There’s no doubt that last Saturday was one of our best ski days of the season so far; it’s just hard to go wrong with a couple feet of fresh snow. Today wasn’t quite going to be able to hold up that level though. After a couple smaller storms earlier this week, a mixed precipitation event came though the area on Thursday and Friday. Although there wasn’t any dramatic warming or melting in the mountains, the temperatures did get high enough to affect the snow.
From the initial snow report I saw from Bolton Valley this morning, it didn’t seem like it was going to be worth heading up to the mountain for skiing – it sounded like groomed runs were going to be the call since they’d seen some freezing rain that glazed up the terrain. As the afternoon wore on though, it was sunny and warm enough that it seemed like the slopes might soften, especially the lower-elevation, west-facing terrain at Timberline. Also, the non-groomed terrain must have been acceptable, because virtually everything was open. We decided to head up for a couple of runs and check it out.
Although initial reports had indicated that the Timberline mid station was not going to be open, but the time we got up to the mountain, it was. We took a run off Twice as Nice, and found that the conditions up top were somewhere between winter and spring. I’m not sure if the freezing level was higher earlier, but it was only on the lowest quarter of the trail where we found soft, spring-like snow. The high elevations were cold and windy, but we decided to take one more run from the top of Timberline to see what other options presented themselves. We skied Sure Shot, and in general the snow was hard up there, not softening until we got down toward the bottom of Timberline Run into the more directly south-facing terrain.
The base looked fine when we were at Timberline today, and in fact the most recent storm probably substantiated it more with at least a half inch of liquid equivalent. We’ll just need to get some new snow on it to get the skiing back to soft conditions, but whatever storm comes next could make for some really good skiing atop the current base.