Stowe, VT 19APR2011

Image of Stowe's Gondolier trail from the Spruce Peak base
Looking up at Gondolier from the Spruce Peak base area

Ali and Wini were heading to The Shed for dinner today, and since I had the time and E and the boys were out of town, it was the perfect chance to get in an evening of skiing and dinner in Stowe.  I stopped off first at Spruce Peak where the coverage is still excellent; that’s a really good gauge of just how much snow is out there because the bottom of Spruce Peak is both low elevation AND south facing – it’s hard to find a tougher challenge to the snow than that.  The skiing was great, with a couple of inches of beautifully smooth corn that had softened during the day and had partially recrystallized into airy goodness.  Dinner with Wini and Ali was great; definitely one of those classic Vermont spring evenings, and with the current snowpack it looks like there can be many more!  For all the details and images, go to my trip report from today.

Stowe, VT 10APR2011

Image of skiing the half pipe at Stowe
Jay joined the kids for some half pipe fun at Stowe today.

After closing out our lift-served Bolton Valley ski season yesterday, today we headed to Stowe for more spring skiing.  We ran into many of the friends that we’d seen yesterday, and since the boys had been excited for a couple of weeks to check out Starr, we took advantage of the great snow and base depths to ski it from the top.  We also got to the ski the entirety of Goat, another Stowe classic, and we even worked in a couple of runs through the monstrous half pipe.  Stowe will be running the lifts for another week, so we’ll see how the weather looks and we may head back for more turns.  For the full details and pictures, read my Stowe report from today.

100 Inches

Mt. Mansfield and Waterbury Vermont snowpack plot for April 5th, 2011
The snowpack at the Mt. Mansfield stake hit 100 inches after yesterday’s snowfall – click for the full size plot
The snowpack at the Mt. Mansfield stake has been flirting with the 100-inch mark for several weeks, but thanks to yesterday’s snow, the afternoon reading indicated that we’d finally hit the century mark.  A depth of 100 inches at the stake is a nice benchmark indicating an excellent snowpack in the Northern Green Mountains, so the base depths for skiing should be decent for quite some time.  Down in the valley, the snowpack at our house in Waterbury was at 16 inches as of this morning’s reading.  I’ve added my latest plot for the Mt. Mansfield and Waterbury snow depths in this post.

Stowe, VT 03APR2011

Picture of the BJAMS Ski Program kids at Stowe
The kids from BJAMS gathering together at the Stowe fire pit on our final ski program day of the season

Today was our final BJAMS ski program session of the season at Stowe, and we had a nice sunny day with great coverage to finish things out.  The conditions were actually an excellent combination of going from mid winter up high to spring-like down low, with easy to ski snow at all elevations.  I was amazed at the way the Nosedive Glades had mid winter snow.  Groomed surfaces seemed much better than last Sunday’s heinous frozen granular, presumably because of some extra snow and warmth from the sun helping out.  While the non-groomed trails were OK, they probably weren’t quite as fresh as last week when we had all that upslope snow.  We did ski the lower part of Lookout and found some decent packed powder surfaces, but also spots of iciness that had to be avoided.  The snowpack on Hackett’s Highway under the triple continues to be impressive – I could touch my ski pole to the trail while riding the lift.  We had Ty, Dylan, Jack, Luke, Ethan, and Madeline in the group – and they had quite a blast hitting the big half pipe.  My friend Chris joined our group, so with Claire and Sue we had four adults for the six youngsters, providing plenty of supervision.  It looks like Stowe will be open for a couple more weeks, so we’ll likely be there for some visits if the skiing looks good.  Coverage shouldn’t be much of an issue with roughly 100 inches at the Mt. Mansfield stake and more snow that fell today.

Good powder in the local mountains

Jay in the powder at Bolton valley
Jay skiing the powder at Bolton valley yesterday

Waterbury event totals: 2.8” Snow/0.06” L.E.

After that quick inch of snow we picked up yesterday, that was it for snowfall down here at the house as far as I can tell.  We were back up at Bolton for some more turns starting around midday, and it was snowing pretty hard for the first part of the afternoon.  Friends that we met up there said that it had snowed like that all morning.  It’s nice to see what’s going on up at Jay, because they were a bit left out of the pattern earlier in the season with so much activity focused to the south.  I’ve added the 7-day and seasonal snowfall totals for some of the VT resorts below:

Jay Peak: 30” (359”)
Stowe: 18” (311”)
Bolton Valley: 14” (316”)
Killington: 4” (251”)

Right now the snowpack is 98 inches at the Mt. Mansfield stake, and if one looks at the SkiVT-L plot for the snow depths, this is right around the date for the typical maximum.  The historical data suggests a small dip after the end of March, but the snowpack really seems to hang around at this level until roughly mid April before it actually starts to fall off., so I could see the peak snowpack depth being anywhere in that range, especially with the current weather pattern.

5.3 inches at the house, 8 inches for the mountain

BTV Radar Image
The streamers of moisture heading into our area at around 10:45 P.M. last night

We picked up 5.3 inches of total snow with this event down in the valley thanks to the second burst of snowfall that came through last night, and up at Bolton Valley as well as Stowe, they picked up a total of 8 inches of snow.  I’ve added a picture of the radar image from around 10:45 P.M. last night that shows the snow still streaming into the area.  I’ve added the north to south list of storm accumulations for the Vermont ski areas below, and additional details can be found in my morning update in the Northern New England thread at

Jay Peak: 6″
Burke: 5”
Smuggler’s Notch: 5”
Stowe: 8”
Bolton Valley: 8”
Mad River Glen: 5”
Sugarbush: 5”
Pico: 4”
Killington: 4”
Okemo: 5”
Bromley: 2”
Stratton: 4”
Mount Snow: 3”

Stowe, VT 13MAR2011

Ty dropping into the powder in the Hazelton area
Ty dropping into the powder in the Hazelton area

We were up at Stowe this afternoon, and while turns at Bolton yesterday were decent, turns today were even better becasue of all the additonal snow. It snowed all day from base to summit and a good 6 to 7 inches of powder was available off the gondola. More details and photos are in my Stowe report from today.

Dylan in the powder on the Stowe website

Dylan skiing powder at Stowe
Dylan ripping up the powder in Stowe's Nastar Hill/Meadows area

One of the pictures from our Tuesday visit to Stowe was added to the photo gallery on their website: it’s Dylan ripping up the powder in the Nastar Hill/Meadows area. Way to go Dylan! You can click on the image here to see it full size, there’s another version available in Stowe’s Gallery, or you can find it by browsing the gallery.

Stowe, VT 08MAR2011

An image of Dylan skiing in powder
Dylan glides through some powder from the recent storm in the Angel Food area at Vermont's Stowe Mountain Resort

Dylan and I headed off to Stowe today to make some more turns in the snow from our recent storm.  By this morning we’d picked up 25 inches of snow at the house, and some of the Vermont resorts had received more than 3 feet.  It was a sunny, blue sky day, and the first thing that grabbed our attention when we got to the mountain was the view of the powdery lower slopes of Spruce Peak.  While they were adorned with plenty of tracks, we could see that lots of fresh lines were left, so we had to check that out for our first run.  We eventually worked our way over to the Mt. Mansfield side of the resort as well, and we really worked ourselves hard in all the powder.  The snow was synoptic in density, and there was a little wind crust in exposed spots, but it was still oh so good.  Dylan did a nice job managing the tricky conditions, even though he doesn’t yet have any fat skis.  To read about all the details and see the images from the day, check out the full trip report from March 8th at Stowe.