided that he’d count it as car pooling. In order to ski home, he often catches a ride to the top of the resort with one of the groomers late in the night when he’s done his shift at the bar, and he said that last night during his nightly excursion, the snow was coming down like mad. It sounds like he had a fun “commute” home last night.
Snow surfaces had been pounded pretty flat by the wind when I’d last visited the resort on Monday, so I figured that it was really going to take a good dump to invigorate the surfaces. I was somewhat skeptical that this storm would be enough… until I took that first turn in the powder off to the side of Villager. It wasn’t just good, it was really good – even by Northern Vermont standards. It was somehow really dry, while still being bottomless. What I’d forgotten was that the resort had picked up some denser snow yesterday morning, and that was sitting down below this latest Champlain Powder™ fluff. That sequence created a beautiful right-side up combination of snow layers. Powderfreak found the quality worthy of comment as well on the American Weather Forum, so indeed it was some impressive powder in which to make turns.
Since it was mid afternoon and people had been out skiing the fresh snow all day, I didn’t really have the run of the resort so to speak with respect to powder. The wind was also having its way in some exposed areas, but I knew where to go. From the Vista Summit I made my way down into the Villager Trees, where the snow was protected and there was plenty of untracked powder. The trees in the there were glorious to behold with all the delicate powder layered on them. I got into some good lines off The Knob, farther skier’s left than I’ve been this season. I probed the powder in various places during my travels, and the measurements all came back in the 15-19” range for settled depth. I don’t believe that was all from this storm in areas that hadn’t seen much traffic, but things start to get deep when it’s powder on top of powder.
Since my car was down at Timberline, I was able to finish off my day there, and I caught some nice turns upon traversing over to Lower Tattle Tale. The Tattle Tale headwall was scoured, but boy was there some deep, well-protected powder on the lower half. I had the trails to myself since it was the end of the day, and Spur was particularly enjoyable as I followed the main track and skirted in and out of the powder on the sides to check my speed. I caught a little bit of powder on the bottom of Spell Binder, and I’m sure it was nice getting fresh tracks there this morning.
The bulk of this storm was really focused on the Northern Greens, and the skiing has definitely stepped back up a notch after getting pretty flat and beaten down over the weekend. This was a much needed dump of snow with so many of the big synoptic systems missing off to the south of the area, and the snow depth at the Mt. Mansfield Stake has reached 65”; it’s finally gotten back above average after being below for a month and a half. We’ve got the potential for a modest snowstorm this weekend, and then another next week, so those could really help to keep building the snowpack if their tracks are halfway decent.