Bolton Valley, VT 17JAN2021

An image of Ty skiing in fresh powder from Winter Storm Malcolm at Bolton Valley Resort in Vermont
Once the Timberline Quad started loading this morning, we got in some great turns in the fresh powder from Winter Storm Malcolm, as Ty shows here on Spell Binder.

The family was up at Bolton Valley for a ski session this morning, and the mountain reported an additional 6” of snow as of their early report today, making for a 14” storm total at that point.  That will probably go up a bit more for tomorrow since it was still snowing while were there, and indeed the snowfall was heavy at times.

They had a resort-wide power outage in the morning (presumably some heavy, wet snow and/or winds brought something down on the Bolton Valley Access Road), so that delayed opening a bit.  We’d planned to just do lift-served skiing on alpine gear today, but catching wind of the power outage via the snow report, we brought Telemark gear as well, and ascended via the Timberline uphill route to make a quick run there while we waited for the Timberline Quad to open.

An image of Erica skiing on the Twice as Nice Trail during Winter Storm Malcolm at the Timberline area of Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont
Snow from Winter Storm Malcolm continues to fall as Erica enjoys some morning Telemark turns on Twice as Nice.

We switched over to alpine gear once the Timberline Quad started loading, and the skiing was great.  While we were hanging out, we checked total snowpack depth on the Spell Binder trail at around the 2,000’ elevation mark, and generally got depths of 18-20”.

An image of a snow depth measurement stake in Waterbury Vermont with delicate upslope snow sticking to the top and sides of the stake
Back at the house, delicate upslope snow clings to one of our snow stakes out in the back yard. This morning’s liquid analysis revealed the most recent snow came in at 3-4% H2O.

Due to high winds, the uppermost lifts (Vista Quad and Wilderness Double) never opened, so we ended up skiing in just the 1,500’ to 2,500’ elevation range on Timberline.  I know from my experience at the resort yesterday that the snow was notably drier on the upper mountain, so what we skied today in those lower elevations was a bit on the denser side.  The powder had certainly become drier overall with the overnight addition of upslope snow vs. just the dense snow from yesterday, but I bet the snow is even drier in the upper elevations of the main mountain.  With that said, the snow at Timberline was still fantastic, with lots of untracked powder available as ski patrol did their checks and other work to get new trails open.

The mountain is planning to run all the lifts tomorrow as long as the winds die down, so there could be some nice turns on the lifts that didn’t open at all today.

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