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.
We spent the morning around at the house playing in the snow and taking care of snow removal, and then we headed up to Bolton Valley at some point after 1:00 P.M. to check out the new powder and get in some storm day turns. Bolton’s Vista Quad was on wind hold, but Timberline was running well and we spent the afternoon there. I did several depth checks in the 1,500’ to 2,500’ elevation range and got measurement of 26 to 31 inches for the depth of the new snow. There were some gusty winds at times, but Timberline is fairly protected and wind wasn’t bad except on the ridgelines. The new powder was just medium-density snow at ~10% H2O, and I guess the only thing that might made it better would be if it had been topped off with a bit of our Champlain Powder™ fulff, but let’s just say that it was quite a day to be out there. It was certainly not one to be missed, but in case you did, you can check out all the details and the powdery images in the full Bolton Valley trip report from today.
E and her co-director decided to cancel ski program at Stowe today due to so many parents being concerned about the large incoming storm, so I popped up to Bolton Valley for a bit this afternoon to see how some of the new snow was taking hold. The conditions were actually quite nice, as the new snow is dense and it seems to be bonding to the old snow as it cools down. I skied Hard Luck, which is fairly steep, and although I was certainly touching down on the old snow at times, even that was reasonably pliable and the new dense stuff was providing quite a ride even on pitches in the 30-degree range. I followed up with Beech Seal, smiling the whole way as I ripped fresh snow down the deserted slopes. I didn’t get any images of the new snow from up on the mountain, but I grabbed a shot out back at the house when I was making my weather observations at 4:30 P.M., and the snowy branches were representative of how the trees were starting to look up on the mountain. For all the details, check out the full report from up at Bolton today.
We were around in Stowe for a bit today but in the afternoon we made our way over to Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond to check out their 50th anniversary celebration. They had 1961 throwback ticket pricing, so tickets were just 25¢ per person. Everyone in the family went with their Telemark skis, and the boys had fun working on their turns. Cochran’s is 9 miles down the Winooski Valley from our location, and the base elevation is fairly low. At only 500 feet, it’s at the same elevation as our house. Being down in the lower elevations, I’m not sure where temperatures were at in the high country today, but at Cochran’s and in the other lower elevation valleys they were in the 40s F. We only skied on piste, but the snow was a good soft consistency, certainly somewhat spring-like, and it offered great carving. To read the rest of the text and see all the pictures, go to the Cochran’s Ski Area report from today.
We were up at Stowe today for our usual Sunday session, and since it’s the tail end of vacation week, many people were absent. Our group had just Ty, Jack, and Dylan, but we also had Mike Cannon as one of the group’s coaches, and with his immense knowledge of Spruce and Mansfield he brought us to plenty of great shots. Not too surprisingly, we found conditions to be much like Bolton’s, with untouched areas typically yielding between 12 to 18 inches of powder thanks to our recent storm. We skied glade after glade with Mike, and the steepest and highest traffic areas are certainly down to the firm base leftover from those couple of warm days a bit over a week ago. However, outside of those spots it was easy to find areas with either untracked or soft chowder. To read the full text and see all the pictures, check out the full Stowe report from today.
After earning turns and skiing with Stephen and Johannes in the early morning, I headed back to the house for a bit after that session, picked up E and the boys, and we caught up with Stephen and Johannes later in the morning to hit the powder for the rest of the day. We had some light snow and sunshowers in the later morning and early afternoon from yet another small weather system that was pushing through, and then more sunshine as the afternoon wore on. We got into plenty of that famous Vermont fluff, and all the boys seemed to have a good time. Click through to see all the picture and read the full report from today at Bolton.
I headed up for an early, pre lift-service session at Bolton this morning with Stephen and Johannes. We ascended Twice as Nice and hit Spell Binder for first tracks. On the headwall the snow was a little tricky due to some mid-storm skier traffic yesterday, as well as the wind that had picked up in the evening.
The skiing was still decent, even if not entirely bottomless on the headwall. Once we were lower down and out of the wind, the snow quality took a big jump up and anything untracked was just what one would expect. It wasn’t the lightest of the light in terms of Northern Vermont Champlain Powder™, but my analyses from yesterday indicated 5-6% H2O at our place down in the valley, and I’d say it easily skied like that as long as the wind hadn’t gotten to it. Click through to read the full report from today.
It was back on Wednesday when our current winter storm started coming into focus, but at that point the snow totals were still somewhat in question. However, by the yesterday/today timeframe it was looking like the local mountains could see a good foot of snow, so prospects for getting some powder on the slopes were promising. It actually hadn’t even started snowing when I left the house this morning around 6:45 A.M., but by the time I left Burlington sometime after 11:00 A.M. they’d picked up about 4 inches, and here at the house I found 6.3 inches at noontime. That meant that the snow was coming down at over an inch an hour in the valley, so up on the mountain they were likely getting blasted.
E and the boys didn’t have school, so around 1:00 P.M. once we were sure that the powder was building, we headed up to Bolton to get in some storm day skiing. When we first arrived at Timberline, the snowfall was moderate and the flakes were fairly small, but flake size and snowfall intensity were picking up. We started off with some Spell Binder, and the boys were clearly enjoying the powder with the enthusiastic comments coming out of them such as Ty’ “Beautiful Beauty”, and Dylan’s “That’s Talking Powder”; they were certainly original if not extremely descriptive. I did my first depth check on the new snow about halfway down Spell Binder, where the tally was 11 inches. For more pictures and the full story, click through to the full report from today at Bolton Valley.
Temperatures warmed up above freezing at all elevations in Northern Vermont at the end of last week, so we waited for the powder to build up over the long weekend before finally heading out this afternoon for turns. We had three small systems that dropped snow over the holiday weekend; down at the house we picked up 3.7 inches of snow in the form of 0.21 inches of liquid, and Bolton was reporting 5 inches of snow in the higher elevations. The new powder at the house had settled down to about 2 to 3 inches over the old base, so we knew there would be at least that much up on the mountain. Temperatures wound up being colder than we thought, but the powder was nice – we found 3 to 4 inches of settled powder in the lower village portion of the network at around 2,000’, and up at the Bryant Cabin elevation (~2,700’) the depths of new snow were 4 to 5 inches. It turned out to be plenty of fluff for the low and moderate angle pitches, so many nice powder turns were had, and it was also the first time that the boys had skinned all the way up to the cabin. Dylan had some binding issues near the bottom of the run, so I had to help him through and he got quite a ride. Read about the entire adventure in the full backcountry trip report from today.
Today we were back at Stowe Mountain Resort for our weekly BJAMS ski program day. There was some light to moderate snow during the day for a short time, but nothing in terms of accumulation that established any powder on the trails. Conditions were still excellent, with packed powder on piste and powder off piste, and while the most popular off piste places had seen enough traffic that they featured packed or tracked snow, untracked powder was easy to find. We played around in the trees on Spruce Peak and had a good time, even if the powder was a bit old. The snowpack is well past that stage where the off piste is sufficiently covered, and after finally getting in on a couple of synoptic storms, things are now at the stage where brush is becoming so buried that most hardwood areas between trails, even those that don’t receive trimming attention, have opened up enough for turns. We were finding that aside from zones with tight evergreens etc., you’d just poke your head in the trees and go. Click through to get to the full report from Stowe today.