Bolton Valley, VT 03FEB2021

An image of snowy evergreens and ski trail signs at the Timberline Summit area at Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont
With the addition of last night’s burst of snow from Winter Storm Orlena, the mountains just continue to build up powder on all surfaces.

With that period of 2”/hr snows we had yesterday afternoon, I stopped in at Bolton for some runs this morning to see how the powder was skiing.  When I got there about 30 minutes after the opening of Timberline, it seemed curiously busy for Bolton Valley on a weekday morning, but I must have caught part of the initial burst of arriving skiers, because it was back to walk-on by my second run.

I was surprised to run into freezing mist and drizzle as I was heading through Bolton Flats, and that was the main precipitation type right on up to the mountain.  My experience was similar to what I’d heard from skiers at other local resorts, in that it was pretty inconsequential with respect to the overall snow quality.  It was irrelevant on the groomed terrain, and in the powder out in the open, while you could tell the layer was there, it was so thin that it just didn’t make a difference with respect to turns.  The powder overall was denser than I thought it would be with my evening snow analyses coming in roughly 5 to 6% H2O, but perhaps the freezing drizzle had its effects there in terms of compacting things a bit.  In the trees, the powder was essentially untouched by any of the mist because of the way the foliage catches most of the mist/drizzle.

While the snow was relatively unaffected by the precipitation, the biggest hassle I found with the freezing drizzle was visibility.  My goggles would glaze up pretty nicely during a lift ride.  The great solution I found was to simply pop out my lens for the lift ride (another nice benefit of magnetic lenses), stick it in my coat, and by the time I reached the top, it was thawed and clear to start another run.

“At the Timberline Base I found about 5” of new snow, and depth checks I did around the mountain in the 1,500’ – 2,500’ range revealed roughly 5-8” of accumulation.”

At the Timberline Base I found about 5” of new snow, and depth checks I did around the mountain in the 1,500’ – 2,500’ range revealed roughly 5-8” of accumulation.  I think was a bit more than what they mentioned in the snow report, but I’m currently seeing a report of 9” in the past 48 hours, so I’d say that’s pretty similar overall.

The precipitation was changing back over to snow as I was heading out, and then later in the day that next round of backside upslope finally came through to finish off the storm.

Even with that bit of freezing drizzle that came through, we really haven’t had too much weather to specifically knock down the fluff or push the snow off objects, so it just continues to stack up on various surfaces and looks quite scenic.

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