It’s been a slow start to the season, but Bolton Valley has finally started running the Vista Quad to offer lift-served skiing from the Vista Summit, so on the way back from some errands in Williston, we stopped in for some turns. We had a bit of new snow in the area this morning, but it was just cloudy when we arrived at the mountain. Temperatures were quite comfortable, sitting in the low 30s F in the Village.
“I thought conditions might be a bit spring-like with temperatures near freezing, but it was immediately evident that surfaces were full on wintry at all elevations.”
We were in that sort of transition time between the day and night skiing, so we caught a great spot right at the top of the main parking area, suited up, and headed right for the Vista Quad. The night skiing lights were just coming on as the daylight was fading, which is always a fun time to be out on the mountain. I thought conditions might be a bit spring-like with temperatures near freezing, but it was immediately evident that surfaces were full on wintry at all elevations. The areas with snowmaking and high traffic were somewhat scratchy as one would expect, but boy was there great snow off to the side of the trails and on natural snow terrain. I was surprised to find that that there was even powder off piste, just like I’d experienced on Monday, albeit with a bit more settling. Down at our house in the valley the powder has gone through a number of thaw-freeze cycles and become crusty, but clearly that hasn’t been the case up at elevation. I had some fantastic turns along the skiers left of that first long stretch of Sherman’s Pass – between the natural snow and what the day’s skier’s had thrown there on top of it, it was really soft. There was a lot of contour as well, with all sorts of dips and rolls in which to play with your turns.
Everyone but Dylan was on Tele gear, and Ty is still in E’s boots since we haven’t picked up any larger ones for him yet. It was evident today that he needs something with softer flex though, because despite his foot size, he really doesn’t have the weight to properly flex E’s boots. As we’ve often seen before, there were a lot of skiers in military attire, one of the local mountain divisions etc., but what we noticed was that they were on some sort of alpine touring gear now. That makes total sense as far as I’m concerned, because they shouldn’t have to try to learn to ski in free-heel equipment with the modern types of bindings that are out there. A lot of those guys aren’t hard-core skiers, so working with fixed heel bindings is hard enough.
The Vista Quad seemed to go on wind hold for a bit, so we did a run on the Mid Mountain Lift and then headed up to Fireside Flatbread for some dinner. The football playoffs were on the big screen, and they were running a special with $2 slices and $2 drinks. The boys renewed their love affair with Fireside’s great crust, and it was three rounds of slices before they were finally satiated. Terrain is still somewhat limited on the mountain at this point, but it was great to finally get back for a lift-served session and some food. It looks like we’ve got a reasonably cold week coming up with the potential for some natural snow, so I’d expect to see some terrain expansion coming by next weekend.