Bolton Valley, VT 06DEC2014

An image of snow on roofs and trees in the Bolton Valley Village in Vermont
Taking in some of the snowy views in the Bolton Valley Village this afternoon

Last night a storm began to affect the Northeast, and it was very similar to the type of storm we had Wednesday. Snow was anticipated on the front end, with some mixed precipitation in the middle, and then more snow on the back end. This time however, we remained on the cold side of the storm for the entire time, so there was little if any mixed precipitation among the snow. It snowed lightly all day today at the house in Waterbury, and later in the afternoon we headed up to Bolton Valley to see what the storm had done and hopefully make some turns. Everybody in the family was able to go today, so that meant E would get her first turns of the season. We were also thinking of picking up our season’s passes, but we were heading out a bit too late to really have a chance at that.

An image of Dylan sitting on the closed Wilderness Double Chairlift at the start of a ski tour at Bolton Valley Ski Resort in VermontTemperatures down in the Winooski Valley were a few degrees above freezing, but it was right around the freezing mark up in the Bolton Valley Village at 2,100′ and there was some very light snow still falling. After gearing up at the base of Wilderness, E began to lead the ascent, and hopped onto a track taking her up Lower Fanny Hill. I was actually thinking we’d take our usual route up Lower Turnpike, but E’s selection gave us the perfect opportunity to mix it up a bit. We began the ascent with 3-4″ of powder above just a bit of old base at the elevation of the Village. The snow had some heft to it, so I suspected that it would do a decent job of keeping us from touching down too much, especially with some help from our fat skis. We continued on up Fanny Hill, and the depth of the snow increased pretty quickly. By 2,500′ the depth was about 5-6″, and when we finally called the ascent at around 2,700′ on Lower Crossover due to fading light, the powder was roughly 8″ deep. I’d say that snow depth is actually due to the past couple of storms combined, but the weather has been cool enough in the past few days to keep all the snow in good shape.

For the descent we started off down Work Road, finding some excellent turns in the dense, but fairly dry snow. We would occasionally hit a rock here and there, but really that was in those windswept spots like the junction with the Wilderness Lift Line that just didn’t have the snow depth. Keeping to the well-covered portions of the trails yielded some excellent turns, and after dealing with the wet snow last Saturday, Ty definitely enjoyed the chance to try out his new Telemark gear on this higher quality powder. He was looking extremely confident and comfortable with his Telemark turns, and even Dylan was making some excellent turns. They both made sure to work on those turns on their weak sides to keep improving them. E said that she had some great turns, but did take it easy at times with some alpine turns in tricky spots just to make sure she didn’t stress her back; it had been giving her trouble last week and she didn’t want to go back to that state. For the last 200-300 vertical feet of the descent, the snow was starting to get a bit wet and wasn’t offering quite the same quality of turns as higher up, but it was still quite decent and much drier than what Ty and I skied last weekend. The biggest challenge during the descent was the fading light and the fact that some fog had just come in. The fog at dusk made for a surreal experience, especially was we arrived back down to the lights of the Village. There had been enough snow and minimal plowing that E felt we could ski right back to the car in the parking lot, and she was right. Cars were actually having trouble getting around the Village due to the new snow and minimal plowing. It was a great day to finally get the whole family out skiing together, and due to the good conditions and snow making temperatures, the mountain is actually planning to open on Friday, which is ahead of schedule.

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