“…once the snow showers got started in the morning, they literally kept going all day with that classic upslope flow from the northwest..”
This event was the second accumulating one at our house this month, and the fourth one for the mountains. Looking ahead, there seems to be some potential for snow in the midweek timeframe, and then again out toward the weekend.
Although Bolton Valley was only reporting an inch of new snow in this morning’s report, they’ve picked up more than a foot of snow in the past couple of days from Winter Storm Quinn. Combined with modest midweek skier traffic, that was already a recipe for some great skiing today, but even more snow was expected to arrive as the day wore on to further freshen up the slopes.
E and Dylan had some obligations in the morning, but Ty and I were free to ski and had plans to meet up with Stephen at the resort. We parked at Timberline, alerted Stephen with a text, and headed up the Timberline Quad for a run. Although I couldn’t find any slopes that hadn’t been thoroughly resurfaced at the resort during yesterday’s outing, I can finally say that I found at least one today. I figured we could try a run on Lost Girlz, which would be a really tough test of the resurfacing. Unfortunately, the combination of dense evergreen canopy above, and very steep pitch were too much; the coverage just wasn’t enough. So, we high tailed it over to Tattle Tale for a run. The snow was certainly good there, but in general it had seen much more traffic than usual because the Tattle Tale headwall was open.
We met up with Stephen and did a full run of Tattle Tale so that we could really take in the headwall experience. It was a bit windblown at the very top, but coverage was quite good overall and it was definitely worth the trip.
The rest of the morning was dedicated to getting Stephen some deep untracked powder, and that we delivered in spades with trips to The Crack, Villager Trees, and White Rabbit. Stephen seemed quite happy floating around on his fat alpine touring skis. The powder was easily a foot or more in untracked areas, and it was definitely delivering great turns with that right-side-up density gradient that Winter Storm Quinn had set up. In addition, new snowfall was ramping right up as we approached midday due to an incoming mountain upslope snow event that’s developing in the area.
The three of us headed to Fireside Flatbread for some lunch, and E and Dylan joined us for a bite once they arrived at the resort. We all did a Cobrass/Five Corners run together before Stephen had to head back to pick up Johannes, and the rest of us finished off the day with some Timberline runs. E and Dylan had skied Spell Binder earlier and it got a great recommendation. It lived up to the expectations, especially that skier’s left that Dylan enjoyed ripping up so much.
“As mentioned earlier, the big weather news in the coming days is the mountain upslope snow event that’s poised to bring another hefty shot of snow to the area.”
“Another good problem to have is trying to find the off switch to the upslope snow machine…looks like a brief break develops Sunday afternoon into Monday…before more accumulating snowfall for Tuesday into Weds.”
“It wasn’t just good, it was really good – even by Northern Vermont standards.”
I got up to Timberline in the mid afternoon and caught a ride on the Timberline Quad with a bartender on his way up to work at the James Moore Tavern. He lives at the Bear Run Condos, which are slopeside along the Timberline trails, so technically this was his “commute” to work. There was hardly anyone around on the lift since it was getting pretty late in the day, but because he was with me he decided that he’d count it as car pooling. In order to ski home, he often catches a ride to the top of the resort with one of the groomers late in the night when he’s done his shift at the bar, and he said that last night during his nightly excursion, the snow was coming down like mad. It sounds like he had a fun “commute” home last night.
Since it was mid afternoon and people had been out skiing the fresh snow all day, I didn’t really have the run of the resort so to speak with respect to powder. The wind was also having its way in some exposed areas, but I knew where to go. From the Vista Summit I made my way down into the Villager Trees, where the snow was protected and there was plenty of untracked powder. The trees in the there were glorious to behold with all the delicate powder layered on them. I got into some good lines off The Knob, farther skier’s left than I’ve been this season. I probed the powder in various places during my travels, and the measurements all came back in the 15-19” range for settled depth. I don’t believe that was all from this storm in areas that hadn’t seen much traffic, but things start to get deep when it’s powder on top of powder.
Since my car was down at Timberline, I was able to finish off my day there, and I caught some nice turns upon traversing over to Lower Tattle Tale. The Tattle Tale headwall was scoured, but boy was there some deep, well-protected powder on the lower half. I had the trails to myself since it was the end of the day, and Spur was particularly enjoyable as I followed the main track and skirted in and out of the powder on the sides to check my speed. I caught a little bit of powder on the bottom of Spell Binder, and I’m sure it was nice getting fresh tracks there this morning.
The bulk of this storm was really focused on the Northern Greens, and the skiing has definitely stepped back up a notch after getting pretty flat and beaten down over the weekend. This was a much needed dump of snow with so many of the big synoptic systems missing off to the south of the area, and the snow depth at the Mt. Mansfield Stake has reached 65”; it’s finally gotten back above average after being below for a month and a half. We’ve got the potential for a modest snowstorm this weekend, and then another next week, so those could really help to keep building the snowpack if their tracks are halfway decent.