Erica and the boys are on vacation from school this week, and it’s allowed us to do some planned media work with the folks at Bolton Valley Resort over the past couple of days. Since last week, the Monday afternoon/Tuesday morning period looked like the best window for sunny skies between storm cycles, so Josh arranged for photographers (Justin) and videographers (Dennis, Sam, and Daniel) to be on site and capture whatever Mother Nature would permit.
Yesterday was a classic case of Mother Nature doing exactly what she felt like doing though – the forecast called for clearing skies in the afternoon, but as we drove up the Bolton Valley Access Road for a 12:30 P.M. meeting with Josh, we headed right up into the clouds. Those clouds didn’t show any signs of pulling away as we gathered in the, and in fact to emphasize their command of the situation, they decided to send along some snow by mid afternoon. It was actually some beautiful snowfall comprised of large, gently falling flakes, but it was clear that we weren’t going to see the sun. With the clouds and snow, we laughed about how that was life in the Northern Greens, but that really is a good thing, even if it means a bit of waiting for prime ski marketing images.
“With the clouds and snow,
we laughed about how that
was life in the Northern
Fortunately, Josh knew how to make excellent use of the weather, and he took care of getting all the interior work done. We had several families with lots of children, and Justin set up a variety of images in a couple of the hotel rooms. Later we went over to the James Moore Tavern and got some dining and après ski shots there in front of the fire with pizza etc. I had a good time, although it was definitely a lot of sitting around for Ty – he was getting pretty cranky by the end. He was in sore need of some outside time on skis, so we were definitely hoping that the following morning would bring some sunshine with it.
I had some work to do in the morning, but E and the boys were up at the mountain by 7:45 A.M. to kick off the day. The media crew got to hit the lifts before they opened to the general public, and Dylan definitely enjoyed getting to ride one of those early chairs. The crew did some shooting on Alta Vista and Cobrass, including what sounded like a fun time up at the Cobrass Café with the kids playing around in some of the deep snow. It wasn’t 100% sunny, but there was great sun at times among puffy white clouds, and that made for some decent lighting. I also heard everyone went for some off piste fun in the Cobrass Woods. Ty dropped a pretty big rock in there, although it wasn’t caught on film.
I arrived at the mountain around midday, and as I was putting on my skis at the base of the Vista Quad, I ran into Daniel shooting video with his Canon EOS 60D. He took advantage of my appearance and captured a tight video shot of me clicking into my alpine skis. I made a run on Cobrass to catch up with the group, but didn’t quite overtake them until they’d already headed in for lunch. I did need to eat as well, so that worked out for me, and E and the boys got to tell me all about their morning. There was of course a lot of stopping during that morning session with all the photography and videography, but they’re somewhat used to that from hanging around with me all the time. All the children (who ranged from roughly age two to teens) seemed to be handle the waiting, although fortunately that’s a lot easier to do when you’re out in the fresh air. It was good that temperatures were very comfortable being right around the freezing mark, so nobody got too cold hanging around.
The crew reassembled for a couple more runs in the afternoon. We headed over to Timberline and Justin took a number of shots of pairs of skiers skiing together and buzzing the camera. Families were often mixed up for variety, but our family did get to ski together for some shots where the four of us were in a row and Justin skied right behind us. The boys did a great job of holding their position, and Justin was appreciative. Ty got into some powder on one of his runs along the edge of the trail, making some impressive turns tight to the trees. Justin had to get along to Burlington by mid afternoon, but as we got toward that point we were starting to lose the sunshine anyway as clouds became more numerous.
Even though it wasn’t perfectly sunny at all times today, it was definitely a great one with a bit of spring in the air. The freezing level rose up pretty high – the Bolton Valley Weather Station at 2,100’ got just above it to 33.4 F, and judging by the look and feel I bet that freezing line got up to ~2,500’. There was a bit of a previous melt crust off piste below the 2,000’ mark in exposed areas, but powder was nice (albeit dense) above that level, and the groomed slopes were just beautiful everywhere. There was even a bit of a spring corn feel to the snow down near 1,500’ on west-facing terrain at Timberline. In any event, it was great getting some sun after being socked in yesterday: That sunny window is closed now though – those afternoon clouds were harbingers of the next storm coming into the area. It looks like it’s going to show some strong elevation dependence, but totals could be good up in the higher elevations were temperatures remain cool.
Josh didn’t waste any time employing his new media on the Bolton Valley website, because within a couple days of the photo shoot we saw a picture of E and the boys appearing in the slide show on the main page:
We’re hoping Josh gets plenty of great images and video from the session!