Based on the way the snow had picked up during my tour at Bolton Valley yesterday, I knew the resort would be reporting more snow today, but when I was checking on the snow totals for the Vermont Ski areas this morning, I was surprised to see that Bolton’s storm total was already up to 25 inches. That definitely called for a morning visit to the hill on my way into Burlington, and with the numbers they were reporting I suspected depths would be sufficient for my first visit to Timberline this season. It was a pleasant morning, with reasonable visibility despite snow showers touching off in the higher elevations. Winds had died down somewhat, allowing snow to more easily collect on trees in the mountains, and I enjoyed the whitened views of the peaks as I headed down the Winooski Valley.
Indeed the snow depths at Timberline looked great, and there were several cars in the south parking lot belonging to eager skiers and riders out earning turns. As I was gearing up, I heard one snowboarder that had just finished a run shout to a friend “I didn’t hit base once”. That was encouraging. I took a quick measurement above the Timberline Base Lodge and found a fairly consistent 15 inches of depth. It seemed like a good mix of denser snow below, and some fluffier stuff on top – if that was representative of what was out on the trails, it would mean good protection from underlying obstacles and smooth turns on top.
“As I was gearing up, I heard one snowboarder that had just finished a run shout to a friend “I didn’t hit base once”.”
I hopped on the Twice as Nice skin track and made my way upwards until I cut over below the Spell Binder headwall in preparation for my descent. There was some drifting around, but Timberline is pretty sheltered in its lower elevations, so there was a lot of unadulterated powder out there. I changed over for the descent, dropped in for my first turns, and promptly headed over the handlebars in classic Telemark style. Even with my 115 mm fat skis, the buoyancy of the snow had just dropped out from under me as I hit a pocket of powder that was 24 inches deep. I took that under advisement, adjusted my style to be a bit more prepared for any buoyancy changes, and cruised my way down through some fine November powder. The combination of sufficient underlying snow and lighter powder on top definitely made today’s turns my favorite of this storm cycle.
“The combination of sufficient underlying snow and lighter powder on top definitely made today’s turns my favorite of this storm cycle.”
As is often the case with storms in the upslope areas of the Northern Greens, the effects linger, and the remnants of Winter Storm Argos are still delivering snow to the area today. Bolton Valley was reporting a 26” storm total as of this afternoon. We’re still getting snow even down here at the house this evening, so there should certainly be a bit of freshening in the mountains for anyone heading out for turns tomorrow.