For the valleys in Northern Vermont, our first big winter storm of the season hit the area this week, and it created some potential holiday travel woes because of its occurrence so close to Thanksgiving. The storm was essentially complete by the time we traveled on Thanksgiving Day, but with 8.2 inches of snow, and 1.62 inches of liquid equivalent, it had certainly bolstered the snowpack in the yard and changed the look of the landscape. While the storm did have some mixed precipitation and rain in the middle, it was quite a nice gain in snow for the mountains, with some of the ski areas in the Northern Greens picking up more than foot of snow. And, as is often the case, the final volley from the storm consisted of a good shot of dry powder that sat well atop some newly added dense base to create some great Thanksgiving Day skiing.
With our holiday traveling done, we finally had the chance to get out today and sample some of the new snow. Dylan was away at a friend’s house, but E, Ty, and I headed up to Bolton Valley to earn some turns. They had reported 9 inches of new snow for Thanksgiving morning, and as we headed up to the Village, we stopped in at the base of Timberline at 1,500’ to check on how the snow had settled in down at that elevation. The depth of the powder was 3 to 4 inches over a good base, and we could see that there had been plenty of ski activity on Timberline’s slopes. Continuing on up to the Village at 2,100’, we found that the snow had increased to 4 to 6 inches in depth.
“The powder skiing was
every bit as good as
what I’d experienced
Having experienced some good snow on Turnpike on Sunday, I figured that we would check that out again today. Of course, with it being two to three days since the snow fell, plenty of skiers and snowboarders had been out on the trail, a lot more than the single track I’d seen on my last trip. We were treated to a nice skin track, but most of the powder was tracked out, so we definitely kept our eyes open on the ascent for lesser used options. We ran into Cam at the top of Lower Turnpike, and chatted about the mountain’s opening in a couple of weeks. If we can stick with the current weather pattern, things are looking quite good.
Like I’d done on Sunday, we stopped our ascent around 2,900’ on Turnpike since the terrain above that level was rather windswept, but snow depths had increased to roughly 6 to 8 inches, and combined with the base, there was easily over a foot of snow sitting there in many places. On the ascent I’d looked at the snow on Cougar and the Wilderness Lift Line, and I’d seen only a couple of tracks, so we worked those into our descent. The powder skiing was every bit as good as what I’d experienced on Sunday, and I was glad that we found plenty of untracked snow for Ty and E. Ty was putting together some great turns on his Teles, and I think his skiing was helped by the fact that he was in high spirits. E had her first chance to get on her Element skis with her new Telemark boots, and she definitely felt a big increase in control that she’d previously lacked with on her fat skis with her old boots.
Today was a great, mellow outing, just like you’d expect pre-season at Bolton Valley. Along with Cam, we saw a couple other pairs of skiers, and they all appeared to be experiencing that same vibe. We’ve actually got our next small storm coming through tonight, and it’s supposed to persist into tomorrow, so perhaps we’ll get a freshening of the powder that will set things up for more turns. It’s been a great November of skiing around here, and now it’s on to December – let’s hope it can follow suit.